LITTLETON, Colo. – “Home is where the heart is,” is a common phrase. However, for one Littleton family falling on hard times, home is a white 2002 GMC Yukon.
“Usually, I sleep here and my son sleeps here, and my wife ends up sleeping in here,” Ronald Kellams said. He pointed at different areas of the SUV.
“This is the cooler and stuff, and our clothes. We spend a lot of time sometimes over at public storage when we need extra stuff,” he added.
Ronald’s wife, Judy, suffered from several medical issues including diabetes. The bills piled up and the family couldn’t make ends meet.
In 2014, the family lost their Littleton home, and packed their Yukon with everything they owned.
It’s Ronald, Judy, and their 27-year-old son with disabilities.
Ronald said their son is just above the limit for county assistance for those disabilities.
“I just feel bad for my family. I know I gotta get out of this situation,” Ronald said.
Currently, the family parks in a lot near Judy’s dialysis center. Right around the corner is the Goodwill, where Ronald works.
While Judy is at dialysis, their 27-year-old son keeps her company, and he spends the day working to keep the heat on.
“That's usually costing me probably about, almost $50 to fill the car up with gas,” Ronald said, adding he fills up every three to four days.
The family found several areas where they can save some money. One place is Littleton’s GraceFull Café.
“We see one of their family members every day,” co-owner, Heather Greenwood said.
Each day at the café, the three are each offered a free meal.
Greenwood explained that guests pay what they can afford. Adding, GraceFull Foundation will pick up the difference, of up to 100 percent.
Others can donate or tip above their meal’s total amount. Those additional funds feed others in need of a meal.
“It's sweet moments when they all get to come in as a family and have a little rest. And sit down and enjoy what feels, hopefully, like home for them,” Greenwood added.
A home that doesn’t exactly reflect the hard times they’re living in.
During the interview with Ronald, he only showed one moment of defeat. ”To have people see us sometimes -- probably going in and out of the car -- sometimes I feel like I'm worthless.”
Then he quickly followed up and said, “I know there's people out, worse than basically what I am going through.”
An account on YouCaring has been set up to collect donations for the family. Click here for more information.
The Kellams have benefited from Goodwill's Employee Support Services program, which gives employees undergoing financial or housing hardships emergency assistance, life skills training and possible financial assistance. All Goodwill employees have access to said resources.