What would you do if you had no job, no car, no home, no money and a 6-year-old daughter to support? Desperate times often call for desperate measures, and that’s something a Michigan woman knows all too well. Linda Edwards is homeless, and her only way of providing for her daughter is to beg others for help.
Each morning, Linda sees her 6-year-old daughter Lyndia off to school. She then grabs a cardboard sign and makes a 3-mile walk to a spot on a freeway ramp. It’s at that spot the 41-year old mom stands for hours begging for money. Her sign reads, “Please help the homeless. Thank you. God bless.”
At the end of the day, just before school lets out, Linda treads the three miles back to Lyndia’s school bus stop. She makes sure only to panhandle when her daughter is at school. That way, the first grader is never left alone.
It’s this routine, made day-after-day, which allows mom and daughter to stay in a tiny hotel room with their meager belongings. But Linda is afraid she will soon lose even that safe haven.
“I never thought I would have to ask anybody for help. I put my pride aside and I had to ask or else I sink. I just prayer for strength and keep pushing.”
Last summer, Edwards lost her job. And with no job, she lost her house and then her car. Every day is a constant struggle to feed her 6-year-old daughter and keep a roof over their heads. She tells HLN’s Vinnie Politan, “It spiraled down so fast and there was no way else I could turn. They say a closed mouth never gets fed and I just had to ask for help.”
The task of raising a 6-year-old child falls solely on Edwards’ shoulders. She says her daughter’s father is out of the picture and she doesn’t have any contact with her family. But Linda says she would do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future, “Hopefully all the hard work that I sacrificed for her to have, that she may go to college, choose a career, and have morals, values and inspire someone else to be all that you can be.”
Michigan State Trooper Duane Zook has seen many panhandlers in his years as a cop, but he says Linda is different. As a father himself, hearing her story touched him.
“It really struck home for me because, being a father myself, having a daughter at home… that is something that, essentially, touched me.”
The officer says Linda has a good heart and is only doing what’s best for her family. He’s now become her ally.
Trooper Zook is working with a local company to help accept donations for Linda and Lyndia. If you would like to send a donation, contact Budget Towing at 876 Railroad Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. The phone number is: (734) 485-2055.