Medford, Ore. — NBC5 News is partnering with Access to start a community discussion, and bring you an in-depth look into the lives of people who are homeless, have been homeless, or who are very close to it.
This week, we’re meeting a family in the process of getting back on their feet. After more than a year on the street, Shane and Tiffany Carroll, and their two year old daughter Seaven, got into the Salvation Army’s Hope House. In another year’s time, they’ve become leaders in the small community.
Now, they’re getting ready to move into their very own apartment. Box by box, the Carrolls are packing up their life; Even Seaven is helping out.
“She sees mom packing, and she’s like, ‘I pack, I pack,'” Tiffany said.
Just like every move, they can’t escape the packing tape and bubble wrap, or the emotions.
“Nervous, excited,” Shane said.
“I just want it to happen already,” Tiffany added.
While the process is a lot of work, they’re ready for a new beginning. This move is a far cry from their last one.
“We lived in a huge 5,000 square foot ranch house out in Klamath,” Shane said.
It was then that their entire life changed.
“In the process of us moving here, the mail got messed up,” Shane explained.
A 100-percent disabled army veteran, Shane lives with a traumatic brain injury, along with PTSD and tinnitus. And while Tiffany works, the family largely relies on a monthly allowance from the government to live.
“I got a notice for a five year reevaluation, and I missed it,” Shane said. “And since I missed it, they cut my benefits from 100-percent to 10-percent.”
Without even knowing he needed to make the appointment, his $3,200 a month suddenly became $133, and they lost everything.
“It’s really hard, living in your vehicle, on the street, not knowing if you’re going to eat, shower, where you’re sleeping,” Shane said.
At that point, their daughter Seaven went to live with Grandparents.
“You can’t be homeless with a child,” Tiffany said.
Meanwhile, Shane and Tiffany lived apart as well.
“She went into the Mom’s Program, and I was still homeless, and then I ended up going to jail,” Shane said. “Got out of jail, went to the Dom over in White City, stayed there for four months, she got out of the Mom’s Program, and her and I met up, we went to crisis housing through OnTrack,” Shane said.
Once the family was reunited, they started looking for a more stable solution. In the search, Tiffany found the Salvation Army’s Hope House.
“I called here,” Tiffany said. “Lori had answered the phone that day, and she said, ‘hey, how quick can you get here?’ and I was like, ‘what do you mean,’ and she was like, ‘if you can get here like right now, we can do an interview, and you’ll have a place.'”
Now almost two years later, the couple is grateful for the the time they’ve spent in the small community.
“If it wasn’t for this program, we wouldn’t have our daughter, we wouldn’t have money in savings, we wouldn’t have a new place we’re going to move into, we wouldn’t have clothes on our back,” Shane said. “We got a lot going for us now.”
Even though they’re sad to leave, it’s a new beginning they’ve worked hard for.
“We got our own place now, and it’s stable housing for our child,” Shane said. “It gives someone else an opportunity to move into this apartment and do the same thing we’ve done.”
The family is set to move into the patriot station complex this June.
For more information on the Hope House, and local resources available in our community, visit soclosetohomeless.org.