Updated: Feb 22, 2019
Huntersville’s homeless have stories to tell. Fighting losing battles with slumlords, sleeping in their car night after night, going hungry for days and, sometimes, huddling under a tarp in “tent city” near Northlake Mall. They are the faces of cold, sleepless nights and unceasing worry.
Despite what many people think, homelessness isn’t always about alcohol and drugs. Sometimes it’s a lost job, missing wages due to sickness, a new diagnosis and the “red tape” of Disability, or simply a disagreeable landlord and forced displacement.
Sarah has lived in town for nearly 30 years. For a year, she’s been renting a small apartment and holding down a job. Sarah credits Caterpillar Ministries for always encouraging her, praying for her and never letting her give up on herself.
She spent 23 years safely in a home on McCoy Road and participated in the ladies Friday morning Job Workshop program. Then life got tough. For more than two years, Sarah was forced to live out of her car. At night she stayed in the lighted parking lots of local grocery stores and came to Caterpillar to take showers and get some food. During one horrific snowstorm, she was given a few nights in a nearby hotel. Although the women’s shelter downtown provided some respite for a number of weeks, Sarah said it created more problems than it helped. Fortunately, her homelessness was temporary and she has since found her own home!
But for others, life on the streets isn’t going away. As God commissions us to love our neighbors right where they are, Caterpillar Ministries is pursuing ways to provide safe shelter and a warm place to rest.