Mr. Johnson is a proud and fiercely independent man. 79 years old, he doesn’t ask for help or take charity. That’s why we’ve never actually met him at St. Francis House.
We received a call from a local pastor concerned about a member of his congregation. He had gone by to pay Mr. Johnson a visit and found him sitting in front of his house in his car. “I’m fine. It’s just cooler in the car than in the house.” His pastor discovered that he had no water, no gas, and no electricity in his home. The grass was overgrown and badly needed mowing, increasing the heat and insects. There was no food in the house, and Mr. Johnson hadn’t eaten.
This was when the pastor took action. He convinced Mr. Johnson to get something to eat and made him accept money for a meal. Next, he went to a neighbor and found out he had offered to mow the grass, but Mr. Johnson had refused. The pastor told him just to go ahead and mow it anyway. The pastor even offered to pay him, but the neighbor declined the money saying Mr. Johnson needed it more.
Next came the phone calls. One local charity only helps with electric bills, so that was the first call. Next, he called St. Francis House. We were able to take care of the water bill. With water and electricity back on, Mr. Johnson can now be comfortable in his home. He can cook again and knows that he can get food from us monthly, though knowing Mr. Johnson, it might take the pastor coming to get it! In this summer heat, we’re so glad we were able to help and to know it’s no longer cooler in the car.