His whole life, he feels like he has been waiting. Waiting to pay down debt, waiting to pay off school loans, waiting to save money for the future, waiting to have enough income to provide a solid home and a good life for his family in the present. Waiting for the opportunities the world used to promise him when he was younger.
At first, when he was young and just coming up in the world and imagined the future before him, it felt almost like an exciting game: he would work hard, he would create opportunities for himself, and he would go places. He would be able to provide for his wife, his children and his loved ones. He would save enough for his children’s college educations and provide them with a safe, secure and comfortable home. He would take his family on that trip they always hinted at - the one he knew they would remember forever - and he would see his children grow into successful adults with families and loved ones of their own.
But as he got older, as his children grew up and life’s responsibilities piled up year after year, the feeling of waiting grew from hopeful expectancy into something resembling dread: would he ever be able to save enough for his children’s college? Would he ever be able to pay off his debt? Would he ever be able to provide the things for himself and his family for which he had worked so hard for so many years?
But even with the feelings of dread and limited time many of us experience as we age, Logan never stopped working hard to achieve his dreams and see his goals fulfilled. Over the last few years things had begun changing for the better. He expanded his business as a painter and general maintenance contractor in Topeka and saw such successful income growth he was finally able to rent the house he had always wanted to give his wife and their children.
And then a deadly pandemic struck the world. He remembers watching the news with his wife, Andrea, first in suspicion and then in shock, unable to believe what was happening. They watched along with the rest of the world as everything we have grown accustomed to for generations began shutting down and life as we know it changed in a heartbeat. The biggest blow for Logan and his family came when his work began drying up. No one wanted to spend money on “luxuries” like painting, landscaping and household maintenance while the economy and jobs were so uncertain. Landlords and small business owners - who made up the bulk of his clients - were facing loss of jobs, a drastically changing business environment, and trying to reduce expenses. As the pandemic progressed across our nation, Logan lost over half his income. The final blow came when his son and daughter-in-law, who had been living with him and Andrea and helping them pay rent, found out they were pregnant and moved out to establish their own home for their new family.
A few months later Logan and Andrea, having used the last of their savings to pay rent, were forced to leave their home. Without enough income to afford a new place to live they moved onto private property owned by a friend and became unsheltered homeless, something they thought would never happen to them in their lifetimes. They were faced not only with the trauma of becoming homeless, but also with hostility from the neighborhood homeowner’s association and individuals who did not want the “homeless” living in their neighborhood.
With the aid of rapid rehousing funds from several collaborative partners, the Topeka Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team, VALEO case managers and the TRM Street Reach Program, Logan and Andrea have been helped to find new jobs and a safe, affordable apartment - an opportunity to go from where they are not welcomed and move into a new life of their own. Going forward, TRM’s ongoing Operation Food Secure will help Logan and Andrea and thousands of others like them in Topeka and surrounding communities with weekly healthy, nutritious food boxes, allowing more of their money to go toward rent to keep them in stable housing.
Here at TRM we are more grateful than ever for people like you who continue to come alongside us and those we serve, assisting us as we work to change the lives of those in need of help and hope in these incredibly challenging times for our nation and our world. More than ever, as we continue to see stories like that of Logan and Andrea, your prayers and support are the backbone of our ministry. You are giving us strength to keep serving, keep going, and keep helping the many that need it in our community. †