Five years ago, couple Andy and Ginger were making calls to their family, genuinely considering suicide after spending a year living in their car. This was not a decision they came to lightly, and looking back, they can barely believe how lost they had become.
By the grace of God, a concerned social worker contacted the Bucks County Outreach Coordinator from Sunday Breakfast asking that he check in on them. This call saved their lives!
Andy grew up in a happy and stable family in Croydon, PA with his parents, sister, and brother. Andy shared, “My life growing up was good. I played sports and had a good relationship with my parents. I was spoiled. Like any typical boy, I wanted to play professional baseball when I was older. I learned when I got older that you never know what life is going to throw at you.”
For Ginger, homelessness quite literally blindsided her. Ginger went to nursing school while raising her three children. Upon graduation, she worked as a Registered Nurse for Abington Hospital for seventeen years. Ginger experienced life threatening complications caused by a prescription medication. This forced the doctors to put her in a medically induced coma. When Ginger awoke, she was terrified to realize her vision was not the same. She was diagnosed as legally blind.
Without her eyesight she could no longer continue in the career she loved. Ginger remembers, “I was mad at God. I was the one who always took care of other people, now I had to be the one to be taken care of.”
Andy made the difficult decision to stay home as a fulltime caregiver for Ginger when she needed him most. Without any income to provide for their needs it was not long before they were evicted from their apartment. That’s when Andy and Ginger began living in their car in a nearby state park and started to consider ending their lives.
The Outreach Coordinator quickly connected the couple to local resources they did not know existed. It would still be a long road to stable housing, but for the first time there was a glimmer of hope. Andy shares, “If it wasn’t for Sunday Breakfast we would be dead. Sunday B was consistently helpful. We knew we could always reach out for help and prayer.”
“I first met Andy and Ginger squatting in an abandoned home without heat in Levittown, PA with another homeless individual. They were using a generator for basic electricity, a small camping grill to cook their meals and a cooler to keep some of their food as fresh as possible,” Nick Otte, Bucks County Outreach Coordinator recalls. “Visits to local food pantries were a regular occurrence. I frequently received calls asking to refill their generator, propane tank, or to buy more ice for the cooler. Although this situation was an improvement from living in their car, I knew this was not sustainable for me or for them.”
While working with Sunday Breakfast, Andy and Ginger applied and were approved for disability which opened the door toward permanent housing. The couple now lives in an apartment in the same neighborhood Andy grew up in. Through careful budgeting Andy and Ginger have maintained their independence for the last three years without receiving any financial assistance from Sunday Breakfast!
As Otte has seen firsthand, true life change is often not associated with the services provided but the relationships that are formed. He explained, “Over time I could see that Andy and Ginger felt more comfortable asking questions about my own personal belief in Jesus. Working with them allowed me to share and grow in my faith. I am personally grateful for their presence in my life as they inspire me to keep pushing forward every day.“
For the first time in years, they were able to travel to family for Christmas. Ginger shares, “We are learning to trust in God more and we are grateful for the conversations with the staff at Sunday Breakfast, sharing with us about God’s plan for our lives. We are still learning about that plan and one day we hope to look back and see the ways God used our hardships for good.”