Who is Amanda? It’s a question she has asked herself plenty of times. Growing up she didn’t have the best childhood, and in the course of her 29 years has seen the saddest parts of life including various abuses and drugs. Despite this, she has a goal to make people smile because everybody deserves to know that somebody out there cares.
Amanda was born and raised in Tacoma, and despite her negative upbringing the real downturn for her began in 2018. She had finished three quarters of her first year of college as a criminal justice and forensics major, but had to withdraw for health reasons and family problems in 2016. In June 2018 she lost her two boys to CPS, followed two weeks later by losing her housing. A week and a half after, on June 29, 2018, Amanda’s dad passed away. Amanda married just two weeks later hoping this man in her life would be a rescue, only to have him introduce her to drugs and more abuse. They separated after his abuse put her in the hospital on Christmas Eve 2018.
After being discharged from the hospital Amanda was able to find shelter with some family and friends, but ultimately she had no place of her own. She eventually ended up in a shelter in Tacoma when one evening while eating dinner a guy came in, said he had an RV and was leaving town and would take whoever wanted to go. Amanda was one of the first out the door.
They travelled across the state into Idaho, and eventually back towards Spokane. Amanda ultimately ended up in a homeless camp in Mead, WA where she met Julie Garcia and the team from Jewels Helping Hands. Amanda came to the warming center on it’s opening night.
Since her time in the warming center it is evident that Amanda has not lost her hopes and dreams. Today she is 22 days sober, and is working with a company on manufactured homes as well as getting her pilot car certification. She is also working towards a plan for housing as well as completing the classes to be able to receive her kids back.
Amanda has a passion for construction, auto mechanics, criminal justice, and has a dream to own her own business when she is back on her feet.
Amanda is also passionate for the homeless. Through Jewels she has met a lot of great and genuine people, and says, “everything [Jewels] is doing is one thing that I have wanted to do. I’ve wanted to help the homeless community, and to give back. People see homeless as bad, and I understand there are homeless people who are bad and do bad things, but same with people that have jobs. It’s not just a certain group. So what they are doing is amazing; everything they are doing is what I want to do. So it warms my heart to know that people do care.”
Finally, she has a deep appreciation and gratitude for our men and women in the military, as well as our police, fire, EMS, and medical community.
Amanda would like to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers at Jewels Helping Hands and to City Church Spokane! This is not the end of Amanda’s story. Read the continuation here.