I looked death in the face, I saw it’s shadow come towards me, and I just knew I would have to fight to survive.
I had been walking in the cold for hours, the sky was overcast, the shivers running up and down my body. My mind was racing, where was I going to go. I walked by the church parking lot, I saw a life-sized doll house on the play ground. I considered tucking myself inside for the night, but realized I had no food. With a baby growing inside of my belly, I had to find something, somewhere. I came upon a mini mall, there was a laundromat still open. I went inside, and I sat savoring the warmth. I listened to the television set, hung above the washing machines in the corner. For a few brief seconds I was able to escape my reality, until the bell rang above the door, and a woman walked in asking for help. She asked if I would help her carry in some of her laundry bags, as if God knew I needed some help, she offered me a few dollars for my support. I walked next door to a tiny mom and pop restaurant and ordered some fries. I closed my eyes, and pretended I wasn’t about to spend my first night out on the streets homeless. I left the restaurant and walked back to the laundromat, but the manager was at the door locking it up for the night. The fear settled into my heart and mind. I began walking into the night wondering where I would end up, it felt like I wouldn’t even survive the night. I came upon a gated garbage area. I went inside and closed the gate. I flipped up the lid and rested it on the gate to make a bit of shelter. However the water trickled in on the ground beneath me. I sat there in the corner on the ground, shivering cold, I began to cry. I then got an idea to open a few trash bags and use the plastic to offer some protection, and make a cover from the rain. It worked for keeping me dry, but the cold still sunk deep into my skin. As I laid there and listened to the rain falling on that garbage lid, I wondered if I wanted to survive. I was sure there was a bottle I could break, and slit my wrist, and be done with the pain I have known. Yet as quickly as the thought came it was undone, by the thought of the baby in my womb. I knew I would have to fight, I had to fight for the life growing within me.
Many of the women who come to Acres of Hope have seen some of the hardest things that are offered in life. Many have experienced loss, many have experienced abuse, some have experienced addiction. However one thing they all have experienced is homelessness. The first night of wondering how they will survive, how they will feed themselves, where they will lay down their heads is frightening. For a mother with children, or with a baby in the womb, it is even more threatening to be out on the streets alone. At Acres of Hope we tell these women who are ready to change their lives and break the cycles of homelessness for themselves and their children, we are here. We have food, shelter, safety, love, community, and the tools you need to transform your life. For some women homelessness is a matter of life or death. Acres of Hope is equipping women to be able to live, and thrive.
To help break the cycles of homelessness,
Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-446-1621