Autumn brings familiar seasonal changes, leading us to reflect on our lives. At HMHI, we also reflect on our work. Autumn reminds us of how important is this work that you, our supporters, empower us to do.
Autumn begins in September, the month we recall 9/11/2001 and the horrors and sorrow that the U.S. experienced as a nation in the aftermath of an attack. We did not provoke that attack; rather, we were living our lives and were attacked suddenly and without warning.
That event was completely out of our control. For many the domino affect must have been overwhelming and devastating.
This is the nightmare of a person living as homeless. Through no fault of their own–and sometimes without warning–they find themselves in a desperate situation. You see, not all homeless situations are caused by drug or alcohol abuse or gambling addictions. Homeless situations arise from:
- death of a spouse,
- catastrophic illness,
- abuse or
In some cases homelessness can happen in an instant. Life changes abruptly and will never be the same. Without a home, parents are left scrambling. They don’t know what they’ll do, how they’ll survive. They don’t know how to protect their children and carry on.
Homelessness happens to people who’ve never before needed assistance services. They don’t know the support system or how to access it. In many cases they are embarrassed. They never imagined they’d be in this situation.
Our hearts break for these families. It’s a “there but by the Grace of God go I” scenario. Because, any of us could face this possibility.
Can you imagine working hard all your life only, for instance, to lose it all due to an auto accident?
Recovery exhausts your savings. Your employment replaced you. You have no job and more bills than you can handle. The bank is foreclosing. You and your children will be homeless.
Can you imagine telling your children the night before your home is seized that tomorrow everyone will sleep in the car? Can you imagine swallowing fear as you try to appear positive so your children aren’t afraid?
This happens here in the Quad Cities. So, at HMHI we provide a home for single parents with children
- who must struggle to keep their families together,
- who want to retain custody of their children,
- who need to keep their children fed, clothed and in school during crisis.
Our generous donors bring us usable household items, and we’re able to provide a furnished apartment. Our parents can “shop” for free in Gertrude’s Boutique for items they need to make their new apartment a home and haven.
We also give parents the opportunity to increase their education and job skills, while gaining stability. In this process we also help their children. New positive memories and sweet sleep replace their nightmares. Children’s schooling stabilizes. They can continue to achieve their goals.
Autumn, a time of harvest, reminds us of that most important mission here at HMHI. With your help, we give parents and children the opportunity to again dare to dream and achieve. Thank you for making that happen!