Physically & Emotionally Abused, Samantha Sought Refuge
Being forced to live and sleep in one’s car would be unimaginable. Unless you thought you had no other option, after fleeing a domestic violence situation.
As I was walking into my office one morning, I noticed a couple of our staff members speaking to a woman who was inside a very old car. As I got closer, it appeared that this vehicle had been someone’s overnight sleeping quarters. Blankets covered the back seat and clothes were strewn around.
Wondering what was going on, I realized that there were actually two persons in the car, a young woman and a very little girl. Joining the conversation, I learned that the young woman’s name was Samantha, and that she and her 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, had stayed in this car outside a local grocery store that night, as well as the previous three nights.
Both Samantha and Chloe looked exhausted and hungry. It didn’t take much to convince her to come inside the Society’s Holy Family Center. Samantha told me and our staff that she’d been in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship for several years, before deciding she’d had enough.
Four days prior, while her boyfriend was away, Samantha had packed up Chloe and some belongings and drove from their place in a small Nebraska town to Omaha. Although she was now far away from her abuser, she had almost no money.
Not knowing where else to go, Samantha had parked their car in the lot of a large, West Omaha grocery store. She and Chloe had been living out of their car, using the restroom inside the store and buying prepared food and snacks, from time to time.
By that fourth night, Samantha had spent the few dollars she’d been able to take with her. And the two of them had also been spotted by a security guard of the store early that morning. The guard informed Samantha that they could not stay in the parking lot. Samantha headed downtown and ended up parking outside the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Family.
Of course, we got Samantha and Chloe something to eat, clean clothes and fresh blankets. Our staff also made a call to a local partnering agency that assists people in crisis – like this little family – helping them access affordable housing. We were able to make an appointment for Samantha later that morning. Checking with a representative of the agency that afternoon, we learned that Samantha and Chloe had been set up temporarily in a hotel, and that their application for rapid housing assistance had been put on a fast-track for review and approval. Since then, we were able to help furnish her new apartment.
Samantha could not have been more grateful to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. She continually thanked our staff for not only providing her and Chloe with food and the personal care items she needed to sustain herself and her daughter, but also for the extra steps we took to help them get housed and settled.
Will you please consider making a gift to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help us feed and care for so many individuals and families, like Samantha and Chloe? You can make your gift using our secure donation page, found HERE. Or, you can send a check to SVdP at 1715 Izard Street, Omaha, NE – 68102.
We are very grateful to have been able to provide our life-sustaining services to Samantha and Chloe, when they needed them the most. And, we truly need your help to serve the hundreds of people who seek assistance at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – like this little family – each and every day.
Please know how thankful we are to you for helping the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provide our basic human services to the poorest of our community when they have nowhere else to turn. The assistance we provide is only possible because of your generous financial support. Nearly all of the contributions to our organization come from compassionate members of our community, like you. Thank you and God bless you!
Gifts to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are used to care for the people who turn to us during their hour of need and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost. All gifts made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence. Our donor lists are never rented, shared or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy and therapeutic interests of those we serve. For more information about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha, or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Development Director, Tim Sully, at (402) 779-8499 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.