Donations help woman escape from life of sleeping in her car

Mar 10, 2021

Sara* had lived comfortably in the northern Twin Cities suburbs her entire life. She never imagined that someday she could become homeless and have to sleep in her car.  

Sadly, that situation became reality in January. 

“It was so cold outside,” recalled Sara, who could barely afford to keep her car’s gas tank full. “I’d run the heater for a couple hours on, a couple hours off.”

Several days earlier, Sara’s husband of 28 years announced he was leaving her. He locked Sara out of their home, called her terrible names, and took her house key. 

“He accused me of things that weren’t true,” Sara said. “I had nowhere to go and I didn’t know what to do. I’ve never been on my own before. All of this is still so hard.”

After three days of living in her car, Sara called a nearby church in search of help. The receptionist said to call the local Salvation Army, which Sara did immediately. 

A Salvation Army caseworker named Alisa met with Sara that same day. 

“I didn’t stop crying the whole time we met,” Sara said.

Her tears of sadness turned to tears of joy when Alisa explained all that The Salvation Army could do to help her. Alisa started by giving Sara gift cards for gas and groceries. Alisa then connected her with a kindhearted local lady who allows struggling women to stay in her home temporarily. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” Sara said. “I felt like 100 pounds had been lifted off my shoulders.”

Currently, Alisa is helping Sara look for a full-time job and a permanent place to live. Sara is determined to find both.

“I have to figure out how to live on my own,” Sara said.

Alisa is thrilled to support Sara and is optimistic about her future. 

“Sara had come from such a dark place with no hope,” Alisa said. “I’ve been happy to help her tackle the multiple steps that lay before her.”

Sara wanted to tell her story because she is thankful for the people who give to The Salvation Army. 

“That is the sole reason I am doing this,” Sara said. “There are no words to describe how I feel. I’m beyond grateful.”

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those in crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

* Name changed and stock photo used to protect privacy. 

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