Sometimes it takes many hands to make a difference. Last winter Plateau Outreach Ministries (POM) had a visit from a young family who had recently become homeless. “John and Trish” met in Idaho when Trish was visiting family and John was working there short term. John and Trish’s relationship flourished and John invited Trish to come with him to his hometown, Enumclaw. Their family grew and when Trish was pregnant with their second child, their first-born, “Trenton”, was diagnosed with Autism. John struggled to keep long-term employment as he worked to help an exhausted Trish with Trenton’s developmental issues. John worked at odd jobs where he could, sometimes working with his brother. Life soon became overwhelming and John and Trish found themselves homeless with a broken down vehicle.
With the new baby, “Jackson”, and Trenton in tow, they sought help from POM. The staff and volunteers welcomed them in and provided a safe place where they might find a light at the end of a very long tunnel. They received food, clothing, and diapers as well as outside resources. They were also invited to Winter Shelter. POM’s volunteers were able to provide a pack-n-play for Jackson and a crib-sized mattress perfectly suited for Trenton. POM also provided crib sized blankets to make the boys their very own bed-packs for the shelter. Around Christmas time, Trish discovered she was pregnant again. They were scared and worried about their future.
POM’s caseworkers helped the family fill out paperwork for housing assistance from King County Housing Authority, but by February, as Winter Shelter was ending, there was still nothing available in Enumclaw. POM worked with other community partners to find room for the family at a shelter in Federal Way. With no form of transportation, Scott, one of POMs board members who is also the Winter Shelter Coordinator, provided transportation so they could bring their car seats and stroller with them. This shelter was also just a short-term “fix”. They could only stay until the end of March. Scott remained in touch with the family providing them hope and encouraging them through this difficult time.
By April, John and Trish had managed to save enough money to stay in a hotel during the last months of Trish’s pregnancy. At the end of May baby “Hannah” was born! However, the family still had only a small hotel room to bring her home to. Scott and his wife continued to check in on them. Trenton loved to facetime with “Papa Scott”. Finally, in July, an apartment became available in Enumclaw and the family was able to come home!
John continues to work hard to provide for their family. POM is still here for resources, food and an occasional bus pass when things get tight. Both Trish and John have expressed their wishes to volunteer with POM someday. POM’s staff and volunteers look forward to that day, knowing that many hands, working together, can indeed make a difference.