At Pinellas Hope it is not uncommon to have couples who come to seek shelter. Today I’d like to tell you about our friends William and Pequena Osbourne.
William and Pequena lived in Lakeland, Florida, where William was using drugs. His drug use eventually led to a collapse in their finances and ultimately, they lost their home. Eventually, William sought treatment and after 3 weeks he was admitted to Turning Point, a substance abuse program in Pinellas County. Not wanting to be alone, Pequena came to Pinellas County with William and found herself at Safe Harbor, a homeless shelter run by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department.
After William was released from treatment they didn’t know where to go. Pequena had heard about Pinellas Hope but resisted coming. After looking for other places to live, they were facing living on the streets. Pequena was angry that William’s substance abuse would leave them on the streets. However, with the encouragement of Officer Rich Linkiewicz, the St. Petersburg police department’s Community Resource Officer who helps the homeless access shelters to receive the assistance they need, the Osbournes were accepted into Pinellas Hope one intake Tuesday (Pinellas Hope accepts new residents once weekly – Tuesday – this day is called “intake”). In their words, it was God’s will that that got them to Pinellas Hope. They feel that Pinellas Hope is the best place, where you are surrounded by people and yet have a sense of privacy as well.
Their story at Pinellas Hope is coming to end as on December 10th William and Pequena are headed to Philadelphia. They are headed back to family. They have an apartment waiting for them and the best part is William will be going back to the career which he loves, cooking. He has a job waiting for him at a couples’ shelter in Philadelphia where he will be cooking for their residents. We pray for their success in their new state and town!