How it all started
Our Daughter, Chelsea had recently returned home from college and was picking up a couple items at the grocery store when she noticed a young women holding up a sign asking for some help. As Chelsea walked to her car and began driving out of the parking lot she felt compelled to turn around and talk with this person. Chelsea began the conversation by explaining that because she had just finished school and without a job herself… had no money to offer but wanted to sit and talk with her to see how she might be able to help in another capacity. Chelsea learned that she was a mother of two and her spouse was currently employed but given the cost of housing in the bay area did not earn enough to make ends meet. Over the next few months our family started building a friendship w/ Sally, Richard, and their two daughters; Daniella and Jessica. Their challenge was that they didn’t have enough money for 1st/last/deposit, and other programs such as “low income housing” had not been an option as they have been on multiple lists for years. Therefore, they were stuck in this vicious cycle of living day to day in hotels, and when they ran short on money… they spent the night in their car. The minimum costs for hotels in the bay area @ ~$99 a night ran them over ~$3000 a month.
Over many cups of coffee at Denny’s we began to construct a plan to: Get their family in a more stable environment, remove their need to supplement their income via “pan-handling”, and ultimately help to position them into a better financial situation to where they could transition into a more traditional residence. The solution we came up with was to utilize Travel Trailers and local RV parks as a temporary home.
Basic costs of this solution are:
- Down payment Travel Trailer: ~$2500 ( covered by THOR Ministry)
- Monthly Payments ~$150 (covered by the family)
- Monthly Space Rent (RV Park) ~$850 (covered by the family)
Bottom line: We’re able to cut their monthly housing bill by ~$2000; ($3000 vs. $850 + $150). This in turn accomplished our goals to put this family in a more stable environment, eliminate the need for “pan- handling” and allow them to begin saving for their future. Again, this approach is intended to be a “hand up… not a “Hand out” J