As soon as we heard about people opening up their homes to Katrina victims, Laura and I started praying about offering our guest bedroom and study to someone who would need a place to stay.
Last Saturday, when the church gave food, supplies and hopefully a mental break to the evacuees staying in Dallas, we also asked them to fill out Needs Assessment Forms. On Sunday, IBCers “adopted” families and worked together to provide the things they had asked for on the form. In looking through them, nearly every single family needs housing. I can’t imagine the feeling of not having a place to live. So, this is how Laura and I found the family we were going to house. We had already heard about their situation because they’re related to one of the custodians at IBC. But, after talking with them, it turned out that they didn’t need to be housed after all.
So, today the church put on the same type of event that they did last weekend and probably around 300 evacuees came to get some help. Laura was, of course, helping out in the pre-school area. My job was to be a Family Advocate. Basically, when people came in, looked around at all the activity and asked, “What now?”, the Advocates were there to walk them through the paperwork and various available services. Renate, a friend of ours, was there at the same time I was so when two single moms with their daughters walked through the door, we offered to help them. After getting a general idea of their needs I started getting really excited because I thought that Laura and I might be able to offer them the exact type of housing they needed in the short-term. Not to mention the fact that Charlita and Brandi were both so grateful and friendly and warm from the moment we met. They are best friends and had evacuated New Orleans together with their two daughters. After telling us that they were hoping to stay close together housing-wise, I thought, “Alright, that’s it. I gotta ask Laura if I can offer our house to these two!” I tracked L down and brought her over to meet Charlita and Brandi before asking if they’d like to stay with us until they can get their feet back under them.
We are so excited to be able to help them out during a time of uncertainty that I can’t even begin to put myself in. I hope some of you get a chance to meet them! The guest bedroom is already pretty well set up. We pulled the computer desk out of the study and found a nice place for it in the living room and thankfully Paul & Betty were able to bring a bed to put in the study-turned-third bedroom.
They’re going to meet us at the church tomorrow and we aren’t sure right now exactly when they’ll be moving in. They have a hotel room through Thursday but may be joining us before then. We’ll keep you posted!