A month ago I met a couple named Rian and Kim. Like many people, they were moving from Texas to Oregon in order to have a better shot at jobs and a better life. And like many people making that move, the cost of housing and the difficulties finding economic stability surprised them. They thought they could get housing easily, but it wasn't so easy. So they ended up homeless.
The difference between them and others is that they are deaf.
This may not be such a big deal, but think about it. In the middle of the night, you can't see anything and you can't hear who's coming. This couple could only communicate through sign language and writing, so they couldn't get information easily. If the police caught them in the middle of the night, what would happen to them? What if someone attacked them? They were especially vulnerable.
But at least they were in a car. Oh, until it got taken from them as a repo.
We were able to bend a couple rules and let them in a house over the weekend, and they were certain that they could get housing on the Monday after through disability services. However, on that Monday, the apartment manager (to whom they have already paid application fees, been accepted, and given a deposit), refused to give essential, basic information so they could get the apartment. Disability services couldn't pay their rent if the apartment wouldn't give this information. So they were stuck homeless for the rest of the month until they received their next checks, for two and a half weeks.
What were we to do? So I wrote a letter (which I almost never do) giving them permission to sleep on our property for the rest of the month. Then I left for two weeks on a long planned trip to Pennsylvania, praying that they be safe and that they don't take advantage of others.
In the middle of the first week, they did have to move from the hidden porch I put them on to the back of the church building because the rain on the porch flooded them out. But when I saw them again, they were safe, healthy, and had just moved into their new apartment. The two weeks they had spent at Anawim they were very helpful, cleaning up and assisting Linda when they could.
It was a terrible situation, but all worked out in the end. Praise God.