No matter where I am, no matter how dire my living conditions are or no matter what life’s obstacles I’m facing, I always give thanks on Thanksgiving. But this year Thanksgiving came early for me. I am a disabled veteran in my mid-forties and a father of four. I recently fell upon hard times when I lost my employment and residence. I had been living out of my car for about a month. When all my attempts for future employment failed and my bank account depleted, I knew I needed help. My car developed a major coolant leak and I had some type of electrical short and that was draining my battery. I had no way to get around nor a way to stay warm. I used the last of my cellphone battery to find other shelters in the flathead valley. There was only one I found and my last chance to find help. It was A Ray of Hope. After I submitted an application for assistance I had to wait for it to be processed. I prayed all day and all that night. The next day I received a phone call that changed my life and a very great reason to be thankful. I had been accepted.
From day one I was treated with respect and stellar professionalism. Everything was explained about what was expected from me, the house rules, and all the resources available to me during my stay. The most impressionable to me were the statements in the hand book “you are a guest not a tenant” and “we are a hand up not a hand out”. I am now on my second week here and I couldn’t be more pleased and very thankful. My interactions with the staff has been second to none. They have been extremely helpful in assisting me find future employment and housing. They are also veteran friendly and working with me and my physical and mental disabilities. With this kind of help, I am certain I will be back on my feet in no time. I want to thank A Ray of Hope, the entire staff, the staff at Hope Thrift and God for providing a hand up in my time of need. I now have one more thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.