Less than a month ago, sisters Violet Wilder and Telina Monroe were homeless, living in tents and bathing outdoors.
But since their story was told in the Times-Georgian, the sisters and Wilder’s son have been living in a motel in Carrollton thanks to a couple of local nonprofit organizations.
However, their stay at the motel will end Wednesday. That means that unless more help arrives soon, they will have to return to the tents.
The sisters have experienced a couple of difficult years due to financial struggles and medical issues, which culminated in them giving up their home. The family hit rock bottom at the end of November when they were forced to find refuge in tents in a friend’s backyard.
Fortunately, The Holy Spirit Homeless Shelter booked the family a short stint in a motel during the holiday season. Once that came to an end, Omni Christian Services (OCS) flipped the bill to extend their stay until Wednesday.
“It’s been great,” Wilder said about the family’s motel stint. “It helped because it was very, very cold this month.”
Throughout January, the sisters received additional good news, including Wilder’s approval for food stamps, which is only an additional $51 a month, and the beginning of Monroe’s treatment for her damaged legs and failing lymphatic system. Monroe was supposed to begin treatment in December, but a change in facilities caused delays in her life-enhancing treatment.
THS has been occasionally sending the family food packages as well. Also, OCS was able to repair the sister’s only vehicle free of charge; it had stopped working earlier this month.
“It helps a lot to know people care for their fellow man,” Wilder said about the support her family has received since the original article was published. “I thank and appreciate their humanity and compassion.”
The sisters continue to search for affordable housing of their own, which they say has been practically impossible due to rental properties being scarce and overpriced. As a result, the family is relying either on OCS to provide them a home for a couple of months, or receiving notice of the Villa Rica Housing Authority (VRHA) accepting their recent application for an apartment.
“It would be great to be indoors all the time,” Wilder said.
OCS planned on placing Wilder and Monroe in a home earlier this month, but because a family with four children was also homeless and in need of shelter, the home was given to them instead.
However, Pastor Allen Howard, director of OCS, told Wilder he is still determined to find a home for the family.
As far as the VRHA option, Wilder said the Housing Authority was accepting 100 applicants earlier this month.
“Since we were the sixth person to place an application, maybe we stand a chance to get an apartment,” Wilder said. “We have not heard anything back yet, but I’m really hoping we get a place there.”
It’s unclear how soon that will be. Some VRHA properties on the Dallas Highway are scheduled to be razed and replaced with more modern buildings.
The family said they do not look forward to moving back into the tent again, but Wilder said they will find a way to manage.