Community steps in to help homeless family after Facebook post goes viral
David Elswick and his family, including cat, Tazzy, call a parking lot in St. Albans home.
It’s a common saying; many of us are just a couple pay checks away from being homeless. For some families in our region, homelessness is everyday life. One of those families is the Elswicks. A post on Facebook, of all things, could be changing their lives.
To anyone else, a parking lot is a parking lot, but for the Elswicks, it is home. David Elswick said, "I'm not a lazy person. I'll get out here and do anything for anybody. I work every night and I don't ask nobody for nothing."
They live in St. Albans, in their car, along with their 25-year-old cat, Tazzy. David works a full time job as a security guard at C&O Motors. You could say, he's pretty famous in town. Neighbors stop by the say hello on a regular basis. When David walks into a store in town, employees say hello, they trade stories and laughter.
Christopher Withrow said, "I've seen him around, and it's pretty sad to know that this gentleman works like that and has to fend for himself, harder than others."
Someone posted a photo of the Elswick’s car on Facebook. Some people commented, shared, and liked the photo. Eventually, more and more people started stepping up, offering to donate numerous items to the Elswicks.
In fact, right in the middle of our interview, as David was talking about how thankful he is for the help, a man approached us and handed David’s wife a gift card for a new tire to replace the donut he’d been driving around on.
"I'm not the type of person to bum, David said. “I won't do it. I'd rather do without first. That's the way my mom raised me."
He said he never imagined this life. People have offered the family a place to stay, but for one reason or another, it just hasn't worked out. In most cases, landlords need a deposit as well as first and last month's rent, and that’s just not something they can afford.
So, for six months, David and his wife of 27 years have called different parking lots around St. Albans home. "We've just been together through thick and thin. She's been there with me for everything,” he said.
He is optimistic. He is going to keep working and continue to try to find a place to live. His goal is one that many of us often take for granted. He wants his wife to be able to make a home cooked meal in their own kitchen, he says she's quite the cook.
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