No one can deny that life can get hard. No matter who you are, there will be times when your faith will get tested. Depending on one’s circumstances, things could be even worse for you. Ask single mother Ebony Rhodes of Atlanta, Georgia. Without any spousal support, Rhodes had to take on the challenge of raising four kids while living inside of a car. Without anywhere to come home to, the Rhodes family managed to get by with little means. Then one day, blue sirens sound off behind Rhodes. She had expired tags, and her license wasn’t valid anymore. Read on to find out how this story unfolded.
Swelling With Guilt
Motherhood is a joy, but it can get stressful, too. It’s even more difficult if you’re a single mother. Imagine having to take care of four kids while juggling multiple jobs and having health issues.
That’s the case for Ebony Rhodes, but she never complained. She wasn’t angry or annoyed at all. The only thing she felt was guilt because she couldn’t provide the life for her kids that she knew they deserved.
Living In Their Car
Work was tough for Rhodes. Every day she went into the supermarket, Rhodes felt a wave of guilt knowing that her customers and co-workers would get to go home to their families, while her kids wouldn’t.
Rhodes and her four kids would have to spend another night sleeping in her car. This situation had been going on for a while now. The year before, she couldn’t pay the rent on their apartment, and the family was evicted. That’s when they moved into her ’97 Buick Regal.
Of course, this wasn’t how Rhodes wanted her kids to live their childhood, but living in the car was the best option at the moment. Sharing one car between everyone wasn’t ideal, but Rhodes figured it was better than the alternative.
Since figuring out that she couldn’t afford the apartment, Rhodes tried to find a shelter. The only issue was no place would take an entire family in, but in her heart, she knew she would never split them up.
This Isn’t How You Raise A Family
Living in the car by yourself is rough, so you can imagine how living in a car with your family feels. What made Rhodes’ case even harder was that she had children who needed to get to school.
Due to it not being easy to find overnight parking nearby, her kids would sometimes miss school. Another downfall was that Rhodes sometimes found it hard to sleep at night. She felt that she had to look after the children. She knew this wasn’t a way to raise a family, but she couldn’t find a way out of it. Rhodes constantly apologized.
An Unpleasant Trip To The Library
Even with the murky circumstances, Rhodes did the best she could do keep her kids in a healthy environment. A big part of that was making sure they had a proper education, especially since they would miss days of school.
One day, she drove her kids to the library so they could study for their finals. Out of nowhere, she got pulled over for having expired tags. When the police officer approached her, she began to cry right away. She also knew her license was no good.
Rhodes felt that she had hit rock bottom. While she was doing her best to help her family with the little that she had, it was about to be taken away in the blink of an eye.
The policeman impounded her car and Rhodes was under arrest. While she sat in jail, Rhodes’ co-workers had to pick up the kids, and her sister had to travel from another state to get them.
Something Had To Be Done
This could have been the end of the road for Rhodes, but destiny had other plans for the single mother. Rhodes’ story of living in her vehicle with her family made its way through the local police station until it found its way to an important person.
Deputy Jeff Glazier was that particular person and their story moved him. That’s when he said seven simple, but powerful words: “We have to do something about this.”
Contacting The Right People
Deputy Chief Glazier was in the force for 25 years, so he had met a ton of people along the way. Networking has become a crucial part of society over the years, but in this case, it was life-changing.
Deputy Glazier remembered his last stint at the precinct he commanded. He came across the director of a homeless shelter and knew it was time to give them a call. Many lives would change after he picked up the phone.
A Small Miracle
Thankfully, Deputy Glazier was able to get in contact with the director personally, and he explained the whole situation. He told the director that it was a family of five with three boys and one girl. The oldest kid was 17.
The chances were slim because it was the middle of the winter, a time when rooms are scarce, especially for bigger families. Fortune was on Rhodes’ side because the director said she could fit the whole family! “I couldn’t believe it,” Glazier said.
Things Get Emotional
Deputy Glazier was already in disbelief about this whole thing, so you can imagine how Rhodes felt. The exciting news didn’t take long to make its way to Rhodes. This was going to be huge for her and the family.
Rhodes said the moment she found out what was going on; she started crying. Remember, she was trying to get everyone in a shelter for so long, but no one would accept them. After this kind gesture, things would change.
No One Should Live In A Shelter
Glazier wasn’t satisfied. He knew that staying the shelter wasn’t an ideal situation for them and something else needed to happen. While the family’s situation would improve drastically from sleeping in the car, still, “those conditions weren’t great, by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
The Deputy was happy that he secured a spot for Rhodes and her kids at the shelter but he also felt that was only the start. Deputy Glazier knew all along that would only be the beginning.
Doing The Right Thing
The deputy wanted to help this family as much as he could because he knew that Rhodes was trying to do the right thing. He could feel the sincerity exuding from her.
“If you talk to Ebony and you watch her, she has a great work ethic. It’s just that she was sick,” the deputy said. “And so, when you’re sick, you can’t work and you can’t make any money.” It wasn’t hard for Glazier to see what was taking place.
Things Start Looking Up
After the family made their way to the shelter, things began looking brighter. All of the children (Calvin, Jaheame, Issac, and Danniaja) now lived with their mom in a place that wasn’t a car.
After a few months in the shelter, Rhodes had saved up enough money to move the whole family into a small apartment. The future looked brighter than ever, but life doesn’t always work in your favor for too long.
When Life Hits
Three of Rhode’s children suffer from chronic health issues. The youngest daughter has a partially blind eye and Lupus, and her middle son suffers from severe burns that he sustained playing near a campfire. As a result, hospital bills tend to drain the family’s savings.
For a brief moment, it looked like Rhodes had things under control for the family. With the money she saved now gone, homelessness lurked around the corner once again.
A New Safety Net
Thankfully, that’s when Glazier’s second part of his plan came into play. He was well aware of the health issues that the Rhodes family dealt with, and the many times it kept the matriarch from working.
That’s why he set up a GoFundMe account as a safety net. It was genius. He counted on people’s generosity to build up a safety net and help cover the family’s food, medicine, rent, and other living expenses. That way, she could continue working without a dark shadow of debt following her.
A Very Long Commitment
The deputy knew a “quick solution” wouldn’t be the best idea given all the hardships the family had. To support this mother the best way possible, he would need to come up with a long term commitment.
“It’s not like she didn’t want to work; when I first met her, she had two jobs … trying to do the right thing, she’s trying to earn money for her family,” he said. The money wasn’t going to be enough. He had a bigger vision in mind.
Wise Words From A Great Woman
These days, its easier than ever to get caught up in a web of negative emotions and thoughts. The news we hear has a tendency to drain your energy and make you lose hope in humanity.
A gesture like Glazier’s should put a smile on anyone’s face. He had a simple motivation. Glazier became inspired by the words of poet Maya Angelou, and they were some fantastic words. She once said, “we are more alike, my friends than we are unalike.”
There’s No Place Like Home
At the time Rhodes was arrested, if you had asked her what she thought was in store for her future, she wouldn’t have given an optimistic answer. That, or she wouldn’t have known what to say.
Fast forward two years and she can feel hope about what lies ahead. With all the donations made to the GoFundMe account, Rhodes and her family now live in a home. She can rest assured that everyone is safe and the kids can study.
Looking Ahead To A Bright Future!
Rhodes’ oldest son Calvin recently graduated with honors from his high school. He did so well, that he received an “Against The Odds” award. For college, he enrolled at Georgia State University.
He also worked part-time at a senior care facility. It’s heartfelt when you visit the family’s GoFundMe story and see all the monumental support that people offered them. Strangers have celebrated the young man’s achievements and wish him a successful future.
Even More Great News
Things kept looking up for the Rhodes family. Deputy Glazier happily announced two more GoFundMe pages. The first one was set aside for Jaheame, who had suffered the burns, but he’s now making a steady recovery.
The other one was for Ebony. She had to undergo surgery but quickly went back to working full time. Through all of the hard times, the GoFundMe pages supported the family and they were humbled by all the love they received from everybody.
A Big Happy Family
Over the past few years, the Rhodes family and Deputy Glazier developed a nice bond between each other. She and her kids also became close with the entire Atlanta Police Department.
“The whole APD is my family because I can call on them for everything,” Rhodes explained, adding that the police are a “blessing.” No one could have foreseen this all happening from expired tags and no license. It had to be destiny and Rhodes couldn’t be more thankful.
A Blessing In Disguise
When you look back at the fateful day when Rhodes got pulled over by the police, she sees it as a blessing in disguise. Had she not been pulled over by Glazier, she would have probably been in a worse situation today.
Her whole family feels humbled by what transpired. They’ve never seen so much support directed towards them and it’s a sensational feeling. Many others have since been inspired by this story and wish to spread kindness.
Contacting Old Friends
The sensational story garnered much media and public attention thanks to the good news, so people are able to keep up with the Rhodes family. They have interesting developments in their lives that they enjoy sharing.
Her son Calvin has had a ton of attention. Folks from around the world are impressed by what he’s been to able to achieve, despite having all the odds stacked up against him. His future looks promising and others can’t help but cheer for him.
Becoming An Engineer
As we previously mentioned, Calvin had recently completed high school with honors. Next, he prepared for a new life as a college student at Georgia State University where he’ll be studying engineering.
The university gave Calvin a warm welcome on social media when they shared his story. On a Facebook post, they spoke of how his family has come from extreme hardship, but he still managed to make his way to a top program. The sky is the limit for Calvin!
Praise From A Distance
When a mother sends a child off to college, it’s natural for them to have anxiety because no one knows whats going to happen next. A mom can only wish for the best in those moments.
Well, Rhodes wasn’t alone in that. Everyone else was in the same boat. From family members to random strangers, everyone wanted to see Calvin go on to be everything they knew he could become. It was only a matter of time.
Keeping His Eyes On The Prize
Calvin knows better than anyone that his family has had a rough past. Looking back at things, he knows it wasn’t easy, but he feels his hard work will pay off.
Through the entire time, he said, “I kept my head up” as his family faced those trials. We also know that Rhodes did the same. If it wasn’t for her perseverance, things could’ve been way worse. It was also smart of Rhodes to make sure that her children prioritized their education.
There Are Good People
Outside of the family’s determination, the help of the community is a significant part of this success story. Deputy Glazier’s assistance was the first domino to fall, but the contributions to the GoFundMe page weren’t all from him.
The positive energy going towards Rhodes and her family helped too. It’s hard to win when all you see and hear is negativity. After reflecting more, Calvin says, “there are people who care for others.” That’s what matters.
A Very Important Message
The world needs more stories like this going around. It’s far too often we hear about things that are sad and negative. It’s not like there aren’t any heartfelt tales, just check a GoFundMe page.
What Deputy Glazier did for Rhodes and her family was something out of a movie. The more that people hear about it, the higher the chances that more individuals would want to help out others who need some type of assistance.
Looking Back On It
“Had I not got pulled over that day, I’d probably still be in my car, just taking a risk every day,” Rhodes explained. “Losing that car and getting pulled over that day changed my life.”
In life, things like this happen all the time. Things look bleak, but then a blessing in disguise shows up seemingly out of nowhere. If it hasn’t happened to you, then surely someone you know might have experienced something similar.
A Lesson On Life
Let this sensational story be a lesson to anyone out there who struggles with something. We all go through trials and tribulations. Its how we choose to respond to the hardships that matter.
If Rhodes had given up at any point, her son Calvin might not have made it to Georgia State University. If she didn’t continue to try her hardest, Deputy Glazier might not have believed in her enough to lend a helping hand. It’s all about perspective.