We were recently presented with a situation that took us way out of our comfort zone. We were informed of Robert’s situation after his release from prison. Robert is a paraplegic with limited use of his limbs, barely able to communicate, and unable to care for himself.
A passerby called 911 after seeing Robert in his wheelchair at a local intersection. It was raining and the temperature was dropping. The paramedics came and took him to a local hospital but he was discharged after a few hours because, technically, there was nothing physically wrong with him for the hospital to treat, he was merely homeless and unable to care for himself. His probation officer called us and was pleading for help. She understood that we are not equipped to provide long-term care for someone in Robert’s condition, but could we provide temporary, emergency shelter for him to allow time to find a more permanent solution, as the temperature was forecast to dip into the mid-thirties?
This is not something we normally do, but we realized that there were no alternatives for him at this point and we had to act fast. Fortunately, we had the space available and scrambled to install a bed and stock the apartment with supplies.
When we met Robert for the first time he was soaking wet, shivering, hungry and dirty. On the way home, he couldn’t stay awake and was obviously exhausted. He may not have slept in days. When we got home, we got him cleaned up, and dressed him in warm, dry clothes. For the next four days, I brought him his meals and checked on him throughout the day. I talked to him and prayed with him but I’m not sure he understood who we were, where he was, or why he was here.
We kept him fed, safe and warm during these coldest days of the year.
His probation officer was finally able to find a more permanent solution and he is now receiving the care he needs. We are told that our providing him with emergency shelter during this time saved his life. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve Robert and my thanks go out to all of you who made this possible at Matthew 25 Ministries – “Where All Things Are Possible”!