ASSIGNMENT: Purchase car insurance for a homeless family after we obtain a donated car for them.
REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Community Liaison Officer James Poole (20 Precinct)
Last month, Ofc Poole visited a school on his precinct and spoke to a little girl who caught his attention. Something seemed not quite right with her, so he talked to the principal and learned she was in a homeless shelter. He asked the principal if he could speak with the little girl's mom, and was put in contact with her.
He explained who he was and what our charity does and asked if we could visit her. She told him she would be at a friend's house over the weekend and he could come see her there. Homeless shelters are only for sleeping. You have to leave during the day, so she and her daughter have to find alternate arrangements, especially on the weekends.
We met with her and asked what was the one thing we could do to make a difference for her and her daughter. She said she had recently started a job with a major package delivery service, and the homeless shelter would be helping her with finding an apartment. However, without a car, getting to work, getting her daughter to school, and getting to look at apartments was very, very challenging.
This woman is very nice and hardworking. Her daughter is a good student who needs a home to grow up in. They became homeless like so many others--the ending of a relationship, the loss of a job--things that can, and DO, happen to so many people and then are extremely hard to recover from.
Ofc Poole has a friend who owns a car dealership, and that friend has since been scouring auctions to find a car for this family. We have two possibilities now that the dealer is going to donate to us after he determines which one is best. He wants to make good and sure that this is a sound, reliable vehicle, and we're trying very hard to make this happen by Christmas.
We want to raise money for insurance and for a gas card. Since she's a driver for a packaging company, she has a great driving record and we expect her insurance will be reasonable. Anything we get over the cost of the insurance will go towards getting this tiny family into a home.
(Since they're in a homeless shelter, we really can't do much for them for Christmas in the way of presents, unfortunately. They just won't have any place to put them, and there's the very real danger they'll be stolen.)
The picture on this entry was taken the day we visited and shows Ofc Poole charming the friend's children. Everyone got coloring books. 💙