Helping those in need: Homeless, the reason for the season; Helping when we are able; My own story

Being homeless can cause many issues, among the elements. Depression can follow someone for their entire life.
Being homeless can cause many issues, among the elements. Depression can follow someone for their entire life. | Source

WHAT DO I DO?

A few years ago, I decided to move back to my hometown and try to start over. I had been away from West Virginia for 5 years and I really didn't like Arizona. I had nothing against the sunshine state, but I always called West Virginia home. I made prior plans before leaving Arizona so I knew I had a job waiting on me once I arrived.

My wife and I were going to live with her dad and step-mom for the time being. They had bought a new house up the holler and we were going to stay there until I could save some money up. They promised me that they had found me a job and told me that I could use their vehicle. Come to find out, I had neither when I arrived. There was no job waiting and they never let me use the car. And on top of that, they were still living in an apartment because the house wasn't done.

They began complaining soon after like we were a disease. I knew we was in trouble. We were 13 miles away from town and that is a long walk to look for work. It was winter and i couldn't do summer odd end jobs just yet. A few weeks had passed and her step-mom kicked me out. She said I was lazy and didn't want to work. It mad me furious. I didn't argue and I just left. How could I find a job when I didn't have a car? How could I get back and forth if I did find a job? My wife and I packed our bags and left. We didn't know where we was going and it was very cold outside.

We ended up staying at a old friends house a mile down the road. I was relieved to have shelter for a night. I figured my friend would help me in my time of need since I was there for him in the past. I did a lot for them and I figured they could help me until I got back on my feet. The next morning, I was told to leave. What can you do? My wife and I packed up and left.

We found shelter in an apartment building down the road, but it was no closer to town. I kept trying to lean on friends for a ride to town, but they all acted weird. After a few weeks, I realized that I didn't have one true friend. I was homeless, as well as my wife. I never felt so weak, so depressed. I felt like giving up.


Food baskets are great for those in need, especially for families. A warm plate of food goes a long way also. If you are able, feed someone in need this holiday season. God Bless.
Food baskets are great for those in need, especially for families. A warm plate of food goes a long way also. If you are able, feed someone in need this holiday season. God Bless. | Source

TO LIVE OR NOT?

I wouldn't lie, at that time in my life, I wished for death. Even with my wife, I had never felt so alone. To paint a picture in your head, it was like we were the only two people left in the world. I felt so bad for my wife, much more then myself. She didn't deserve to go through this. She deserved so much more, but she stayed by my side. She could have went back home. They gave her that choice, but she didn't.

We met a guy living in this apartment building and he still had power. We would go in to get warm every now and then. All three of us helped each other the best that we could. After months of cold weather, this was a blessing. Just to sleep and here the humming of power, it was a great feeling that I never paid attention too. I felt at peace for the first time in months.

But all things considered, we were still homeless. It was a struggle just to eat and we both lost a lot of weight. We had no friends or family help us and we were home. This is where we both grew up. I was good to people, my friends. Yet, in my time of need, nobody was behind the door.

It is hard for me to describe the way I felt at this point in my life. It made me stronger, but I wanted to give up so many times. I couldn't find a job without a ride. I was in deep depression. I believe it led to the substance abuse. I just didn't care anymore. I figured I would die from the cold or from starvation. I remember waking up one morning and feeling the warmth of the sun. Spring was here and as I walked outside from the apartment steps, I felt a sense of comfort. I believe it was God. I remember feeling like things were going to change.

Source

THE LOVE OF A STRANGER

Spring was here and I was finally able to go out and work. I would go door to door and ask for work. It became my full time job. After nearly 6 months of no income, I was finally making money again. I was doing pretty well surprisingly. I went to this huge house one day and I knocked on the door. An old lady answered. I told her my name and my purpose. She told me she had been praying for help and she had all kinds of work needing done. Her name was Nancy Hopkins. We quickly became close friends and she had all kinds of work that needed done.

She gave me two big projects to do, one that would take a few weeks. We became close and it was great to have someone to talk too again. I was so mad at my friends, I didn't even look their way anymore. She quickly became a close friend and sometimes we wold just talk. I was afraid to tell her that I was homeless, but I did anyway. The next day that i came down, she told me that she wanted me to stay in her camper out back. I couldn't believe it and I said yes. At this time, it was late summer and it was beginning to get cool again. The camper was beautiful and we even had tv. It was a great feeling to see the television. As it became cooler outside, she came out one day and told us that she wanted to move us inside. We became a family,

I did everything that I could for her for free, since we had everything we needed again. Ms. Hopkins and I were complete strangers when we first met. She took my wife and I to town to fill out applications and we both found a job together and we worked the same shift. She took us back and forth. We finally got back on our feet and we rented an apartment in town. The rest is history, but she changed my life. I was a stranger to her and even so, she became family. A stranger helped me before my family and friends did. From the bottom of my heart Nancy, thank you and God Bless.


Source

THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING OTHERS

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The holiday season is quickly approaching. I hope we all can put in the extra effort this year to help someone in need. When I was homeless, a plate of food was like a hundred dollars. A new pair of socks was awesome. It is the little things that matter the most. It is usually what we take for granted. If you are able, think about doing something special for the homeless and needy.

I really don't know where I would be without her help. She was in her 70s at that time. She is probably near 80 now. I will always be thankful for her and I will always hold a special place for her in my heart. She changed my life. I never thought that I would get help from a complete stranger. It was a miracle.

If it wasn't for Nancy, I don't know if I would be in this position. I am doing great now. I wanted to show you how a complete stranger changed my life and I am forever grateful. If you can help someone, please do so. There are a lot of good people out there that have made mistakes. None of us our perfect. We all make mistakes

There are many others just like myself walking the streets as we speak. Please, if you can, change a life. You have the power to do so. Make a difference. We all are equal and to have the ability to change someone's direction and life, that is the best gift someone can receive. They might not know it at first, but it is. Thank you for reading friends and I wish you all the best during this holiday season. God Bless you all and a special thanks to Nancy Hopkins of Omar. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Merry Christmas.

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Comments 51 comments

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I was hoping an angel was going to be there for you and she was. Thank you for sharing your journey, it was appreciated more than you know. Perfect video to compliment your story. I'm glad you and your wife are both doing well and it's nice to know your angel Nancy is also. You are correct you truly find out who your friends are when you are in need. You got my vote!:)


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great hub and I'm very happy you are both back on your feet. You have my vote as well.


Man from Modesto profile image

Man from Modesto 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

Wow. What a great story. Even though most do not do it, it is easy to give a dollar, or to buy a meal. It is easy to preach and to pray. But, to go all the way with someone... to walk that extra mile. Wow.

You truly met someone great in the Kingdom. And, so did she!

This story carries something I learned years ago about the nature of God- He moves both ways. No matter how humble our circumstances, the person who is a blessing to us will also be blessed by us.

Think about it: you gave her friendship, and also a chance to fulfill God's love in her. Both sides are blessed! We have a wonderful Father.

Thank you for sharing your testimony. The devil is defeated by the power of our faith and by the power of our testimony.

May you continue to be blessed in all things, love being first among them. Peace, MFM


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

A truly prolific story of strangers you know and friends who are strangers Ricky...personal value,sometimes is best judged from from an intuitive and blessed distance as is in the case of Nancy intuitive kindness towards your value.;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 5 years ago from North Texas

I don't want to share the difficulties I continue to go through as a result of the crash of 2008 and losing my job, but I can tell you that I know from experience that both so-called friends, and family, turn their backs on you when the chips are down. That's no doubt due to them being perfect Christians -- at least the ones I know say they are.

Sometimes non Christians act more like true Christians than self described Christians.

Anyway, it sounds like Ms. Hopkins is your only true friend and I hope you're checking up on her regularly to make sure she's doing well.

Voting you UP and awesome!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Your story is very inspiring. Mrs. Hopkins is the kind of person Jesus told us to become. Family and friends will abandon and hurt us, often for no reason other than selfishness. God sends us true relationships. Psalm 68:6 says God places the lonely in families. He gave you Mrs. Hopkins and you to her. Keep a close watch on her. She needs you too. Bless you all.


jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 5 years ago

Thank-you for sharing your story. I always like to give around this time of the year. Better to give than to receive.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

You have my vote. Thank you for sharing a little more of your life with us. It is true how friends and family can let us down when we most need them.

You and Mrs Hopkins were brought together for a purpose, you both need someones help and forged a lovely friendship from that.

A stranger in need can be a true friend for life.

We can all help others and maybe not always appreciate just how much a little can help.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

Lyricwriter,

Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations of what can happen in one's journey of life.

Your Angel soared over your fair weather friends, and family, and showed you how being a true friend is all about. You sweet little Darlings, you had to go through so much it hurts my heart to read about it.

This is where great songs and song writers come from---experiencing the hard facts of life, and putting your

feelings into words of how long and hard your journey was with your Darling wife. She sounds like a wonderful person.

Her love is unconditional from what you have shared with us, and that is the best kind of love.

I am so happy that things are great for you now, and I wish for it to continue always for you and yours.

Happy Holidays to you and your love ones.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi


Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story, I am glad Mrs. Hopkins was there for you. I hope she is doing well. It's hard to believe that family doesn't always have your back. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.


Brooke Lorren profile image

Brooke Lorren 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

I'm glad that your story had a happy ending.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Wow! Ms Nancy Hopkins is an angel in disguise. It's awesome how this wonderful lady, who as you say was a stranger, came to your aid when things were at their lowest. It is people like her who still make this world shine from time to time. I'm so glad that you and your wife got back on your feet. As to your so-called family and friends? Best to leave them to enjoy each other, I reckon they deserve each other. And you and your wife have landed the much better family and friend.

Voted up + awesome!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Sunshine, thank you for your beautiful comment my friend. You always find out who your true friends and family are in your time of need. For me, it was a complete stranger, but an Angel to say the least. I am glad you enjoyed the story and thank you so much Sunshine.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Writer20, thank you for your blessing my dear. I appreciate your time and comment as well. I am off to read your poetry.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

MFM, you know honestly, I never thought of it like that. That time really opened my eyes and I am so thankful for the little things now, like power, shelter, and food. It made me stronger and I really wouldn't change it. I learned from it. God has blesssed me with many things and his love has always outshined any bad moment that I have had. MFM, thank you for your time, comment, and wisdom. God Bless.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Mentalist, thanks for coming by my friend and your valuable expertise. Your words carry deep meaning and purpose with me dear friend. You always see the best in people and you are a great friend pal.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Au fait, thanks for coming by and for your time and comment. I am sorry that you are going through similar events. I partially blame myself because in a sense, I should have never expected my so called friends to be there. I really hope you get back on your feet and I pray true friends come into your life. Hang in there:)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hyphenbird, thank you so much for your kind comment and explaining this Bible verse. I do check with her from time to time and I have seen her out and about. She enjoys getting out of the house and the company of her three Pugs. Take care.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

JFay, thanks for coming by and for your comment and your time. It is always good to give when we are able to do so, especially this time of year.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Rosemay, thanks for coming by and for your thoughtful comment. You are right. We were all once strangers at one time, now look at us. Rosemay, you have been a joy from day one and a true friend. Best wishes to you and your loved ones this holiday season.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Bobbi, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words my friend. It was a horrible time, but so much good came from it that I could never get mad at anyone, although I don't talk to those people anymore. I have forgiven them though. I would have took any of them in. Bobbi, it has been great getting to know you and here's to our friendship, cheers.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

TLW, I am glad that your experience had an happy ending. I cannot think of anything more disappointing than having friends and relations that you have supported in the past turn on you when you are in need of assistance. There is that sense of being completely alone. People because of their lack of charity is making this recession more like that depression experienced in the thirties. There was a consolation, back then, as people generally had more heart and pulled through the crisis together. It is something that we have lost over the decades and are still losing.

Your message is heard loud and clear, thanks for the reminder... Cred2


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great hub and you sure got lucky. I have always believed that if we can and have the opportunity we should always help those less fortunate than us. It reminds me of that classic movie "A Streetcar named Desire" where Blanche says, "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers."


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Gypsy48, thanks for coming by and for your thoughtful comments. She is doing fine and so are the dogs. She has really good neighbors that help her daily and she is constantly checked on. Thanks for asking. Best wishes and take care.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This touched my heart this morning. Being homeless must be so frightening. Poeple live under bridges just 50 miles from where i live. I'm told they refuse to live in shelters. I heard the shelters are full anyway, whole families are living there, so many have lost their homes and jobs. I give to the Salvation Army. We all could do more to help. I'm glad you had an angel to help you. You've inspired me to do more. Thank you....


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Brooke, thank you for coming by and for taking the time to read my story. Thank you for your blessing. Best wishes.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Seeker7, thanks for coming by to read my story and for your time. She is a special person and without her, I am not quite sure I would be writing to you. It hurts that friends and family were not there, but I have forgave them. None of us our perfect and I am find with that. I appreciate your comment and God Bless you.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Cred, thanks for coming by and your absoltely right. I never felt so alone in my life and the effects can last for a long time after. I agree about people having heart. Why can we get it through our head? Help when you are able and there are many that are well able. It truly is sad. The big company doesn't share, we suffer.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Gypsy. Thanks for coming by and your kind words my dear. Hope all is well with you. I haven't seen them before, but I would enjoy to watch them. It is amazing how a complete stranger can become family.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

AE, thank you for your blessing my dear. It is scary and it is painful. I literally felt like we were by ourselves. We all can do more, but at least you are helping. Donating to the Salvation Army is big and thank you for that. God Bless you. When you are homeless, the little things make the difference, such as a cold pop, a hot plate, a new shirt, a pillow, ect. It doesn't always have to be money. I am glad you are inspired. God wants us to help one another. God Bless you.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I was always told that Jesus can work through a 3rd person, and I guess that was Mrs hopkins.

Thank you for sharing your story, I am so glad that you are both back on your feet, my best wishes to you both, MM


suhana16 profile image

suhana16 5 years ago from Delhi

I am speechless. I have no words for Nancy hopkins. may god bless her !!!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there MM. Thanks for coming by and for your kind words. That is very interesting. When I look back and look at where I am now, I am blessed, very blessed. I am fortunate I should say. Things could have been a lot worse. Nancy was an Angel for certain.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Suhana, thanks for coming by and for your comment I feel the same way. She was an unexpected Angel of my life.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi lyricwriter

Nancy was your guardian angel.

Voted up up and away!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Sueswan, thank you for coming by and for your thoughtful words my dear. She truly was, an absolute blessing from the Lord. Thanks and happy holidays to you as well. Take care and talk to you soon.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

lyric thanks for sharing your story here. Correct me if wrong but West Virginia has been a hard place to find work for quite awhile. I lived almost a year on the streets of Atlanta but didn't really have anyone to worry about but myself- nothing like what you had to go through. Once ones been in and out of the fire they should have compassion and understands the downtrodden better. Maybe you and Nancys meeting up was no random act but something divinely inspired. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones lyric.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Alastar, thanks for coming by and you are right, work is far and in between here in WV. Even those who go to college or work as nurses struggle. The mines is about the only place to go around here, mostly underground miners. That is where the money is. Even being alone, being homeless is a terrible feeling. Luckily, I found Nancy and she was so helpful and caring, It could have been a lot worse. Thanks for the visit Alastar and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones as well.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Such a blessing in your lives to have met Nancy with her kind and trusting heart in your time of need. Nice that you are staying in touch with her.

Times are so different. Just several generations ago families took each other in to live...grandparents, maiden aunts, etc. Nursing homes and homeless shelters were far fewer in number because they were just not as necessary. Sad that you did not experience that from your own family and friends...but thank heavens for Ms. Nancy!

True friends are far and few between when those friendships are tested. If a person can count TRUE friends on one hand...that person is very lucky.

Bless you and wishing you well the remaining days of your life. What you have shared with us is valuable as a teaching tool and may affect someone in the future. Useful and up votes. Merry Christmas!


Just History profile image

Just History 5 years ago from England

I am stunned that family could let you down so much! Friends letting you down is bad, but close family, well that really stinks. I think that the situation is better in the UK than in the US, our problem is that some of those begging in the streets are not really destitute, perhaps gypsies from the continent or even as our local newspaper exposed, people in work, earning money sitting on pavements before they go home!

I am glad that you are back on your feet and hope that you stay that way.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Peggy, thank you for taking the time to read it and thank you very much for your kind words my dear. I will always be there for my babies, my wife. If they need something and I have it, it is theirs. Family is suppost to be behind one another. Italians show the proper way to be family. I commend them on that. They stick together and they are successful like that. I am glad you were able to take that away from my story Peggy. It makes it well worth it.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Just History, thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. I have come to find out that family and friends will hurt you before a stranger. Family should stick with family. They won't be around forever, love one another and treat others as you want to be treated. Help when you are able, that is what God wanlts us to do. Thank you for your words my friend.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

this story needs to win all kind of awards.. I praise God for people like Nancy. From the bottom of my heart I am so sorry all of that happen to you and your wife.. What a hard thing to go through.. but look at you now.,. I am so proud of you and your wife that you did not give up on life.. I know it would have been so easy to do that. I pray I would be like Nancy and help someone that would be in trouble .. God Bless you.. Always and your family. I voted way UP AND BEAUTIFUL AND I WISH I COULD DO AWESOME TO..


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Deborah, thanks for taking the time to read it and for your comment and votes. In all honesty, it really made me into who I am today. I am much stronger and wiser now. It really opened my eyes up. I now know what is important in my life and how truly blessed I have been all these years. Just another day of life is a blessing. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your kind words.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

What a compelling story you have to tell. I was glued to my seat reading it. An Angel same into your life when you were at bottom.

You wrote: "I realized that I didn't have one true friend."

I remember once when I was a boy I bragged to my dad one day that I had dozens of friends now. This wasn't easy because we moved all the time to new schools. He told me that almost all of them were not my friends; they were acquaintances. I didn't understand so he told me a story I never forgot. He said if I was going down the rapids of a river with ten of my "friends" and I fell into the raging waters, nine of them would say, "There goes Jimmy!" Only one would jump in to save me.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

James, thanks for taking the time to read my story. That is true. We always find out in the end, through hard times, who are friends are. Your pops was right, they are aquaintances more then anything. That's not saying you can't find true friends, but it is harder then people think. In this day and age, many people try to take advantage of you. That level of respect is no longer there. Best wishes James.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I wil be back to read your hub better. Storm have to get off computer.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

What a beautiful ending. I know how difficult it can be for people struggling after a job loss. And, I don't know what it is with family and "friends". Something strange happens to them when it is time for them to pitch in and help. I know your story is true because it happened to my husband and me. When we lost our jobs, all of a sudden, as if on cue, family and friends virtually disappeared. We did have some help in the beginning but that was short lived. And, like with you, there was one person, I'm telling you the truth, her name is Nancy, too. We didn't quite become homeless, but we lost our jobs and had only a small amount of money in our pockets. Nancy is a financial adviser. Most people pay money for her advice. But, she helped us for free. She gave us some great financial advice that allowed us to make some really great decisions. Had we not taken Nancy's advice, we would probably be homeless now. I'm sure of it.

People come into our lives at precisely the right moment. We learn who our true friends are during times of trouble. God was surely watching over you. I am glad things worked out well for you.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Marlene, thanks for cuh a thoughtful comment. I am glad you were also able to find someone that helps. I believe it is important to help others when we can. It is what God would want us to do. Same here, glad it worked well for you as well. We both are truly blessed! Thanks for sharing your story Marlene.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Somehow I missed this hub when you first wrote it, but I'm glad I'm reading it tonight as it lets me know just how much you've lived through and now I more fully understand why you seem so mature and also so compassionate and kind.

Tough times can certainly be our greatest teachers though when we are going through them it surely doesn't seem that way.

How awful that family and friends let you and your wife down in a time of need, but how beautiful that a stranger saw your arrival on her doorstep as a blessing. It seems like Ms. Hopkins was an angel, but that in a sense, you were also a God send to her.

This is a beautiful story and I'm voting it up, useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting and sharing it.

Sending Hub Hugs & Love Your Way,

Gail


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Gail, thank you so much for your kind words. Your are absoltuely right. It is when you are down to your lowest that you are able to climb and rise. It was that time that made me into the person I am today. Everything happens for a reason I like to believe. Even through the darkness, the Lord blessed me and I am now happy:) Thanks so much Gail!

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