The Woods Family
"Do you ever worry about being homeless? We didn’t either.
Are you living paycheck to paycheck? We really weren’t either.
Do you worry about black mold infesting your home? Yeah, we didn’t either.
Then everything around us came crashing down and there we were with three kids, two dogs, and nowhere to go.
First we blew through our savings staying at hotels, then we tried to couch surf, which then led to sleeping in the car, we even stayed with family out of state. We returned to Corydon on February 28th of 2020 because, we thought, we had a plan. Clearly, it wasn’t a good one because it fell apart really quick. Just when we were going to be without anywhere to go again we got a call from Michael Pryor with The Macy House. They had a room available for us at the house. We moved in the next day and our lives changed for the better pretty quickly.
Some people may be thinking, why didn’t they go to a shelter to begin with, or apply at The Macy House sooner?
Let me tell you about how I thought a shelter would look like, what it would be like, and how it ran. I had this horrible image of walking into a shelter and there being cots everywhere, my kids having to sleep next to and be around tons of strangers all of the time, having to sit outside during the day, and staff that made you feel worse then you already felt. You know the images they show of shelters on tv shows? I imagined it being really scary especially for my kids and they had been through enough. Why should they suffer due to our adult problems that they had no control over? So I had made my mind up that we couldn’t take our babies to a shelter. We would have to figure out something else. I know it might sound silly or crazy but in my mind I was protecting our kids not harming them.
Many people had suggested applying at The Macy House in Corydon and it wasn’t that we didn’t trust their suggestion or that we thought they would ever put us in harm's way. It was because all we thought about was those images of those tv shelters and how scary it would be. Officer Mike Kurz, who is one of the very few that had never judged us or turned his back on us, even suggested The Macy House and still we were too scared to apply. We had driven past a few times with the intention of stopping and then I would have a panic attack so we would push it to another day.
Finally in October we hit the bottom and knew we had no other choice than to put our trust in the Man upstairs and The Macy House and pray things worked out for our family. We sat in the lobby of The Macy House and filled out our applications. Okay, now let’s go back to our move in day. Lord knows I was feeling every emotion possible. I was relieved to know we had somewhere to live but scared to death of what and who was on the other side of that locked white door. What would our kids think? What would everyone else think? Were we making the right choice for our family?
Now let me be the first to tell you that what I thought a shelter was and what The Macy House really is are two totally different things. On the other side of that white door was a home. It might not be a traditional family home but it is a home nonetheless. As Micheal gave us the tour my anxiety slowly went away. There is a living room, a kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms just like a home. A normal backyard. The best way I can describe it when asked is that it is kinda like a tiny apartment building. It just has little studio apartments in it and everyone shares the common areas. What a relief it was!!!
We were where we were meant to be even though we didn’t know it yet. We brought what belongings we still had and started making our “mini studio apartment” our home for a while. The first few days we slowly met everyone that lived here and we were welcomed with open arms. Everyone was friendly and helpful. This time we knew our plan was going to work because we could feel the support we had. And we finally slowly started to have faith in ourselves again. Things got better at first but then Covid hit and everything kind of stopped. It wouldn’t be our journey without a pandemic thrown in for entertainment. Most of us in the house stuck together for the most part. We kind of all got through it all together. Three out of the five of us Woods even ended up with Covid.
Once everything started moving again things picked back up and we were back on track. Due to no fault of The Macy House and not for lack of trying on our part we had a horrible time trying to find housing. Yet no one here made us feel unwelcome or like we had overstayed our welcome like everyone else had. They were all supportive and helpful through all of it. And they were also there to celebrate with us when we found our own home when it finally happened thirty one applications later. Absolutely no exaggeration either. Now a little over a year later here I sit in our “mini studio apartment” days away from moving completely out into our own home and it’s bittersweet. A lot of people here became like family. Amazing friendships were made that will likely continue for a long long time. Yet I have anxiety because I am used to walking out my door any time I was bored or needed adult conversation and finding someone to talk to. Now we will be in our own home and when I’m home alone I will really be ALONE. Now interacting with some pretty amazing people on a daily basis won’t be guaranteed. Now our safety net is gone we could fall flat on our face and lose everything again in the blink of an eye. And it’s scary. It’s exciting and sad all at once.
If you or someone you know is homeless and doesn’t know about The Macy House or if you are scared like I was maybe after you read this you’ll give this pretty awesome place a chance like we did. You probably won’t regret it. We will never be able to thank anyone enough but we plan on trying by paying it forward. We didn’t think about the homeless community until it happened to us so we plan on helping bring awareness. Of course we will be back to visit and help as much as possible.
So thank you Michael, Betty, Officer Mike, Jill, Theresa, Dennis, Theresa B. and of course Heather for giving us a chance, for never judging us, and especially for encouraging us to better ourselves when we were ready to give up because everyone else had given up on us. The world was convinced we couldn’t do it and they convinced our kids we couldn’t do it then y’all reminded us we could. Then you all celebrated with us when we did. You gave us our family back and for that we can never thank you enough.
Keep on keeping on 4:34 Ministries and The Macy House because you must be doing something right. It’s been one crazy year but definitely a year none of us will forget.
The Woods Family