When Mrs. W went home at the end of her work day, it was to a tent pitched near the Mississippi River. She and her husband took up life there after being evicted from their rental home. Mrs. W had been a substance abuser, but was in treatment, employed part-time and making steady progress toward graduating from drug court. Her husband, out of a job, was looking for work but also had to stay near the tent to protect their belongings. They longed to feel normal again.
The W’s had to leave their encampment quickly when the owner of the land asked the City of St. Louis to clear the property. Before the bulldozers came, St. Francis Community Services helped the couple find a place to live and paid for their housing and moving costs. A case manager guided the W family for the next year as they worked to stabilize their income, complete drug abuse treatment, and rebuild their life.