The Struggle to find a Home
Many people struggle with homelessness, and this had only grown worse during the pandemic.
Ms. Yolanda and her family were one of those families. She, her daughter, and her son were forced out of their apartment and began living out of their car, staying at a QT gas station. The apartment they were living in had mold, and water leaks, and was considered unsafe.
"The DeKalb Housing Authority told me that I had 30 days to leave," Ms. Yolanda recounts. "I asked where am I going to go. I didn't know they had stopped payments for that property, and that it went into abatement. When that happened we had to pack up and put our stuff in storage."
During this time they ate in the car, slept in the car, and washed up in the bathroom of the convenience store. "I felt comfortable at the QT in Tucker - they didn't bother you and they let you sleep there and sometimes they didn't charge for hot dogs and ice because they knew we were homeless. A lot of people slept at the gas station - about 20 cars with people were sleeping there, while the pandemic was going on. "
One day, she went to the Decatur library to rest and she saw ladies handing out sandwiches. During the pandemic, A Home volunteers handed out sack lunches daily in front of the Decatur library.
"I asked the woman there about the people passing out gas cards, and she said the ministry was closed but she gave me lots of sandwiches and fruit and the tears started rolling because I didn't have any gas money to go pick up my kids. She reached into her pocket book and gave me money, I said look at God's angel and that's how I met Shelly."
Her family stayed in a motel, through DeKalb County, and sometimes at the Salvation Army family shelter, while they were on a waiting list for a new apartment. When her apartment finally came through, she didn't have the money for a downpayment. A Home For Everyone In DeKalb was able to help her with the down payment, Georgia Power bill, beds, and linens.
Ms. Yolanda continues, "I got a call saying my apartment was approved in August 2021. We've been staying for about a year so now I'm on my second lease. I don't have to put up with bugs and roaches and I'm so grateful that I have a roof over my head."
Ms. Yolanda with her son