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This time last week I was on my first day of self-induced homelessness. I had my sister’s van packed, the windows were covered with kraft paper and blue painter’s tape, and I had my flashlight and plan.

That plan was three-fold:

1. To raise money for homeless women and children now residing at Shepherd’s Gate (www.shepgate.org)

2. To try to find ways to bless other people while I was without home

3. To raise awareness about the ever-so-innovative event 24-in-Your-Car (www.24inyourcar.com)

So Monday through Friday I lived out of a vehicle that was created to cart families around to soccer games, not a big girl around from one parking lot to another in hopes of finding a safe place to park for the night. But let me tell you I was so grateful to have that van. Every night, before I fell asleep, I would think of those who didn’t have any where to sleep that was private, or out of the cold and the rain. I would think of the clean clothes that I was privileged to wear that day and be so appreciative.

IMG_1382This is the 3rd time I have done the Van Week, and each time I come home so grateful for the small things, like a bathroom at 3am, and carpet- I love going bare foot, and food, and all those household things that we take for granted. Those things are fantastic but, the thing I am most happy about when I get home is seeing my husband, my doggies and my family and friends, because one thing that happens when you have to sleep in a van is you feel very isolated and alone. And even though I had such great support, at night I was by myself.

Those nights made me think of just HOW isolating it would be to live in a car or on the streets. Think about our conversations with one another, they always usually start with “what do you do for a living?” “where do you live?” and if you didn’t have an answer for either wouldn’t you be inclined to avoid those situations where people may ask questions or get too close and notice you wear the same thing everyday or have dirt under your fingernails?