You’ve driven by it countless times. It’s right on the I-5 corridor between Federal Way and Tacoma. It’s the rest area where most of us stop when we need some relief or need a quick jolt of coffee.
But that rest area isn’t just a blip on the map for Marcella and Hector. It’s where they slept for two weeks.
With a brand-new baby boy and difficulty making ends meet in Chicago, they decided to come back to Marcella’s hometown – Tacoma – where they had family promising to help them get on their feet.
The family of three packed up their little sedan and started driving.
A Dangerous Journey
As you can imagine, the drive was treacherous. It was the middle of winter. Temperatures were freezing. There was snow on the ground, so they took it slowly. But just before entering Washington, they ran out of gas.
By God’s grace, a Good Samaritan helped them get to Tacoma, but when they got here, Marcella’s family brushed them off.
“They were very unkind towards us,” Marcella says.
Marcella and Hector were forced to sleep in their cramped car.
“It was cold in the car and we had to keep our baby warm. We had put blankets up on our car windows.” Hector explains.
On top of that, they had no money for food – or anything else.
The family lived in their car for two weeks in the dead of winter. They did whatever they could to get money to buy burgers off the $1 menu and keep their son, Angel, warm. They even sold plasma just trying to make ends meet.
But in mid-January, they ran out of diapers. Someone told them the Tacoma Rescue Mission might be able to help, so they knocked on our door.
More than Diapers
When they arrived, they got more than just diapers. Because of the support of friends like you, we were able to give them a nutritious, hot meal, offer safe shelter at the Adam’s Street Family Campus and connect them with a case manager.
“The resources that the Mission provides are unbelievable,” Hector says gratefully.
In just the short time they’ve been here, Hector has been able to get a job and they are already working towards moving into a place of their own.