Yucaipa community pays hotel room for homeless family living in car

EMBED </>More Videos

The community of Yucaipa is coming together to make sure a woman and her disabled son have a roof over their heads and beds to sleep in.

Joy Anderson has called room 16 at the Yu-Cal Motel home for the past month. Out of work and out of money, she and her disabled son lived in their Honda Civic before an act of kindness by a sheriff's deputy put a roof over her head.

"It was getting cold out there and even though we had blankets and we had coats, and things to cover up with, it just wasn't enough," Anderson said.

For months, she lived in the Park & Ride off the I-10 in Yucaipa. Then shortly before Christmas, a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department checked up on her.

"She stopped by that day and she said, 'Joy we're going to help you. We're going to get you a motel room,'" she said. "That was amazing to me."

Her four-day stay has since turned into much more. Good Samaritans have paid her motel stay up until Jan. 15.

Residents like Melody Martindale learned of Anderson's story and wanted to do something, so she and others organized donations and a dinner fundraiser at AJ Barile's Chicago Pizza, a local eatery.

"All funds that are raised from that spaghetti dinner will go to Joy to help her get a better home and a better living condition," Martindale said.

Anderson doesn't own much, but donations have been coming in, in the form of gift cards and a bank account.

Deputies like Brian Sutton have even dug into their own pockets to pay for extra nights at the motel.

"We try to help out where we can. Honestly, it's been an outpouring from the community that's allowed us to be able to do that," Sutton said.

For Anderson, the outpouring is both overwhelming and unexpected.

"How would I deserve it? I was living in my car minding my own business," Anderson said.

She is, however, thankful for the generosity of strangers and is now hoping she and her son will be able to find jobs in the new year. Anderson's wish for 2015 is also not to end up back at the Park & Ride.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Anderson and her son. You can donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/jdt63s.

Related Topics:
san bernardino county sheriff's departmentgood samaritansan bernardino countyYucaipa
(Copyright ©2018 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)