Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homeless Mom and Daughter Need Help

In this season of giving I've just become aware of a sad situation in the lives of one of my loyal readers. Liz is a Christian mom and widow. Her daughter, Katy, is now 16. They live in the general area of San Jose, California. They've been teetering on the brink of poverty for some time now, and have just fallen over the edge into homelessness. They are living in their car.

Last night I received an email from Liz, telling me that Katy is blogging about their experience. Katy loves art, and the drawings on her blog are her own. Please visit her blog here and start from the beginning. (There aren't too many posts yet; you can quickly catch up.) This is an unfortunate example of how the working class can fall into homelessness.

I encourage you to leave a comment on Katy's blog. They would be so encouraged by that. I've emailed Liz regarding how she might receive funds and have yet to hear back from her. I'll update this post when I do. If you'd like to send some money to this struggling mom and daughter, please check back here for updates. Or leave a comment on Katy's blog, asking her to contact you with info.

For a number of years now I have sent Liz a free book every time one of mine releases. She has always graciously written back with thanks and much praise for the story. She's been a real encouragement to me. I'm hoping to now help her through my online network of blogging, Facebook and Twitter. I'd appreciate any way you can help spread the word through your own networking.

Update 9:00 a.m.:
Katy has put a P.O. Box number on her blog, where money can be sent. I have also looked into homeless shelters/programs in their area and made some calls. So far there are no openings, but we're still working on it. The problem is that many offices will start closing for New years. We will be trying to get Liz and Katy out of their car and into beds right away, while they gather some funds and work with agencies who can help get them on their feet.

Update 11 a.m.: People are getting involved, helping spread the word about Katy's blog. A homeless girl artist blogging her experience is quite a story from the human interest point of view--and people are following the links to view Katy's blog. If you are on Twitter, Facebook, Shoutlife, have your own blog--please post about Katy's blog and send people there. Her blog counter has gone from very low numbers to 465 overnight, and those numbers are climbing. Help us get the word out! And if you can spare a little money for these two, please send a check to their P.O. box (address on Katy's blog.)

Update 11:20 a.m.: As people are getting involved to help Liz and Katy, it's becoming clear they need an easier way to send money. Liz doesn't have a Paypal account. If you'd like to send funds to Liz and Katy, please send them to my account, and I'll make sure every cent goes to them. Please put in the subject line: For Liz and Katy. My account is under my email address: brandilyn (@) brandilyncollins (dot) com


Unknown said...

Brandilyn, this is really sad. I can't believe that our Country would allow this to happen to a family. But it also shows the very real truth of how most of us are on the brink of being homeless.

We have a disabled son and I saw his teacher from last year and she was telling me that new classroom that she teaches is full of children with multable handicaps. She told me that she has one student that is in a wheelchair and is completely homeless. She is betting that the only meals that boy gets are the ones he gets while at school. How awful is that that our country allows this to happen?

I will be watching this girls blog and sending up many, many prayers for her and her mother.


Pam Halter said...

I plan to follow the blog, too, and have sent the address to everyone I know that will care.

Let us know how we can help!

Niki said...

Thanks for spreading the news. My husband and I work with homeless and at-risk youth here in Colorado. I know this plight well. I will be praying for God's provision for this family and will contact Katy through her blog. I feel the need to add that like a previous commenter, I am sad that our country allows this to happen, but I'm even sadder that our churches do. :(

Thanks for taking up the cause Brandilyn! One person DOES make a difference. :)

Julie Carobini said...

Thanks Brandilyn. I read a little last night when I saw your post on twitter, and will continue to keep up and see what I can do to help.

Andi said...

Thank you so much for posting this! My heart goes out to them. I will continue to follow them and do what I can to help.
God Bless you! Andi

B. J. Robinson said...

I read and posted a comment for her, and I'll keep them in my thoughts and prayers. With so many believers praying for them, God will work a miracle. God bless you for using your connections to help them. (http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com/). I admire the courageous writer and illustrator she is, and I posted for her to never give up on her dreams.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Brandilyn. I will definitely read and follow.

Do you know of a local church in the area who might have a willing congregation member who can take them in for a few days?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I know some people in that area who are contacting their churches. We're continuing to work on this in all angles--sending money, finding shelter.

If you have a blog or on Facebook and/or Twitter, please spread the word about Katy's blogging, using her URL.

Dineen A. Miller said...

I couldn't post on Katy's blog so I'm leaving a comment here for her. Thanks, Brandilyn!

Hi Katy,
I'm a friend of Brandilyn's. I'm so sorry you and your mom are going through this. Keep hanging on to each other. That's what I remember most when my mom and I went through some rough times like this. And I know God is there and will take care of you both. He's so faithful.

My church would like to give you and your mom a gift card for Lucky's. How would you like us to get that to you? You can email me directly at dineen @ dineenmiller (dot) com.

Praying for you!:-)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't leave a message on Katy's blog, either. So, I sent my message to her gmail account... Katy, if you read this, check your gmail! :-)

-- Sarah M. Salter

Sandy Cathcart said...

I've tried to leave Katy a message several times and couldn't either. So, here goes for Katy,

I was homeless with five children for five months once, so I know what it feels like. People ended up helping us too, and it totally changed my life. I'm praying that for you.

I'm also an artist, writer and photographer. I love your art and your writing is wonderful. It shows your spirit of adventure to pour this setback into writing that will help others as well. Hope you are keeping all this in a journal somewhere.

I’m praying for you and your mom,

sandy cathcart