At about 2:00 one Sunday afternoon, I was waiting for my husband to pick me up. A family of five came inside the church and said they needed a place to stay for the night. Everyone looked clean and healthy, just worn out from walking in the 95+ degree heat.
They asked if they could crash at the church. They had been kicked out of the house they were sharing with two other families. The father had been working construction but felt that the owner was not paying them fairly. So, he asked for more money. Turned out the owner of the company was also the owner of the house they were staying in. The other two families were also working for the construction company and felt their jobs were in jeopardy because this father was too greedy and, after a physical argument, they were told to leave.
The family had relatives driving from south Texas to collect them, but it would be about 18 hours before they could get to Denver.
The night before they were at a motel. The city bus driver told them that the motel accepted vouchers from churches, so they understood charity. Turned out the hotel didn't give away rooms without a voucher. An 18-wheeler truck driver heard their story and gave them his room. He said he was heading out anyway. After the driver left, they had to clear the room from all the takeout boxes and the empty and not-so-empty alcohol bottles.
I started trying to find a shelter that would take them. Some were full, one would not let them stay together, the father would have to sleep in a different wing. The mother said that she wouldn't stay without her husband. She has a difficult time managing the three children on her own. Their ages are 4, 2, and 9 months. Their children played in the courtyard while we tried to figure out what to do.
It was now after 4:30, so my husband said we were going to get them a hotel room. He said that is what Love Forward money is for. Our envelope had $50 in it. We transported them to the hotel in two shifts. We gave them some cash for dinner, there was a Walmart next door. They said they would be fine until their family could get here from Texas.
The next day, I got a text telling me that their family arrived, and they were heading back to Texas.