The Homeless Hand

Leesburg, Florida

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The Homeless Hand

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Campaign beneficiary:


Austin Hinderer


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Austin Hinderer

MY NAME IS AUSTIN, I'M 25 YEARS OLD AND I WAS HOMELESS FOR 5 YEARS. IF I COULD DO ONE SMALL THING TO CHANGE THE WORLD... ...ACTUALLY, I THINK I'M DOING IT RIGHT NOW THROUGH "THE HOMELESS HAND" PROJECT.

Category: Volunteer & Mission

Start Date: January 29, 2020

MY NAME IS AUSTIN, I'M 25 YEARS OLD AND I WAS HOMELESS FOR 5 YEARS. NOBODY EVER WANTS TO THINK THAT THERE ARE HOMELESS YOUTH OUT THERE LIVING OFF THE STREETS, SEARCHING THE GROUND OR BEGGING FOR ANY CHANGE JUST SO YOU CAN GO BUY SOMETHING TO EAT OR DRINK. IT GETS HARDER WHEN IT'S COLD OUT AND A LOT OF THESE YOUTH HAVE NO SHELTER OR A PLACE TO GO INSIDE AND SNUGGLE UP. THEY ARE OUTSIDE IN THE WIND TRYING TO KEEP THEIR FACES WARM SO THEY DON'T GET SICK IF THEY AREN'T ALREADY. THIS IS THE HARSH REALITY WE TRULY LIVE IN. I WAS LIVING OUT OF MY CAR FOR 3 YEARS UNTIL IT BROKE DOWN AND I COULDN'T AFFORD TO FIX IT AND LOST MY JOB, SO I HAD TO SELL MY ONLY "SHELTER" FOR $200 THAT GOT ME TWO NIGHTS IN A CHEAP MOTEL, A FEW HOT SHOWERS AND A FEW HOT MEALS. I SPENT THE NEXT TWO YEARS EITHER SLEEPING IN THE WOODS, AT A PARK, OR BEGGING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS TO LET ME STAY JUST ONE NIGHT AT THEIR HOUSE JUST TO GET DECLINED. I MET A LOT OF PEOPLE ON MY JOURNEY AND I HAVE SADLY LOST A FEW PEOPLE TO EITHER SICKNESS OR INJURIES ON MY JOURNEY. BEING YOUNG IT'S EXTREMELY HARD TO KEEP YOUR FEET GOING IN ONE POSITIVE DIRECTION. I WAS EXTREMELY LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY A FOUNDATION TO BE HELPED. I HAD JUST GOTTEN OUT OF JAIL FOR THEFT (WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY PEOPLE TEND TO RESORT TO TAKING WHAT ISN'T THEIRS) LESSON LEARNED. THEY HELPED ME GET BACK AND FORTH TO PROBATION MEETINGS, THEY GAVE ME CLOTHES, THE WOMAN WHO IS NOW THE CEO LET ME STAY IN HER OWN HOUSE WITH HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN AND TREATED ME AS IF I WERE HER LONG LOST SON. SHE EVEN LET ME USE HER CAR TO GO JOB HUNTING. AFTER MANY MONTHS (ABOUT 6 OR 7) OF APARTMENT SEARCHING WE FINALLY FOUND A REALTOR THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO LIVE THERE KNOWING I WAS HOMELESS AND HAD NO JOB. THE FOUNDATION PAID FOR MY RENT UNTIL I WAS STABLE TO TAKE OVER PAYMENTS MYSELF. THEY OPENED UP THEIR RESOURCES TO ME WHICH INCLUDED A FOOD PANTRY, A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN, A THERAPIST, AND MUCH MORE I CAN'T EVEN THINK OF. THE ONLY REASON I BELIEVE I AM ALIVE AND 100% HEALTHY TODAY IS FULLY BECAUSE THIS FOUNDATION WANTED TO HELP ME BE SOMEONE I DIDN'T THINK I HAD THE CHANCE TO BE. 2 YEARS OFF THE STREETS AND I AM HAPPY TO SAY I AM TYPING THIS OUT FROM INSIDE MY APARTMENT WITH MY GIRLFRIEND AND TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN. NEVER WOULD I HAVE THOUGHT I WOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE ANY OF THIS. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAD TO GO THROUGH ANY OF THAT THOUGH, IN FACT, I KNOW QUITE A FEW OTHER KIDS THAT HAD TO GO THROUGH WAY WORSE THAN ME. I AM HERE TO TRY MY BEST TO PUT A STOP TO KIDS BEING SO HUNGRY THEY HAVE TO DIG OUT OF THE DUMPSTER JUST TO STOP THEIR STOMACHS FROM HURTING OR BEING SO COLD THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO GO STEAL A BLANKET OR JACKET. I BELIEVE I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO BE A VOICE FOR THOSE WHO ARE "INVISIBLE" AND MAKE A CHANGE THEY DESERVE. THIS IS THE HOMELESS HAND PROJECT. SOMETHING AS SMALL AS $5 CAN MEAN THE WORLD TO THOSE WHO HAVE TO STILL FIGHT THE STREETS. I STARTED THIS PROJECT TO TAKE IN DONATIONS TO PUT EVERY CENT OF EVERY DOLLAR INTO GETTING FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHES, HYGIENE PRODUCTS AND ANYTHING NECESSARY TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE THAT IS GOING THROUGH THE SAME OR SIMILAR STRUGGLE. I AM HERE TO BE THEIR VOICES. I AM HERE TO HOLD MY HAND OUT FOR THEM. ARE YOU?

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