Last night, on an Outreach with John and Barbara, we rescued a family. It was a quiet, undramatic rescue, but still, a very real one. It began the night before when John was doing his evening Outreach rounds at Kennedy Plaza. He noticed 26 year old Patricia and her 5 year old daughter Katie (not their real names) sitting in on the bench in the bus station. He discovered they were homeless, with no place to go. Patricia had not sure where they were going to find shelter for the night, or in the future. Somehow John found something for them just for one night.
Barbara and John knew this little family would need a better arrangement so yesterday morning John posted an appeal on Face Book. “Was their anyone out there who could provide temporary room and board for a young mother and her daughter until they could get into permanent housing.“
Right away several offers came in. (That, in itself, is reassuring.) There was a woman in Warwick who sounded like she had a decent place, a finished basement “mother -in-law” apartment where they could stay. After a phone consultation, Barbara and John decided this Angel in Warwick would provide a safe place for these two.
We met up with the Patricia and Katie and waited in the bus terminal while they had their dinner of Pepperoni pizza and soda. Then we were off to this apartment that had materialized, almost as if from heaven. It was quiet in the car on the way down. We all were hoping this would work out. Neither Barbara nor John knew the family who had offered a place in their home. When we pulled up to the nice house in a nice neighborhood we were all greatly relieved. Little Katie ran to the front door. She wanted to ring the bell. John and I took the two small bags of clothing and Katie’s little backpack, apparently all they had. Barbara carried the box with half a pizza. Our Angel came to the door, opened her home to five complete strangers.There were introductions all around and we chatted around the kitchen table. Luckily, this was a safe place for Patricia and, her little girl, at least for now. The last I saw little Katie, she was playing on the floor with a fluffy little dog named Maxie.
Thinking about this whole thing, there are lots of questions rattling around in my head. There were so many other ways this could have gone for these two kids. Luckily there are still some real nice people out there.