HomeAid Orange County

A Friday Night in Orange County

by Autumn R. Strier, President & CEO for Miracles for Kids

November 12, 2016

It’s late on a Friday night in Anaheim, and on the side of a curb sits a tired young girl – watching in disbelief as demolition crews clear away the charred remains of her apartment that burnt to the ground that morning. She is weary from the sight of loss in front of her, heartbroken at the thought of her home now gone. Her mom sits quietly next to her, lost in thought, scared of the impact this tragedy will have on her 9 year old daughter, just home after 15 days of chemotherapy, so weak and fragile.

The mom does not know how she will handle the challenges in the coming days, but one thing she knows is that she is not alone. She looks up and watches as two women walk toward her wearing Miracles for Kids shirts. They’ve come with clothes, food, supplies, and funds – and to take them to temporary housing until they can find a permanent home.

Further south in Lake Forest, a father sits in his parked car, unable to go inside his home, where his wife and two beautiful daughters are waiting for him. He knows he is late, but it’s been another day of pleading for help from banks, creditors, friends and family – and he is coming home empty handed. It’s been six months since he left his job to help his wife to help care for their terminal 6 year old daughter, and after spending every penny saved for college years and retirement on premiums, copayments and medical bills – there is nothing left.

He has to find the courage go inside and tell his wife that they are losing their home, giving back their car, and that they have nowhere to go. Inside, the wife is waiting impatiently, as she can’t wait to tell him that one of their applications for help had been accepted – and that Miracles for Kids was sending funds to cover their rent, utilities and gas – and tomorrow would be delivering a new wheelchair for their bedridden little girl.

Homelessness isn’t something that happens to someone else. It is something that happens to each of us, on any given day, when tragedy strikes and threatens to take the things – and the people – we love. Many of us think we are able to prevent homelessness by working hard, saving wisely, and taking steps to protect ourselves and our family. But are we really in control? Can we really shield ourselves completely from tragedies of this magnitude?

No, we can’t, because life is not about certainties, it’s about probabilities. And if one day you wake up to find the home you share with your critically ill child is burned to the ground, or that you can no longer provide shelter for your dying child and members of your family, the certainties of our life go out the window and the probability that you will need help becomes the only thing you know for sure.

For these times, there is Miracles for Kids. An organization built to offer stability solutions for families in financial crisis as a result of caring for their critically-ill child, Miracles for Kids began in 2004 by reaching one family at a time and making a tangible difference in their spiraling lives.

Today, 11 years later, Miracles for Kids has provided over 1,000 families with children battling over 100 different life-threatening illnesses the support they have needed to stay sheltered, with healthy food, access to clothing, home goods, transportation and medical care, wellness programs for patients and their siblings, and year-round advocacy for those with nowhere else to turn.

We have spent over a decade building programs and services that keep families stable for their child, and today continue to do more for this demographic in our community that needs us most.

This year, in an effort to further our effectiveness and provide direct housing solutions for those in need we are in the final stages of renovations on a 12-unit apartment complex near CHOC Children’s in Orange – called Miracle Manor. It is another effort, in a long line of programs and services that have been established and grown with purpose at Miracles for Kids.

Homelessness can be prevented in the demographic served by Miracles for Kids. Through partnerships with organizations such as HomeAid, we can affect change and create solutions. Basic solutions such as housing, which is the quintessential element to stability for every family, can be available to all of those in need. It only takes each of us to recognize the need for a solution – and then do something about it.

Act

Help provide school supplies for children in need and drop them off at HomeAid.

About

HomeAid has been ending homelessness with Miracles for Kids since 2015, through the upcoming development of a 12-unit apartment building for families in crisis. Miracles for Kids programs are also recipients of HomeAid Essentials donations and other HomeAid Community Outreach activities.

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Many of us think we are able to prevent homelessness by working hard, saving wisely, and taking steps to protect ourselves and our family.