Letters to the Editor: Microloans can prevent homelessness. Government leaders, are you listening?
April 9, 2015
I was recently asked on the radio program “This American Life” to talk about the homeless. I was able to share my personal story, but I think others could tell the story of how microloans have prevented homelessness.
The first time I heard my story was on the NPR program “All Things Considered” on April 2nd. On that broadcast, the host Dave Davies asked me to tell more about my story about going out West when I was 18 years old with a brother and an uncle to buy a truck to help them open a bar. We also went to the same college I am at — and later we shared an apartment together. When we returned, we could not find a job but we found some money to help me pay off some debts. We decided to go out West. I had read from the Bible in one of my prayer meetings, and I knew God was going to use me for a special purpose, even though I wasn’t sure how. It was almost like He had a plan.
My brother got hired by a small company as a truck driver. He had applied for a bank loan for the truck. He never got approval. In fact, his bank denied the loan application.
I applied for a microloan the same way. I knew the money was God’s way of helping me. I also knew I didn’t have to wait until I came into a job situation because God was giving me “a job of my own”. I told my parents I would go and get the money.
They laughed. They said, “Well, I can’t do that.” And that was the start of a pattern of being unemployed and having to borrow money.
My uncle was also very supportive. He was willing to take the loan for me and pay it back. My mom and dad gave me a small amount each month to pay back the loans. When they didn’t pay the balance of the debts in full, I paid them off.