Rebekah will never forget her and her young daughter’s first day of homelessness. “I felt truly alone for the first time. Homelessness was a world that I was aware of, but never thought I’d be a part of. I always thought I’d be able to find someone to help me...but that wasn’t the case.”
Rebekah had been trying to avoid homelessness for months, but after so many rejections and dead ends, she realized how powerless she felt in providing for her young daughter, Ayla. She was ready to give up. She “nestled Ayla into bed at a friend’s house, took a walk, found a gallon of vodka and then, a bridge.” That night, in the middle of June, overwhelmed by deep shame, hopelessness and defeat, she planned to jump off the Arthur Street bridge and die.
Thankfully, while standing there on the edge of her tipping point, Rebekah came to the conclusion that “as useless and worthless as I felt, I realized that I didn’t want to put that on my children.” She stepped away from the edge and checked herself into intensive treatment. Once she was stabilized, the treatment staff dropped Rebekah and Ayla off on the front steps of Family Promise of Spokane. Vulnerable and afraid, but ready to make a change, Rebekah grabbed her daughter’s hand and walked into her first day.
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, parents who are living paycheck-to-paycheck or couch-to-couch now find themselves facing a tipping point just like Rebekah. The stress, isolation and hopelessness is becoming overwhelming. Without intervention, many already vulnerable families will tip over into the destructive cycle of homelessness where they end up hidden, sleeping in cars, garages, tents, backyards or “nestled into bed at a friend’s house.” Last year alone, just in Spokane County, more than 3,000 children experienced homelessness in this way - children just like Rebekah’s daughter, Ayla. They need your help, now more than ever.
You can provide one day of services at Family Promise of Spokane for just $24.50… and, when that day is the first day for someone like Rebekah, it changes the trajectory of a family’s entire life. “I was able to breathe easier. That first day let my family be all together at once. I was able to feel shiny and new. I felt at peace for the first time in a very long time. I could let my guard down and relax. I felt safe and not only physically, but emotionally.. I got to leave my past behind and step into something new.”
$24.50 provides everything needed for a family to have a hope-filled first day: food, shelter, compassionate mentoring and a safe place to sleep at night. By making a monthly gift of $24.50, you provide stability, empowerment and healing for a vulnerable child, mom or dad through Family Promise of Spokane. And, because it typically takes only 34 days of care before a family moves into their new home, you’ll be a part of providing a “first day” to a new family every month and 12 families a year!
Today, when we’re being told to “stay at home,” you can commit to being there for families without a home. Right now, you have the power to change the future for a family just like Rebekah and Ayla’s.
Rebekah herself says that if she had not experienced that peace on her first day at Family Promise, her family would likely be living in their car, teetering on the edge of another crisis. Instead, Rebekah says, “They empowered me. I would not be making changes in myself and in my family and in the world around me if it weren’t for Family Promise.”
Be a part of changing someone’s first day. When you become a monthly partner, you help end the cycle of homelessness for kids, moms and dads in Spokane. Together, we can offer the hope-filled first day that each and every family needs.
Where are they now? Rebekah and her family recently moved into their new home. Today, she is employed and reunited with her husband, Randall. And her story has come full circle: “My new home is only a few blocks from the bridge I was going to jump from and a few blocks from the front steps of Family Promise. This is my Bermuda Triangle, but instead of being lost, by God’s amazing grace, I’m found.”
Consider a financial gift today at www.familypromiseofspokane.org/donate