I’ve never been homeless, and my son, Jimmy, is autistic. He’s just not cut out for living in a tent.

But without the Mission, that’s where we would have ended up.

What happened was my landlord raised the rent and then told us we had 90 days to be out.

I have always paid my rent fully and on time so I kept up payments even when the rent increased.

We had to pay the extra rent for those three months, making it impossible for me to save for our next place.

I rented a van and loaded up all my son’s stuff first. There wasn’t room for mine, but I figured I could extend my van rental another day.

The van was already reserved by someone else so I had to turn it in and couldn’t get my stuff out.

I lost everything, thousands of dollars in tools and antiques and furniture and everything.

I felt helpless.

I called every number I could find to try to get help before we ended up in a tent on the streets.

Having never experienced homelessness, Dennis had no idea how to navigate the resources or even what was available.

Often people like him do end up on the streets but, thankfully, Dennis and Jimmy found our Outreach Team before they had to resort to living in a tent.

We were about to have nowhere to go. No place I called could help.

Some of the numbers I’d been given were no longer in service. Others never called me back.

Then I got ahold of Anna who’s a part of the Tacoma Rescue Mission’s Outreach Team.

Anna calmed me down and she said, “I’ll call you right back.”

It meant everything that she said she would call back and that she actually did.

She said she could help, and I just started sobbing.

I was at my wit’s end. All I knew was that I had to take care of Jimmy and I had no idea how I was gonna do it.

We would have been in a tent just like everyone you see out there right now.

Anna and the Mission intervened when we needed it, and we really needed it.

Help was available to Dennis and his son because of generous community members like you. You can give a gift today to help keep another family off the streets!