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We Have Nowhere To Go

Johnathen Vallery counsels a client

Recently, Darrell*, Lisa* and their three young children arrived at CHRISTUS Our Daily Bread in desperate need of help. The family had relocated to Galveston, as Darrell and Lisa were set to start promising new jobs working on the Galveston Port.

While enroute to Galveston they received a call from the employer asking if they had a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card which was required for the position. Once the employer learned they did not have one, the job offers were rescinded.

With the loss of their jobs, Darrell and Lisa no longer had a housing allowance. Their new priority was locating a safe place to stay until they figured out next steps. Due to limited funds, hotels were not an option. “Linda began to search for shelters in Galveston, and both Salvation Army and Our Daily Bread came up,” Angela Joseph, Our Daily Bread Director, said. At Salvation Army they were turned away due to both family rooms being occupied.

Upon arriving at Our Daily Bread, Darrell met with Client Navigator Johnathen Vallery and shared their story. “Johnathen spent most of the afternoon searching for shelters in Galveston County and surrounding areas but was unable to locate any to accept the family of five,” Joseph said. At that point, Darrell and Lisa decided to “live” in their vehicle until a shelter became available.

With the subsequent repossession of their car, they were unsure of what to do next. The family made their way again to Our Daily Bread for resources and counseling. Once again, Vallery searched but was unable to locate any shelter availability for the family. “They asked for blankets and suggestions of where they could sleep and left,” Joseph said. “By this time, it was 3:45, and our center was about to close. The team was just about in tears.”

With new information of an opening available the following day at Salvation Army, the Our Daily Bread team secured a hotel for the night for the family. “Johnathen located the family to share the good news,” Joseph said. “Before he could say anything one of the twins looked at Johnathen and said with tears in his eyes, ‘We have nowhere to go.’ Fighting back the tears, Johnathen said, ‘Yes, you do!’”

Within the following week, Darrell found a job, received additional training and certified to drive a forklift. “A community partner also paid for his TWIC card so Darrell is able to work on the Galveston Port,” Joseph said. Lisa registered the children in school through Galveston ISD’s Special Programs Department as well as received school clothes for the children from a community partner. The family is safely sheltered at the Salvation Army while awaiting housing through Galveston Housing Authority.

*not clients’ real names

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