"For two years, I slept in my car, that's two winters. I remember buying a shower curtain to use as a privacy screen while I slept and made sure I didn't drink any water after 5 pm because there was no bathroom to use."
Things can change in an instant. Roberta discovered this quickly after a tragic car accident left her hospitalized for two months. She wasn't able to return to work, and the medical bills piled up. This, on top of having to get another car and pay her student loans, put her in a devastating financial situation, and things began to spiral out of control.
As she recovered, she was able to work, but her back injury limited what she could do. Her flare-ups would cause her to take months off at a time, making her an unreliable employee, and she struggled to get work. Long gone were the days when she had a steady income as an auditor for the postal service where she had a promising career.
Her money ran out, and her pride got in the way of asking for help. "For two years, I slept in my car, that's two winters. I remember buying a shower curtain to use as a privacy screen while I slept and made sure I didn't drink any water after 5 pm because there was no bathroom to use."
She did what she had to do to survive.
Roberta did her best to put on a brave face and work through the pain from her injury, finding odd jobs. She was embarrassed about her situation, so she did what she could to convince people she was okay. This would mean arriving at a convenience store early in the morning to use their bathroom to wash up and get ready for work. She finally broke down and admitted she needed help. This was when she arrived at our doors.
She was grateful from the moment she got there, "They gave me a roof over my head, and I was able to save money and have an opportunity to pull myself together. I graduated the program and am thrilled to be living in one of HSI's affordable apartments. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. If I didn't find them, I would still be living in my car."