“The only things in the apartment were neatly folded bedding and one plastic outdoor chair and, the amazing thing was that Mom and her six children had been living there for several months,” Executive Director Kim Sullivan said. “In fact, several of the older children were sitting cross legged on the kitchen floor eating scrambled egg sandwiches off a napkin because there were no plates.” But there is something special in that small unfurnished apartment. There are respectful children and a strong mother who trusts in God to see her through this rough patch in their life. In her not too distant past, she had a nice home and comfortable furnishings. The things she was willing to leave behind, in order to flee an abusive relationship to seek refuge at a domestic abuse shelter.
Thirty miles away, a mother and adult daughter found themselves homeless and living in a car, but this CNA would not allow hope to die. She found work and a very kind landlord, who allowed them to move into an apartment without a security deposit. The two share a phone and a car, and they only have a few pieces of furniture. Daughter sleeps on the couch, Mom sleeps on a blow up bed, and other than a kitchen table and two chairs, their home is empty.
Because of a nasty custody battle, our last subject was worried about an upcoming appointment with a court appointed case worker. She had been unable to provide her five children with beds and knew that her soon to be ex-husband would try and use this against her. Recently employed as a CNA, she was working hard to provide what she could for her family.
All of these stories have something in common, strong women are tackling overwhelming odds, in order to have a fresh start in life. Two of them were referred to Love INC of Tinley by the Crisis Center and have had to make difficult decisions, in order to ensure a secure life for themselves and their children. The other had to stare homelessness in the face with a good attitude and smiles. But the one thing they all have in common is that furnishings were provided by the new Love INC gap ministry, Beds & Blessings. Men from Faith Christian Reformed Church graciously volunteered to cut lumber and construct beds while Sleepy’s of Orland provided mattresses at a great cost. Several churches within the Love INC community donated bedding and household items, while our new Fresh Starts gap, housed at Zion Lutheran compiled Fresh Start Kits for the families. The Personal Care Pantry at Family Harvest Church joined in the fun by packing up a house warming package of toiletries for each family.
In all, Love INC was able to provide and deliver: 1 TV, 1 coffee table,1 couch, 1 dining room table, 2 entertainment centers, 3 house warming packages, 3 Fresh Start Kits, 3 dressers, 4 chairs, 4 bunk beds, 4 twin beds and 11 mattresses! Thank you to all who made this possible.