Darnell and his 13-year-old daughter, Haile, lived out of a car for several months after Darnell got injured working on the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project. Heat produced from a welding arc and spark damaged Darnell’s eyes rendering him legally blind. He could no longer work or pay his rent so his landlord evicted him.
Darnell, who served five years in the Army, said it took him several months to navigate and get help from homeless organizations, so he and his daughter ended up living in his car. They took showers at the YMCA and received some support from friends who also were struggling. Though homeless, Haile still attended school.
“It was really hard (living out of a car), but I still tried to stay in school and get good grades,” Haile said. “What really helped is hanging out with my friends and my dad having a good spirit.”
Darnell is now receiving disability benefits. He said he needs at least six eye surgeries and can’t afford medical care. He said Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) got him and Haile off the street and is helping with rental assistance.
SSVF referred Darnell to The Mustard Seed for basic furnishings for his new home.
“The Mustard Seed has a high impact,” Darnell said. “For me, this is a starter kit.”
November 13, 2018
The Mustard Seed is honored to be one of 39 organizations receiving a grant from the City of Orlando Community Investment Program. Thank you City of Orlando for investing $20,000 in The Mustard Seed’s Furnishing Basic Stability for Individuals and Families program.… read more
November 1, 2018
Come out and support The Mustard Seed at Taste of Orlando at Waterford Lakes Town Center on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’ll be serving beer and wine by the man cave. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Mustard Seed! Details here.… read more