An Officer Inspects a Single Mom’s Impounded Car and Jumps Into Action
What could be more normal than a mom driving her kids to the library to study? It happens thousands of times each day across the country. Ebony Rhodes was doing just that, but while driving to the library, she got pulled over by the police.
She was nervous because her license had been suspended, but she was terrified that the cop would search her car and find a bigger secret.
A Struggling Mom
Ebony lived in Atlanta, Georgia had four kids whom she doted on. She worked in a local store to earn enough money just to make ends meet.
It was a tough struggle for her, raising the kids, feeding and clothing them, and taking care of their every need. She taught them that their studies were a priority, so on that day she decided to take them to the library so that they could concentrate in a quiet place
She Gets Pulled Over
As soon as she saw the flashing lights in her rearview mirror, Ebony began to tear up. With everything else going on in her life, the last thing she needed was a ticket to pay. She was trying to hold it together.
She was still crying when the policeman came to her car, because she knew her license was suspended. The officer asked why she was crying, and she told him that she knew her license was suspended and she shouldn’t even be driving.
This Can’t Be Happening
Ebony assumed she’d get a ticket, an expensive one, and was already trying to figure out how she was going to pay for it. Then the cop returned to her car after checking his computer.
The policeman explained that he had no option according to the law. He told Ebony that her car was going to an impound lot. To make matters much worse, he handcuffed her in front of her frightened children. A friend came to pick up her children, and her sister came to help look after them.
Her Story Gets Out
By this point, Ebony was in a daze. She didn’t know what to worry about first – getting her car back, paying the fine, her children, or the massive secret she was hiding in the back of her car.
The police towed her car to the impound lot and as per procedure, began to inspect it thoroughly. During that examination, they found something shocking and realized that this mother of four had been hiding a dark secret from the world.
What Were They Going to Find?
Meet Deputy Chief Jeff Glazier reviewed the story and thought something didn’t seem right. Acting solely on his intuition as an experienced cop, he decided to investigate.
This woman seemed like a struggling single mom, trying to do what was best for her family, and he could just not let the case go without further research. Something was bothering him about the situation, and he had a feeling that all was not as it seemed.
How Long Can Ebony Hide Her Story?
Deputy Chief Glazier carried out interviews and did some research about Ebony. At first, everything he learned seemed perfectly normal. She was a good employee, and her kids were doing well in school.
Glazier was stumped. He’d done diligent research, but he still felt there was more to Ebony’s story. What he didn’t know was that when Ebony left work every day, she was involved in something that she did not reveal to anyone, even her closest friends. And she was terrified of people finding out.
It Was Our Home
What was Ebony hiding? What was in the trunk of her car? The answer – everything. When Ebony left work every day, she went home, but her home had just been impounded. You see, the family had no brick-and-mortar home to go to, so they lived in the car.
She and her kids would live, eat, sleep, and dress in the car. She managed to keep the secret from everyone. The family’s life seemed normal, with Ebony going to work and the kids to school.
She Had No Choice
The year before, Ebony had tried to find enough cash for a deposit on a nice condo. But she wasn’t able to do it, and with no other options, the only choice the family had was to live in the only place they did own – their car.
So Ebony and her kids – Calvin, Jaheame, Isaac, and Danniaja packed up all of their clothes and belongings and stuffed it into the 1997 Buick. Ebony hurt so much for herself but more for her kids. This was no way for a child to grow up.
Couldn’t Get Into a Shelter
Ebony tried and tried to get her family into a shelter, but could not find one that accepted families of five and she would never think of splitting up the kids. The only choice open to them was to live in the car.
For the kids, it might have seemed like a sort of adventure. They’d eat, play games, and hang out in the car, then fall asleep in the Buick. As long as they were together, Ebony felt, things would work out.
Then Their Home Was Impounded
Ebony will always remember the moment that the officer told her the car was to be impounded. She glanced at her children; they knew what this meant. Their home was being towed away. Where would they go?
The car was still in the impound lot after six months. As she told CNN, “That’s the worst I ever felt, not being able to provide for my kids as I should be. Because as a mother, that’s your job.” But the impounded car might have been a blessing in disguise.
Stepping in to Help
Deputy Chief Glazier, an Atlanta policeman, found out about Ebony’s situation.The news had come to him from a co-worker who, like Ebony, was a struggling single mom; the story had touched her heart, and Glazier felt the same way.
Luckily, Glazier happened to have met the head of a homeless shelter just recently, and it was a shelter that accepted families. He hoped that with a phone call, he could land a place for Ebony and her kids. He picked up the phone immediately
A Place to Live!
Glazier got the good news from his acquaintance that there was room in that shelter for Ebony and her family. This was truly incredible because at the time of year when he made the request, shelters are usually full. Glazier was so excited to let Ebony know.
“When he called me that day, I just started crying,” Ebony told CNN. “Because I’d been trying to get into different shelters for a long time. No one would ever accept us.”
They Need More Than a Shelter
Glazier wasn’t satisfied. Yes, he had gotten them a roof over their heads and beds to sleep in, but this struggling family deserved more, and he was determined to help them. Something about this mom and her kids had touched his heart.
He told CNN, “You know, staying in a shelter is not optimal, I considered that the whole time just to be a short-term solution for this family.” The officer was determined to do more, and he didn’t slow down until he was satisfied that the family was taken care of.
A Beautiful Friendship
One amazing thing that came out of this story was the friendship built between Grazier, Ebony, and her kids. He wanted to know all of them, so he visited and sat down to talk.
He learned about what Ebony had gone through in her life, and while doing so developed strong relationships with her and her children. He watched her raise four kind and respectful kids under the most difficult conditions, and he was in awe of her.
It’s Going to Be A Difficult Road for this Family
As Deputy Chief Glazier got to know the family, he learned about ongoing health issues they had to deal with. This was an added financial burden, but also added to the daily stress Ebony suffered, always worrying about her kids.
You see, Ebony herself sometimes gets ill, but she has to go to work; otherwise, she doesn’t get paid, which means no food for the kids. In addition, her daughter has lupus and severely impaired vision, while one of her boys struggles with asthma and learning difficulties.
Long-Term Help Is On the Way
After learning all of the troubles plaguing Ebony’s family, Grazier was more and more dissatisfied with his own efforts.
Even with Calvin graduating high school and going to work to bring in some extra money, the struggle was constant for Ebony. Glazier decided he needed to do more, so he set up a GoFundMe page to create a cushion that Ebony could rely on.
The Generosity of Strangers
The GoFundMe page raised enough money to ensure Ebony that she could pay her rent and other bills a year in advance. They were also able to buy another car.
When the Buick broke down, Ebony was thrilled that, with the GoFundMe money, she was able to buy another car. Grazier was gratified with the results of his efforts, but is still in touch with the family and tries to help them. He feels great about the help he has provided, but wants to do more.
There is Hope
Grazier saw that Ebony has a fantastic work ethic and doesn’t stop trying to make more money to support her kids. Her goal in life is to raise children who will make their mark in the world.
Ebony is not a healthy person, and when she is ill, she can’t work, so she can’t make money. She sometimes works two jobs just to make ends meet. Her life is centered around providing for her children and watching them grow up into hard-working citizens.