PLANO, Texas -- Close your eyes for a second. What do you see when you think of homelessness?
“No longer is the toothless vet with a tin cup the norm,” Sandy Baker said.
And you probably don’t think of Collin County either, since it’s one of the richest counties in Texas with ‘McMansions’ popping up everywhere. Turns out, there are hundreds of folks who are homeless here and 115 are students in Plano ISD.
“Every single number has a face. Every single number has a story,” Plano ISD Homeless Liaison James Thomas said.
Stories like Sandy Baker’s.
“I went from six-figures to no figures. Literally.”
She says one day she went to the ATM and realized her estranged husband took all she had.
“I was a pillar in the community. I was a soccer commissioner, leader in the church. I had a swimming pool. We had three cars and motorcycles. We had a 3,500 square foot home," Baker explained.
For the next two years, she and her high school-aged daughter lived in and out of seedy motels, living on small foods and samples from grocery stores.
They eventually ended up at Hidden Cove marina, where they lived in a tent for months. She showed NewsFix around her old neighborhood Thursday.
It was the first time she’d been in that neighborhood in years. She recalled Christmas decorations, walking her dogs, and neighborhood barbecues.
Eventually Sandy found Family Promise of Collin County, graduated from the program, and is living at her own place with a full-time job.
Guess it’s good to look twice... before you judge a book.
“You can’t imagine what people might be going through.”