RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A local woman living in a car with her young children is begging for help — and the community is responding. You heard her story first on 8News Thursday evening. The mom said area homeless shelters are full and she had nowhere to turn.
Since the story aired, we’ve been getting dozens of emails and calls from viewers offering help. The mom, Angela Thrower, said she can’t even keep up so she set up a GofundMe.
As of Friday morning, more than $2,300 has been raised for the family. Countless people have offered to buy some nights in a hotel. Apartment complexes are also offering to move her in and other viewers want to pay for the rent.
Thrower was convicted of embezzlement about seven years ago. The mother said most of the time since she experienced dead end after dead end while trying to find a place to live. After they were asked to leave their home of about a year, the family had been living in their car for two weeks.
Homeward tracks homelessness data in Richmond and seven surrounding counties. They say waitlists at shelters are moving slower now than before the pandemic started. People already in shelters are staying longer because available affordable housing is so slim.
They said 50 percent more people in our area are homeless compared to before the pandemic. In an interview with 8News, Thrower was at her wits’ end.
“I’m trying to stay strong, I promise you I am. But [there’s] so much weight on my shoulders,” she said.
A viewer reached out on Thursday evening and put the family up in a hotel. Another viewer told 8News they’ll be transitioning the family to an apartment for free while they get back up on their feet.
When 8News spoke with Thrower on Thursday night, there was hope in her voice. She said the community response has been amazing.