By Colleen Sinsky
A family I’ve worked with for a while has struggled for years to maintain housing and keep steady work. They have two beautiful, chatty daughters ages four and seven, both of whom run up to me yelling “Colleen!!” and wanting to be picked up whenever they see me in the office or recognize me driving a JOIN truck around their apartment building, doing a move for someone else. These two little ladies are amazing, and a huge reminder to me of the many smaller victims of unstable housing and homelessness.
Recently, this family lost the apartment where they had been living for several months and the four of them are living in a minivan, parked inconspicuously at various shopping mall parking lots throughout Portland. It’s incredibly difficult for me to think about the girls having to sleep in a van, and living with the stress the comes along with such an unstable living situation. Fortunately, the parents are very dedicated to making life work out for their daughters and are trying hard to maintain some normalcy and get back on track in housing. While telling me about their minivan living situation, their mom laughed that now she’s a “homeless soccer mom!” Tomorrow we’re going to put in applications at a few two-bedroom apartments, and hoping that they’ll be inside by next week. I’ll post an update here soon!