Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Just before Christmas I saw Tammy (58) with her belongings leaving the Men’s Residence after the evening meal, and it was going to rain. I invited her into the Pregnancy & Family Care Center as it was beginning to rain. I asked if she would like me to take her somewhere when I was done working so she wouldn’t have to walk in the rain. She shared with me that she was homeless and asked me if I would drop her off at a dumpster which was located at a business two blocks away. She said that at least she would have shelter from the rain. The next day, during daytime hours, I went back to try to find her to see if we could help her in some way, but she was nowhere to be found.
On April 3, I received a call from the hospital from a lady asking me to pick up all her belongings from the hospital because she was homeless and had nowhere to keep her things. She had been admitted due to heart issues. She asked me to just give her things away or take them to a thrift store. By the time we got to the hospital she was gone, so we picked up her things and stored them at the Pregnancy & Family Care Center as we attempted to locate her. We didn’t find out until the next day that the woman who was on the phone was Tammy.
Then on April 8, I found Tammy sleeping upright on a bench in downtown Leesburg and picked her up to bring her to the Pregnancy & Family Care Center to spend some time with her to see if there was a way that we could assist her. Unbeknownst to me, the Christian Care Center administrative office had also been ministering to Tammy. Lauren Ritchie, columnist with the Lake Sentinel, interviewed Tammy and wrote an article about Tammy and the need for emergency shelter for the “Tammy’s” in Lake County. You can click here to read it. One couple from Tavares responded to the article and they have now come along side of Tammy to help her procure a cell phone and to get other important health and legal matters in order. God’s Café heard of the need and connected Tammy with an 86-year-old resident who has been looking for someone to share her house with who could help her. Tammy moved in on April 23, and I took Tammy’s personal belongings to her the next day. Tammy was all smiles, freshly showered and wearing nice clothes. She exclaimed to me, “I’ve found my purpose in life…to help my new friend!” They were heading off to Bible Study later that afternoon.
Tammy is still battling health issues and is presently in the hospital after a heart cath while they do some more testing. But one thing I know is that God showed up through His people, and Tammy is now off the streets and sleeping safely at night! Please continue to pray for Tammy and so many others in need in our community.
Here is a picture of the first time that I saw Tammy smile as she said, "There’s nothing that makes me happier than volunteering!”
Here is a picture of Tammy with her new roommate.
-Written by Wanda Kohn, Director of our Pregnancy & Family Care Center