For months Kathy’s bills were piling up. Although she had family members who could have helped her, pride kept her from reaching out to ask for support before it was too late.
“I was scared to even talk to them because I didn’t know how they were going to treat me.”
After being evicted, Kathy had nowhere to go and began living on the street. She carried two tote bags of belongings and a backpack of important paperwork everywhere she went. Family members would send her money occasionally, but Kathy can recall how she felt when food became scarce.
“I wound up with, in quarters and dollars bills, only $4. I said well you can at least get some kind of meal today.”
While sitting at the bus stop one day, a friendly stranger offered Kathy some advice: go to a local food pantry to get help. Kathy had considered the option many times before but never took the step to go. While standing outside the pantry, a friendly face calmed her fears and invited her in.
“He came walking up to me, put his arm around my shoulder and said, ‘what’s the matter darling?’.”
After telling her story to the food pantry coordinators, Kathy was connected to other community resources and began to turn her life around. Today, she’s working and paying rent with the hope that her part-time job will soon become a full-time position. She’s rebuilding her life, and her pantry, one step at a time.
“I don’t care if it’s a little bit here and a little bit there I’m gonna start with one shelf at a time.”
Being evicted and living in the street caused severe emotional damage and destroyed Kathy’s self-esteem. In addition to helping her find resources for shelter, the pantry also put her in touch with mental health counselors.
“Now I feel that I can accomplish everything that comes in my path, before, I was scared to even try.”