Home for the holidays: Doris & Gary’s story
What thoughts fill your mind at the holidays?
If your home is like ours are, your thoughts are occupied with plans for celebration.
But for those facing a financial crisis, as Doris and Gary did last year, the holidays can be a time of indescribable fear.
While you and I searched stores for gifts to give, Gary searched desperately for a steady job, eviction looming on the horizon.
It had all gone wrong so quickly. At the start of 2015, Gary had a well-paying job in computer services. It seemed secure. After all, he had earned glowing performance reviews year after year and had been recommended for promotion twice.
So when company executives stopped by Gary’s office last spring, he expected good news.
“I thought I was getting that promotion. Instead they told me that they were eliminating my job,” Gary said. “That was a kick in the head.”
At age 59, Gary was thrown back into the job market, taking what temporary work he could get while he searched for a permanent, full-time job. He worked hard, but the gap between the couple’s expenses and income grew with each passing month and by January, the couple’s worst fears were realized: they were evicted from their apartment.
For the next four and half months, home would be Doris’s 2004 Chevy Cavalier. They were homeless, reduced to living in their car.
Thankfully, that is not the end of their story. It would have been easy to give up, but Gary and Doris reached out for help instead and ultimately connected with the DRC.
Then, almost as quickly as their lives had fallen apart, Gary and Doris found a place to start over. Your support for DRC solutions to homelessness—solutions that bring people home first, and then help them rebuild their lives—opened the door to a fully furnished apartment home just six months ago.
As another holiday season approaches, Gary and Doris are grateful for things you and I take for granted. Their modest apartment is just one example. The 2004 Cavalier has new tires today, thanks to DRC supporters like you who heard that Gary starts a part-time job soon and needs to get the car back on the road. Money is tight, but budget permitting, they’ll have a Christmas tree this year.
Gary and Doris tell me they are thankful beyond measure, but the months they were homeless remain a haunting lesson.
“There are no guarantees in life,” Gary told me.
He’s right. It could happen to anyone. Gary and Doris found their way home with your help, but many more still need a home and help to get back on their feet.
Yet at the DRC, we have confidence. We know that when an individual or family’s need meets a donor’s desire to help, amazing things happen.
You have never failed us. That is why the DRC can ask with confidence that you renew your support for the DRC during this season of giving.
Together we’ll bring people home for the holidays this year and for years to come.
For these and all the gifts you give, we thank you.