Lance has pancreatic cancer and is not expected to live much longer. Lance is homeless. Lance use to have everything you and I have- healthy family relationships (married with children), pets, a house, a car, a job. Because of bad luck Lances’ life started to change, and he began to make bad decisions. Lance lost everything and ended up on the street. This is a familiar pattern with the people we meet at 2nd Street Commons.
We met Lance through a local social worker from Kootenai Health. Their caring team was beside themselves because they didn’t have a place for Lance to go and die. Lance had declined Hospice care because his 14-year-old son was visiting for the summer. Their team at KH Social Services were desperate to find a place for this homeless man and his son. I told them that I didn’t have a resource at the present time, but that I would look around. This was on a Thursday.
Here is where God’s grace and mercy enter the story through Reba. Reba is an upper middle class woman of comfortable means. Reba has worked hard all her life and has firm judgements against homeless people- she sees them as lazy, manipulative, and scary. However, at the behest of her boyfriend, who works as a Peer Support Specialist for Heritage Health down at the 2nd Street Commons, Reba decides to donate her older motorhome (she affectionately refers to as ‘Clyde’) to us to use as temporary crisis housing for homeless persons. This donation happened on a Friday- the day after I got the call about Lance.
Through the generosity of another friend who had an RV lot in Coeur d’Alene, Lance and his son were able to move in to ‘Clyde’ the following Monday. Lance wept at the news. Reba also wept when told of ‘Clyde’s’ first assignment.
Because of God’s grace and mercy, at work in those who know Him and also in those who don’t know Him (yet), a homeless man has a place to die, a woman has her heart softened, social workers have the opportunity to see the Church at work, a Christian brother has an opportunity to put his resource to good use, and an old RV sitting unused in a backyard is now a holy tabernacle of the Lord and an instrument of His good work.
Don’t you love it when His plans come together?
If you have an old RV or camp trailer that you’re willing to donate, let us know! God has a plan for it…