A place to rest

By: Danni Eickenhorst, MidlandDivision, Content Specialist

Carolyn West never imagined at age 55 she would be living in a transient state with three teenagers to care for, but shortly after suffering a serious injury at work that is what happened. Her injury has prevented her from working now for 24 months. Then when her landlord lost his rental property in a contentious divorce, Carolyn found it nearly impossible to find a rental property within her budget that would accommodate her family. As the deadline for moving came and passed, she found temporary quarters for herself and her granddaughters, and lived separate from them for the summer.

“You do the best you can,” she says, “You don’t want them to realize how serious the situation is, so you say it’s just for the summer,” but when summer came to an end, West was still unable to find housing that could accommodate her family.

As a last ditch effort to keep her family together and to maintain some sense of continuity in the girls’ lives, Carolyn reached out to the O’Fallon shelter. Staying at the shelter has allowed the girls to continue attending school in their home district while buying Carolyn some time to reach out and take advantage of programs that could help them find affordable housing.

“When you think of shelters, you think of the shelters that you see on television – barrack-style, but The Salvation Army’s shelter is cozy and comfortable. Captain Paul Ferguson said to think of this as a resting place, a truck stop on my path, and that’s what I have done. I have gotten the rest I needed and feel ready to move on,” says Carolyn.

This month, Carolyn and her granddaughters will move into a new rental home in Wentzville, that is able to fit all of them and their tight budget. She has healed from her injury and is now ready to begin looking for work as a Patient Technician once more.

“I would recommend The Salvation Army to anyone in need. Captain Paul and Captain Amy Jo have such a spirit that comes through them that they can inspire you as you struggle through these times. They remind you that you’re not some low creature, but a child of God, and that helps tremendously as you try to begin again.”

To support programs that allow people like Carolyn the opportunity to find relief in times of extraordinary difficulty, please click here. To learn more about how The Salvation Army can help you, or your family, call 314-646-3000.

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