Ebony Rhodes thought her life was over when the police pulled her over for having expired tags. Little did she know, the traffic stop would help her find a new path for her family.
11. Not Making Ends Meet
Like many people, Ebony Rhodes lives paycheck to paycheck. It isn’t easy to make ends meet, especially when benefits and wages lag far behind the outsized profits made by large corporations. Rhodes is a single mother who works full-time at Walmart, but a single mom, life wasn’t easy.
10. Working Two Jobs
When this story begins, Rhodes was working full-time but had been struggling with illness so much that she had to quit her second job. Like so many Americans, she found herself having to choose between medicine, food, gas, rent and other expenses. This made it impossible to save money.
9. Financial Woes
These financial struggles eventually landed Rhodes and her four children homeless. Her wages at Walmart weren’t enough to pay for rent anymore. The family moved into their old car. They had lived in her 1997 Buick Regal for six months before they got pulled over.
8. Watchful Mom
“A lot of times I didn’t sleep because the kids were asleep,” Rhodes told CNN. “I was watching to make sure nothing happened— no one tried to rob us… so we’d just stay right there in the car.” Despite all of this, Rhodes kept her job and kept her family together.
7. Pulled Over
One day Rhodes was driving her children to the library when an officer pulled her over. The police officer noticed the car’s expired tags. Rhodes started crying before he even got out of the car. “She [the officer] came to the car and asked why I was crying, and I was like, ‘Because my license isn’t good,’” Rhodes remembered.
As a result of the traffic stop, the car was impounded. She was put in jail. Unfortunately, this is not unusual for low-income people in America. The cost of fines associated with traffic stops often results in incarceration and child separation. As Rhodes’ story became well-known in the police department, deputy Jeff Glazier was inspired to help.
5. Looking for Help
Deputy Glazier was a 24-year Atlanta Police Department veteran. “We have to do something about this,” he told his wife, Michelle. Glazier started calling around to different homeless and women’s shelters and found one that could accommodate the whole family.
4. Help from the Community
It was wintertime and the shelters were usually full, so Rhodes was amazed to find a solution so fast. “When he called me that day I just started crying because I’d been trying to get into different shelters for a long time,” she said. “No one would ever accept us.”
Jeff Glazier wasn’t done helping the family. He knew she struggled to make ends meet and couldn’t afford rent or a new car. He set up a GoFundMe, which raised roughly $65,00 for Rhodes and her children. Now one year later, Rhodes is living in a home once again. She is working as an assistant manager at a restaurant and can finally afford to pay rent.
2. Great Relationship
It only took a helping hand from Glazier and other caring citizens in the community to help put her in a better position. She credits the Atlanta Police Department with giving her a helping hand. She says that she and her children have a great relationship with the police.
1. A Positive Story
CNN did a story on the family which has been viewed online thousands of times. With the holiday season coming up, it’s a good reminder of what can happen when people reach out to each other with respect and compassion.