Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good News About Etienne & Yvonne Update

So, let's start with the good news. The really GREAT news is that Etienne, one of our city's African refugees won the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation Scholarships this week!! My husband Adam was so happy because he helped Etienne apply for college and scholarships and he particularly enjoyed reading the other recipients who were from ivy league schools. Etienne is the first one in his family to be going to college and will be attending Missouri State in Springfield in the Fall.

Now, for an update on Yvonne. This weekend several fire fighters and police officers surrounded her because they saw her fire and thought that someone was trying to burn down the Bear Creek Bridge, where she has been living. It was just Yvonne's fire to stay warm. When she was suddenly surrounded she screamed and was taken into custody and taken in for a psychiatric evaluation. They have kept her since Saturday, but released the I left her a voice mail on her phone saying, "It's raining, we would be happy to get you a hotel room tonight" but she told her new friend Daniel, a college student, that she didn't want to go. Daniel is disappointed that the mental hospital didn't keep her since he has known her the best the last couple months and says that she needs help. We've learned this past week that since Yvonne is not in her right mind it's been hard helping her. So, what all of us are trying to do is what we think she would like us to do if she were in her right mind. I keep thinking to myself when she is heaven and if she is able to revisit the tape of what is going on I want her to see that we love her, want to help her, and are doing all we can to try and help her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Looking For Short Term Housing

Do you guys know anyone in Columbia who works at a hotel? Today I visited all of Columbia's cheapest motels and the best deal I could find is $185/week plus tax. I'm hoping to find a place for $150/week. See if you guys can find a hotel for that will give us that rate.

It took us awhile to find Yvonne today. We didn't find her until late afternoon. Thankfully the people who put her up in a hotel last night actually paid for tonight too. So, we are going to go to public housing and put her in a cheaper motel tomorrow until we can find a better long term solution.

One glimmer of good news is that today my sister-in-law Shelley saw her and said she was her normal self! She also saw her yesterday when she wasn't herself, but after a good nights sleep at a hotel she was normal.

We need help with this, so if you can help move us higher on the list at public housing, if you can donate money, if you can pray, we would greatly appreciate it!


Yvonne Update

So I wanted to give everyone a Yvonne update. I told the story about Yvonne in my Business Networking group that I'm in and someone in the group blessed me with a check afterwards. He said that his brother is homeless and wanted to help.

Today my plan is to bring her to public housing and find out where she is on the list. From what Caritas has told me, one bedroom apartments are hard to get in public housing. The last time Caritas checked she was #50 in line.

After we check that then I will bring her to an apartment and will sign a short-term lease.

Prayers for wisdom are appreciated.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Helping Yvonne

So I have some angels who found Yvonne under the bridge and took her to a hotel tonight. She cried so loudly when she saw the hotel room that the hotel manager came to see if there was a problem. The City of Refuge volunteers explained that she was very happy.

The volunteers found out that Yvonne has been living outside since the blizzard.

Tomorrow we will look for an apartment for her unless anyone has any better ideas.

Would you like to give to help Yvonne? If so, let us know. Your gift is tax deductible and will be greatly appreciated.

Yvonne is Now Homeless

I just found out on Sunday that Yvonne is homeless. Yvonne is an African refugee who was originally located to St. Louis. But then Gicanda who lives here in Columbia asked her to move here to help her with the kids.

Yvonne moved here in the late Fall and soon thereafter began working part-time for Safi Sana. We enjoyed her and would have given her more work, but the late Fall was a part of our off season. But still, she enjoyed her job and did a really wonderful job for us. By the end of January she found a full-time job and that is when I lost contact with her. I thought she was still working at her new job and all was well. So, I was sad to hear the news.

Today I'm praying about what to do. I hear she is living under the Bear Creek bridge, near Elleta Blvd and Rangeline. Caritas and Marianne, two of our Rwandan refugees, have begged her to come live with them but Yvonne is mistrusting of them. She said she can't live with any of the Africans, she wants to live by herself. To complicate matters Yvonne suffers from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and doesn't take any medication to help. And really my husband says the medicine is not always helpful anyway. So, her African friends call her "crazy" which I'm sure doesn't help with her trust of them.

One piece of good news is that since I and others have been praying this afternoon Yvonne called Caritas. This is a very big deal and Caritas thinks she needs help and Caritas thinks the best way to help her would be to put her up in an apartment. And I've discovered over the years that usually God tells Caritas what to do first and then tells me. (I love to joke about this with Caritas, but really, it does seem to be true.)

A problem I have though is City of Refuge could probably afford to put Yvonne in an apartment for a month, but that's it. I need other people to help and give money to City of Refuge in order for us to help her get on her feet. So, if you are interested in helping her, please let me know or send a tax-deductible gift to City of Refuge at 102 Dayspring Dr; Columbia, MO 65203.