In life I always heard the saying “disaster can strike at any moment”. I never really knew what it meant until the one day disaster took my whole life and turned it upside down. My parents took us out to eat dinner and when we got home we were shocked by a scene that looked like it had come straight out of a horror movie. Police cars covered the entire street and it wasn’t until we got out of the car that we realized what had happened. Broken glass filled our driveway, our door was wide open, and we could see our possessions scattered throughout the driveway. We had been the unfortunate victims of a home invasion. Weeks went by and though we knew it was a big deal, my siblings and I were not concerned that this would escalate. For the next three months, even though my parents tried to hide it, we could tell something was wrong. They were struggling to make ends meet and our lives were different but we still had hope that the situation would turn around and we would be back to living our old life in no time. Finally, month four came and my parents were late on rent for the fourth time. The landlord hadn’t been so lenient because she said it was becoming a habit. The next day we were served with a three-day notice. We spent the next few days moving all of our stuff behind our next-door neighbor’s house. He was a pastor and told my parents that he had no problem helping us because we could not afford to rent a storage unit. He even gave us money to stay in a motel room for two nights. Little did we know, this was just the beginning. We were homeless and we had to accept it no matter how much we didn’t want to. For two months we were completely on our own with no family, nowhere to sleep except the car and just enough money to provide us with meals every day. One day my mom got sick of seeing us like that and she asked for help. We didn’t know it, but we were about to meet a bunch of people that didn’t want to judge but wanted to help. Organizations like homeless coalitions and the amazing people that worked for them helped us with shelter each night. One day we met an amazing group of Christians who opened up their church house to us and allowed us to stay there for a month. We decided to drive to our old house and bring what was left of our belongings back with us because we needed more clothes and personals. When we got there we were met with a very disturbing sight. Our bags of clothes and shoes were ruined due to frequent thunderstorms and were then full of flies, maggots, and other bugs as well as mold and an extremely bad smell. We were able to salvage about 5 bags of clothing and the rest was hauled off to the dump. We reached out to more programs and they were able to give us clothes, shoes, money for food and gas, and hope that things would turn around. Seeing how hard everyone worked to make sure we were okay and that they had a genuine love for us is what kept us going every day. There were times where we would feel like giving up and a member of the church would pray over the phone with us and let us know that we would make it through. Over the course of the year 2019, we had somewhere around twenty-five to thirty programs helping to get us off of the street and we were able to meet so many people that were in the same situation as us and had been for way longer than us. Even though we didn’t have much, we gave what we could to somebody that was lower than us and had nothing at all. A few people would question how we could give away and we barely had enough ourselves and it was because over the course of those six months we had come into contact with some marvelous people and they showed us that if you are able to help someone you should because you never know how much your blessing means to someone. There were so many moments where it looked like no progress was being made at all. Numerous folks would help us find houses or apartment complexes and we would eventually end up getting denied. Even if we felt like the efforts were hopeless, we had an amazing team standing behind us and telling us to keep going. They were so motivational and understanding of our situation. After four more months of searching the day, we were all so hopeful would come, finally came. An apartment complex called my mom on a Saturday morning and we couldn’t hear the conversation but we saw tears streaming down her face. “Just another disappointment,” we all thought but when she hung the phone up she said four words that sent chills down my spine and tears to my eyes. “We found a place” was all she had told us before we were up and running around the motel room packing our belongings in bags and throwing them in the car. The entire way over I was too emotional to actually know what was going on. When we pulled into the complex a representative from the homeless coalition had been sitting in the parking lot crying. When she saw us she ran to hug my mom and said “I told you, I told you. Give it to God and he will work it out.” It amazed me to know that her, along with many other amazing individuals, had never given up hope and cared about us so much. Never once did we think that this world was filled with such amazing people. Once we were in the apartment, programs like food pantries, goodwills, thrift shops and even members from a few churches gave what they could. Within a week of us being in our new apartment, we had new furniture, clothes, shoes, food, and extra money in our pockets. I remember the first day we stepped into our house. We all stood around talking about how unreal everything felt. At one point all of us sat together and cried because it felt that unbelievable. Not only were we grateful for a place to call our own, but we were grateful that even when we felt like it was the only option, we never gave up. Day after day for a year, my family and I were faced with troubling situations. Some we never thought we would make it out of. Through it all, we realized one thing, that the world is filled with great people and all it takes is motivation to join those great people. Whether you pray with someone who’s struggling or provide a person with enough money to get a room and a meal, it only takes a small deed to give someone enough hope to keep going. I picked up on habits like donating my clothes instead of throwing them away, speaking up about something I can help with if someone is asking, and making it my business to help anyone in need even if it’s just sitting and listening to what they have to say. My heart goes out to the many people who took time out of their workdays and even came and helped us on their days off. Growing up I took life for granted and looking back I realize how bad that was. Being homeless taught me that you don’t need expensive shoes and clothes to be a respectable person in society, you just need to have a good heart and a desire to help. For so long I was afraid to tell anyone what I went through, but now I embrace it. I was homeless, I saw what it was like to live in a car and not know where my next meal was going to come from some nights, and I experienced scary situations that kids shouldn’t have to go through but if you ask me I’ll tell you it was all worth it. I say this because I learned a lesson from it. I learned that nothing in life, besides life and death, are promised to us. So I’ve learned to live life and never take anything I have, even though it isn’t much, for granted because it can be gone in the blink of an eye.