When home is spelled S-U-V

Many families in Pierce County are living just one step away from homelessness.

For the Garcia’s, losing their housing in a fire pushed them over the edge. They couch surfed, but soon their options ran out.

Eventually, they had to send their four oldest children to live with an aunt, while Victoria, Raul, and their three younger children lived out of their SUV in the summer heat. It was brutal.

“It was so uncomfortable with everyone piled on top of each other. The kids would say, ‘We’re hungry!’ It’s hard not being able to give them an answer.” – Victoria Garcia

Breaking up the family was devastating for Victoria and Jose – but they knew it was the right choice.10368967_756001791097827_2953827840077699426_o

“That’s where they needed to be. We had to be separate from them, for them to have a safe place.”

The Garcia’s pursued many options for housing. Though it is rare to find a shelter or affordable housing that can accommodate a family of nine, the Mission, aims to keep families together whenever possible.

“When we found out it could work for us to come here… we were just so happy to all be together again! We can spend time with the kids without worrying about where they’re going to sleep, or where they’re going to get their next meal.”

Today, the Garcia’s are reunited at the Mission’s Tyler St. Family Campus. Victoria has completed a job training program through the Goodwill, regained her driver’s license, and is working. The kids are receiving counselling to help them with what they’ve been through. They are happy, healthy, and looking forward to starting school in a few weeks.

“It’s been a long journey – emotional and stressful – but through all of it, the Mission has helped us a lot. This is the only place that’s given us hope.”

Thanks to you, the Garcia’s are on a new path. But there are many more families that are still homeless in our community; living in their cars, doubled up with friends, or in motels.

Your gift offers them meals, shelter – and much needed hope. Thank you for making a difference.

Families like the Garcia’s receive food, shelter, and a fresh start at the Mission everyday.

It all starts for the cost of one meal — $2.02.

Donate and change a life today.