Homeless With Nothing Left But A Smile and Talent
Tomorrow will mark my 1 month anniversary with moving a homeless woman into my home. I had never met her before June 14, 2019 and in fact had only seen her cry for help on facebook the day before jumping in my car and driving an hour away from my home to pick her up, along with a few bags of belongings she owned.
I had seen Sarah’s post on facebook several months ago regarding needing help with rent. But she hadn’t been my facebook friend for very long, and as a matter of fact I’m pretty sure the only reasons we became friends was because I liked her paintings and we found ourselves heated at the same news articles regarding the injustices in our country, and seemed to like or comment on them almost simultaneously.
I remember her last facebook post was desperate and sad. I could feel her desperation and was sad that she had exposed to people that she didn’t know that her life was upside down and she had officially hit rock bottom. Sarah had been taking care of her mother for 3 years as she battled cancer. She eventually lost her mother last year and due to not working because of taking care of her terminally ill mother she lost her car in October. After the passing of her mother Sarah went through several illnesses of her own including battling depression and anxiety along with a few other health issues, which kept her from being able to immediately go back to work. What little bit of insurance money she received wasn’t enough to sustain her for even a full year once she paid for funeral arrangements and other bills that belonged to her mother. Besides losing her mother, car and home, she also had to give up her rescue dog of 8 years. I’m sure the last thing she wanted to do was take her dog to a shelter. I attempted to find someone who could or would adopt her but was as unsuccessful as was she. Her initial outcry on facebook was to ask for help before she reached the level she is at now. Homeless with nothing left but a smile and art.
I drove an hour away to pick her up. Because she had never met me, she probably didn’t have much faith in people at this point since friends she had known for years and family never offered to help her during such a low period in her life. As I pulled up and cut my car off, I see a short stout woman with a crew cut walk down the steps off the porch. I walked across the yard as she called my name with a question mark as though she wanted to make sure. I assured her yes it’s me, as I immediately opened my arms to embrace her and give her additional reassurance. Her eyes filled with tears as I assured her “It’s gonna be ok, I promise.” I helped her load 3 small bags and her laptop into the backseat of my little car as I headed back home, with my new house guest.
I could see the uncertainty and displaced look in her face while I drove and glanced at her periodically. I told her it was ok to cry if she needed to do that, I would expect her too and I would probably cry with her because what I would never do is judge her. She started laughing and said “thank you, you give me hope”. I explained that I have a mother , a sister, a niece and if I ever hit rock bottom I would hope and pray someone would help me if I ever needed it. I explained to her that I don’t have a lot, but I come from a long line of strong women who believed in helping others. This was instilled in me and it most certainly is in my DNA and I know no other way. This was the second time I have opened up my 2 bedroom condo to strangers I didn’t know because they lost everything. I told her, my only expectation I have of her is that when she gets back on her feet that she return the favor one day by helping someone who may need help. She need not know them, only that she reaches in and give someone else that same hope, even if it’s just a little. Some hope is better than none at all.
Sarah is a kindhearted soul whom I have even taken to a family gathering. My family is a lot like me and never questioned her on her situation or made her feel any less of a human being. Instead they treated her as I expected they would and that was like she was part of the family and had been around for years. My mother even telling her to get in the picture as we all gathered for a family photo. Sarah couldn’t believe a family could be so inviting to a perfect stranger. I explained to Sarah that we know no other way.
I’m not roommate material, I love to walk around naked lol. But helping someone to get back on their feet, I can hold off on being naked for a while (at least while I’m home) . I helped Sarah to get a job at a local convenience store not far from where I live. I’m hopeful that by the time she is able to save a minimum of six full paychecks, I will have saved and received enough donations to present to her enough for a deposit and at least 2-3 months worth of rent for her own place. This should help her to get on her feet and start again. I have an old car that needs minor repairs that I plan on donating to her. I don’t plan on telling her about any of this until the day I can present her with all of it, along with a card of well wishes from anyone else who may help me help her.
Sarah is very well known talented artist in her town. Her paintings have won awards and been put on displays and in art exhibits. I remember seeing her artwork and even asking how much a certain piece was. For Sarah, painting is her escape and it’s a very beautiful escape. Maybe I’ll make a page of her artwork alone, should anyone be interested in buying her art. I do know she deserves to keep smiling and hoping.
*You are not obligated to give anything . However, if you are able to help with anything extra … even if it is $1 or $2 that too will be greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate via Cash App: https://cash.me/$luxurieredefined , please email if you would like to use Credit Card or other form of payment. (please send a well wish note with your donation personally to Sarah)