It all started with two best friends who took to a neighborhood social media site to get more information about a stranger they’d noticed living in her car in a suburban Philadelphia store parking lot. “Does anyone know anything about the elderly woman with 2 dogs that has recently been living in her car under the covered part of the Target parking lot?” Jennifer Husband-Elsier asked on the Nextdoor app in April. “I spoke to the police and they said she’s been living like this for over 2 years in different areas of [King of Prussia]. … It’s an awful scenario. Really, really upsetting.”
The idea of the post was that Husband-Elsier wanted to do something about the situation and needed the information to make anything happen. What happened ended up changing lives. It turns out the woman was Lynn Schutzman, a 70-year-old former pharmacist, who had suffered from numerous illnesses following the sudden death of her husband, and that brought about a continuous mountain of medical bills, being unable to pay these bills and keep her home she moved all of her belongings and her two dogs into her SUV. She said she didn’t qualify for affordable housing and that homeless shelters would not allow her dogs.
Turns out Husband-Elsier’s friend, Melissa Akacha, is also a pharmacist, so she asked around, “Everybody knew that Lynn was a really wonderful, sweet, loving, giving person who really fell on hard times,” Husband-Elsier told ABC News. “That made us confident in our journey to start helping her.” That journey involved paying for a hotel for the first night, then turning to crowd funding to see what changes they could make. Schutzman and her two dogs now live in an apartment where she receives food deliveries and neighbors stop by to walk her dogs. For the first time in years, Schutzman has Thanksgiving dinner plans with Husband-Elsier’s family and others.
It’s an incredible story of caring, compassion, and giving, which you can learn so much more about in your Good News Story of the Day here, and with the Christmas season coming, and the cold weather already here, it seems incredibly relevant to Today with all the homeless on the streets of our City of God.
Story and Image from ABC News.