Bo couldn't foresee the future, try as he might. A nasty divorce left him financially and emotionally drained. And homeless. He lived at the shelter and stood on a corner with a sign, "Anything helps."
Sharleen is that grandma. The one that everyone loves to visit, even the neighbor kids. Last summer, she got an above ground pool, and she says it's part of her magic sauce to keep all the kids in her neighborhood, which can be rough, out of trouble. All summer long, she has kids in and out of the pool and she fees them sandwiches and popsicles when they get out, so they go home and sleep well for their parents.
Colette is just about to celebrate her fortieth wedding anniversary. It's not quite what she expected. As a much younger girl from a Wyoming cattle ranch, her husband swept her off her feet and moved her to the big city– Seattle. For 28 years, Colette and her husband worked together to support their family. He worked outside the home, and Colette ran a small in-home childcare company. She employed another person and did the long days caring for other people's kids (up to twelve at a time), so she could stay home with her three while they were in their formative years.
Two years ago, Alvin* and his wife were unhappy with their son's school in their hometown of San Diego. They decided to give Western Washington a try. They landed in Seattle for a short time, where Alvin was able to transfer with his major national retailer, where he was a third shift warehouse coordinator-supervisor.
Sue retired from a career spent mostly working in government, and the last 12 years in paralegal. Living on a fixed income is more difficult than she anticipated. She frequently finds herself in a sticky situation: Buy gas to drive to the grocery store or buy food at the grocery store.
"People think retirement is easy. It's not."
Now that Sue comes to the food bank, it's not usually such a difficult choice, and having a full stomach and a full tank of gas makes all the difference in the world,
This is where Harrison's story began with Bread of Life Mission. It's morning. A can of Sprite and a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast because Harrison does not like, “cardboard” cereal.
“Life sucks, I messed up…Badly…Let my family down,” Harrison says quietly.
Uri* has a good job and two young sons that he has custody over most of the time. When he and his wife separated a year ago, things were rough for a long time. Not only was there an emotional side of the separation, but going from two incomes to one was hard. Uri burned through his savings and fell behind on some bills for just a couple of months, but that was enough to start wiping out his paycheck, before it even came, while he has been working to get caught up again.
Retirement is bliss they say. Not so much for Richard. His focus is on the bottom line, whether his family will make it this month between his Social Security and his wife's meager income working at a assisted living facility.
Utilities and fuel are expensive in the city. Richard and Ana have lived in Seattle for 25 years, and prices have steadily risen. After the inflexible bare bones budget, there isn't much left over for groceries.
How donations to Food Lifeline Helped Cassie
Cassie loves numbers, so accounting is a natural fit for her. She worked in accounting for a warehouse company– until three weeks ago. That's when the company she worked for—which had recently acquired her employer of 6 ½ years—decided to replace her with someone else.
This is the first time I've been out of a job for more than a week,"