Marni's Van Fund

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Please help us purchase a new (used) van for our new houseless friend Marni and her dog Katy. Marni is living out of a van that has been determined by our mechanic friends as not worth repairing.



Send a text to 408-478-9671 with the following information: $nnn MARNI, exactly like that, replacing nnn with the numeric donation amount. Donors will receive a text back with a link to enter payment info. A thank-you email will be sent to the donor that serves as a donation receipt.

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CLICK HERE to use your credit or debit card on our secure online giving page



Marni's Story

We have come to know some of the hard truths about what it means to be houseless in San Jose through our new friend Marni. We met Marni through her friend Shiela who came to our barbecue on Woodhaven patio a few weeks ago and told us of her friend who couldn't come because her van was broken down in a Target Store parking lot for two weeks. Sheila was deeply concerned that Marnie would be towed and tossed out in the street. Had this come to pass, Marni would have lost all of her possessions in an instant, and been on the street with nowhere to go.

We got a mechanic to look at Marni's van, who told us that the van was too far gone to repair. Luckily he was able to get it running long enough for Gwyne to drive it up to WGUMC where it sits in the back of Woodhaven serving as a temporary shelter for Marni. Now for some of the hard truths Gwyne and I have learned through helping Marni.

Marni lost her own house in the housing collapse, then was able to hang on as a worker living in her employer's homes. Then she lost her work a couple of years ago and one thing led to another until she wound up in our lives parked at Woodhaven. We've gotten to know her more and more with visits to our home for a meal, and we continue to learn her life story. She's got an awesome loving dog of eleven years, Katy to keep an eye out for her.

Marni has health issues that would be hard enough to manage from home, let alone from a houseless position.   She's smart, and quick-witted -- funny. Like me, she is a news-hound and together we lament the current political landscape now and then. When most Americans are retiring or preparing to, Marni just tries to get through each day and find a path to a better day.

We want to help her get to a position where she has control back of her day to day life, and maybe -- just maybe we can lift her up enough to move forward so she has a chance for a better life. Marni’s story teaches us that really bad luck can befall anyone.

We can't save the world, but we can help one person get a foothold to step up from a perilous situation to a better one that offers hope. Gwyne and I are committed to helping Marni get back on a better path. Yes, we know that swapping out Marni’s broken down van won’t solve all of Marni’s problems. But it will enable her to take control over important aspects of her life again – such as getting to important doctor appointments, or managing financial affairs. We ask you to join us by being the hands and feet of Christ to help Marni get a new (used) van to help bootstrap her life.

- Tom & Gwyne