The primary cause of homelessness is a catastrophic loss of family.
My heart breaks every time I hear news of children being abused, starved or otherwise neglected. I can’t begin to fathom how anyone could treat a child in such a violent, unloving way. Yet, this is the tragic life my friend Penny endured every day at the hands of her mother.
“I first ran away from home when I was 6 years old, but I had to come back because I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I left again when I was 10, but this time I never went back.” – Penny
Shuffled in and out of foster homes and juvenile detention centers, Penny never felt she belonged anywhere – so she made the streets her home. She learned survival skills from homeless friends who taught her how to scavenge for food in dumpsters, use newspaper and cardboard for bedding, and find clothes at mission centers.
“I felt safer sleeping on a bench in the park than I did at home.” -Penny
Growing up on the streets, Penny didn’t attend school regularly. Incredibly, it was her mother who first gave her drugs as a child, so it isn’t difficult to understand her struggle with addictions or why she ended up in jail several times over the years. With no family support, Penny remained in this cycle of suffering and homelessness, but she never gave up on herself. She hopped trains and hitchhiked across the country while working odd jobs along the way. One job brought her to Austin, but before long Penny once again found herself alone, hungry and homeless.
Soon Penny found the nourishment she needed through a Mobile Loaves & Fishes food truck, and she also formed life-changing relationships with the volunteers she met.
Tragically, there are many others just like Penny who have suffered at the hands of people who should have cared for them. They find themselves struggling to survive on the streets. They are hungry, lonely and have no place to call home.
At Mobile Loaves & Fishes we offer so much more than a meal.
We offer dignity, empowerment, relationships and community. We offer a way home.
Will you open your heart and provide the relief our friends so desperately need?
Your donation will bring nourishing meals, life-saving water, and other basic necessities to men and women suffering on the streets this summer.
While living on the streets, Penny endured significant illnesses and injuries and desperately needed to find a permanent place to live. She learned about Community First! Village from the food truck volunteers, and immediately knew this was the place for her.
“I love being part of a community that helps others.” -Penny
At Community First! Village, Penny has a permanent home and the support of a caring community. She is getting healthier, working and giving back. Drawing and painting have long been a passion for Penny. Through our Community Works program, she is earning a dignified income with her art. She also takes it one step further. Every month Penny donates the profits from five pieces of her artwork to Mobile Loaves & Fishes to help friends who are still suffering on the streets.