At that point, I was living in my car with my boy, who is non-verbal with severe autism and intellectual disability. My wife said she couldn't handle him. One day, I received a call from Child Welfare Services. To my surprise, they had been watching Lucy and the kids. The kids were at school and they informed me that the kids would not be allowed to go home with their mom after school. They asked me if I had a place for the kids. I replied "yes." They said to meet at the kids' school at the end of the day and that they would follow us back to my place so they could inspect the environment.
I was shocked. I was excited. I didn't have a place to take the kids to! Fortunately, I had started living right and was going to meetings. I was clean and sober, but I was homeless. I called a friend from church who I hadn't spoken to in a while. I shared the story and he said he would call me back. In 10 minutes, he called back and said to go meet his wife in a town close by Santa Barbara. When I arrived, I saw his wife and she was holding some keys in her hand. I got out of the car and she asked me to follow her into a condo they owned. We opened the door and the place was clean and empty with the exception of a coffee table. She proceeded to tell me that their tenant suddenly moved out a few weeks ago and they didn't have a new renter. I informed her that I didn't have any money. She told me no money was necessary. The Divine Spirit was clearly guiding me.
I met them at the kids' school, met child welfare services and when the kids came out they were excited and surprised to see me. When I told them they would be going home with me, their faces filled with fear. We all loaded up in the car where they would see their brother whom they hadn't seen in a while. We drove to a town called Carpinteria, just outside of Santa Barbara. As all of us, including CWS, got out of our cars, I informed them that I had just moved in and that the furniture wasn't in yet. I didn't tell them I had no furniture. They approved the place and my kids gathered some blankets and pads so we could sleep on the floor that night.