The Genesis: Inviting a Homeless Family into Our Home

When people find out that we had a homeless family live with us for eight months, several questions usually arise. But the most common question asked is often along the lines of, “how did this all start?” And the answer to that is simple: It began with a Facebook post. 

My response to the Facebook post asking if anyone had a basement in which this family could stay.

On the evening of July 29, 2017, I was sitting on my bed, drinking a can of rose, and scrolling through Facebook when I came across a Facebook post asking if anyone had a basement or an extra room that a homeless family of four could spend the night. This family had been living in a car that broke down that afternoon. Given the fact that the temperatures were peaking at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and one of the members of this family was a six-month-old baby, I felt strongly that Jon and I should offer up our home for the night. So I turned to Jon, who had been sitting next to me, described the situation to him, and asked if it would be okay if this family stayed the night in our home. He told me that that would be fine. I then said to him that I had a feeling that if we said “yes” to this, that the family would be with us for a while - was he still okay with that? To which he replied that “yes, that is fine." 

So that night Jon drove to where this family's car had broken down. He loaded their belongings into our van and drove them back to our house. When they arrived at our home, they didn’t talk much, but what I could gather from them, I knew almost instantly that we would have a long journey ahead of us. 

And that was it. We did not know this family beforehand, we did not have previous experience with working with the homeless community, and it wasn’t something that took a long time to decide to do (more on why that was next week). It all began with a Facebook post. 

Also, stay tuned for more in this series:

Part 1: The Genesis: how we began hosting a homeless family in our home

Part 2: A Prepared Heart: why we began hosting a homeless family in our home

Part 3: The Whole Story: the journey of helping this family find permanent housing

Part 4: The Plan: practical tools we used to help this family find permanent housing

Part 5: Financial Impact: diving into the financial impact of helping a homeless family

Part 6: Resources: what resources are available to the homeless community and are they helpful?

Part 7: The Best and Hardest Stuff: I dive into the best and hardest parts of living with this family

Part 8: Supporting Others: Do you know someone who works in social services are spends time with those in crisis? Here is what you can do to support them.

Part 9: Diving In: What you can do to help the homeless community today (hint: you don't have to have them live with you, but it is going to take your time).