We are raising money for an older homeless couple and their grown
disabled son. The husband and wife are 66 and 62, respectively, and
their son is 26, partially deaf with pronounced ataxia (presents similarly to cerebral palsy). They have
homeless for the most part for about a year and a half, with
intermittent places to stay for 1-3 months. They lost their car and home
because of their low income and
inability to pay property taxes. They had been camping out and
showering at the YMCA.
The husband was an author and a minister for about 40 years, but his income dried up. He now receives SSI income of around $700/month and they are getting around $200/month in food stamps. The wife was a homeschool mom. Their son seems very sharp, but he is difficult to understand and needs some speech therapy.
When we first met them, they were in probable imminent danger of being arrested because they were camping on the grounds of one of the local YMCA's. The executive director locally was actually speaking with them outside when we showed up.
They have bicycles with a pull behind cart, and tents/cots that they move around from place to place.
Both the husband and wife have been hit by cars relatively recently.
He has trouble getting around, so the bike is not a great solution, but it beats walking. They appear relatively frail to me and she seems pretty confused, while he is lucid mentally.
We have placed them in a hotel for a short time to give them a chance to rest and relax while we figure out our next steps. We also got them each 30-day bus passes and some groceries to tide them over for a while.
We are raising money to
cover some logistical costs to consolidate their things into one storage
unit (they have one in Austin and one near Ft. Worth - long story) and
to purchase a motor home for them, which appears to be the best solution
to keep them out of the elements before it gets cold. As a general rule,
homelessness is not a healthy way to live, and they do not have any
cold-weather clothes right now.