The only thing that Traci knew for sure was that she had to leave. There were no other options. She quickly packed up her belongings, got in her car, and drove away, leaving behind her home, her dogs, and her abusive relationship.
Traci was fortunate enough to be able to continue working and this gave her a sense of normalcy. Trying to survive on her own, though, was a major adjustment. Despite her best efforts, she soon realized her salary wasn’t enough to cover her rent and Traci became homeless. She lived in her car, sleeping in the parking lot of a local department store.
“I would go and park and be able to lean my seat back and be able to get a good night’s sleep for work.”
Traci was determined and resourceful. She tried to make the best of the situation she found herself in. Each morning, she would wake up and head to the hospital where she could freshen up in the bathroom before heading to work. Each obstacle was a problem that could be solved. So, when paying for much needed car repairs left no money for food, she arrived on the steps of The Salvation Army.
“I came into The Salvation Army and they opened their doors to me. They told me they were here for me, if I needed food or if I needed clothing.”
The Salvation Army was able to help her find a room to rent and helped with food and clothing whenever it was needed.
“I just want to be normal and The Salvation Army helps you to be normal, to feel normal. The talks that they give you, the prayers that they give you when needed, and that really helped.”
Tracy still doesn’t have a home to call her own yet. Still, she continues to work hard, determined to save as much as possible. She regularly stops into The Salvation Army for prayer with her caseworker which inspires her to keep going.
“Now I know what it’s like for people that are homeless, people that are without. We’re people, loving people. We just need a little helping hand sometimes.”