We’ve been walking for nine days and have walked over 100 miles

December 25, 2022

December 18, 2015

“We’ve been walking for nine days and have walked over 100 miles. We are trying to get to Tennessee to see my niece. I haven’t seen her in 11 years, and I promised her I would get there. We have been homeless for a year and don’t have a car, so we are walking. We started out with $365. Everything we own is in this buggy.

I was working for a mechanic and we were sleeping in the back of a car. That worked out fine until the pay got less and less and we couldn’t live like that any more. It is expensive to live in Florida. I want to live in the mountains of Tennessee around my family and find more work. There is nothing I can’t do. I am a mechanic and can do roofing, drywall and painting.

Last night we tried to sleep in an abandoned house, but the fire ants got us.

Getting a ride isn’t as easy as you would think. People read the sign and drive by. Some shake their heads at us. Some pull over, then take off when we get to the car. I was hit with diapers as a car drove by. People have thrown out candy wrappers and chip bags at us. One man said ‘You want this money?’ and tore it up in front of us. Other people have been kind. They gave us rides and bought us food. She has diabetes and walking is hard on her. I make sure she eats first. I have already bought her three pairs of shoes at Dollar General stores because I have to take care of her and her feet. We have been walking for four hours this morning and were praying for a ride when you pulled up.”

Dwight and Deborah

I met Dwight and Deborah the week after I started Our Southern Souls. I was driving home alone from Jacksonville, Florida and the little voice said turn off on this highway. I pulled over to meet Dwight and Deborah. I gave them a ride to Pensacola while my husband bought them bus tickets to Tennessee. They made it to their family, but I never heard from them again.

Dwight and Deborah opened my heart and changed how I see people holding signs asking for help. I tell their story every Christmas.

Merry Christmas


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