The careful but resolute process of helping a Seattle homeless woman off the street

Melissa and Denny Hancock tent PIXLR KVI.jpg
Denny Hancock (L) from Mamma's Hands homeless shelters and Seattle homeless woman "Melissa" inside her tent near The Space Needle. (photo: KVI staff)

KVI's John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur pledged to offer help to a homeless woman named "Melissa" they interviewed on April 10, 2018. With the help of Denny Hancock from Mamma's Hands homeless shelters in Bellevue, the effort to find permanent shelter for Melissa is starting to take shape.

The aim is to find a place for Melissa to live with other family members or friends but when KVI first extended the offer to help, Melissa was reluctant to take it.

A personal visit from Hancock to her homeless tent helped convince her to accept help.

"We're gonna put together a plan and she'll be part of it" Hancock says about her future housing. "I'll give her the opportunity and I think she's intelligent. And if I can help put that hope back in her, in her heart, that she feels like 'wow, ya know, I can have a good life'. I think she'll follow through 'cause it's gotta be her, it's gotta be her that does this."

At first Melissa didn't return some e-mails Hancock sent her but after introducing himeslf at her sidewalk tent they spoke at length, creating some trust.

Carlson remarked, "So she's not into drugs? And she's not an alcoholic? You didn't see evidence of that?"

Hancock affirmed her lack of vices saying, "My gut tells me if I can do what we talked about and help her get to this next phase, this next step, I know that I can put her with other people that would see what I saw and have the desire to lift her up to the point where she feels like, 'I can do this. I'm a good person. I'm a functional person. I'm able to handle this pressure and I can make it.' I can help get her to that point."

KVI will update this story as more becomes available.

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