Julie and her team met Amanda at a homeless camp in Mead on one of their many outreaches. They told her a warming center would be opening in Spokane, and then gave her the address and a bus pass when she said she was interested in coming. She showed up on the opening night, “and ever since I walked through that door my life’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but all up hill.” Amanda quickly landed a job working on modular homes, but the biggest change came one night when the warming center was short staffed. “I committed to staying up and helping.” Amanda’s work ethic both inside and outside the warming center, her heart for her bunk mates, and her drive to remain sober quickly caught the attention of the Jewels staff.
“I remember,” Pastor Jason recalled, “sitting with Amanda in early January and asking what her plans were for after the warming center closed at the end of February.” Amanda replied, “I’m going to save up as much money as I can, and I’m going to buy a truck and then I will live in it if I have to. I’m on the list for housing, but there are people in here who have been on the housing list for two years. I can’t go back up to Mead…I love the people there, but I just can’t go back to that life.”
“She told me of how she had been volunteering at night in the warming center, and had begun to hear rumors that maybe she could get hired on to Jewels’ staff,” Jason said. “I told Amanda I had a strong feeling something would work out in her favor in regards to work and housing. What I didn’t tell her at the time was I was feeling the Spirit prompting me that Andrea and I would be that answer.”
Amanda did get hired on full time with Jewels Helping Hands, and because of her progress, drive, and sobriety she was able to move out of the warming center and into Julie’s home. She has also been gifted a car; a 1994 Geo Metro. As Julie said, “Its not a great car. It’s bad actually. The doors suck, it’s ugly and it has issues. To Amanda it is 4 wheels and hers. She loves it.”
As for housing? “I told Julie that Andrea and I had been praying, and were feeling led to have Amanda come live with us.” Jason said. Julie replied, “I think that’s a great idea, and I think she would do very well with you guys.” “So we made dinner plans with her, and at the end of dinner we asked her and told her we had already spoken to Julie about it previously and had her blessing. I think she cried for about 5 minutes before she told us yes.” She moved in with Jason and Andrea earlier this week while continuing full time with Jewels Helping Hands, most recently being trained on outreach.
“My whole life I’ve struggled. As you know I’ve grown up in an abusive household, and never had the best life,” Amanda said. To have a family now “means everything.”