Jessica Houdyshell and Philip Tate are a couple who have been trying to rebuild their lives for a while now.
Houdyshell just got out of prison in August for a nonviolent, non-drug-related crime and moved into a duplex in Moline with Tate, but just a few weeks after moving in, the duplex burned down, ruining nearly everything they had.
“All of it had mold, mildew and smoke damage and water damage,” said Houdyshell.
On top of that, Houdyshell is pregnant, and Tate suffers from seizures, making an already challenging situation harder.
“He could have seizures standing up, sitting. It don’t matter,” said Houdyshell. “I have to be at home with him. He needs a caregiver.”
Fortunately, the couple got some help finding new housing through landlords the Salvation Army had relationships with.
“Salvation Army, the director from Salvation Army, they know each other,” Houdyshell said of her new landlord and the Salvation Army director. “So they work with each other, so it’s a good thing.”
Houdyshell and Tate have also been able to get some new possessions, but they’re still working on getting more.
However, even though they are still in need, they are thankful for all the help they have received.
“I have gotten a couch, loveseats, some dishes, some clothes,” Houdyshell said. “We’re just grateful for anything because we have gotten help with dishes, people reaching out to us praying and that have been supportive.”
But along with working on acquiring additional new belongings, Houdyshell says she is working on getting past her fear of another fire happening at her new home.
“I still have some anxiety,” Houdyshell said. “I have this phobia, like, is this going to happen again? How do we get out of the apartment? So it’s still going through that. I’ve been battling a lot of that.”
Houdyshell says some items they are still in need of include a bed and winter clothing, and they are hopeful their lives will continue to improve.