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70-Year-Old Severely Ill Widow Has to Live In Her Car with Two Dogs

Brittany Chalmers
Feb 10, 2022
01:00 P.M.
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A happily married woman used to have a comfortable life, but things took a turn for the worst, and she ended up living in her car. Her situation would have stayed the same if a group of people had never taken an interest. 

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Lynn Schutzman, a retired pharmacist from Pennsylvania, spent most of her life enjoying her job and traveling with her husband, Norman. Sadly he passed away when he was only 47 years old, and Schutzman was devastated.

Thankfully she was self-sufficient and managed to survive. Having grown up in an unstable household, Schutzman always knew she needed to depend on herself. 

Children from the community help homeless woman, Lynn Schutzman [left] Schutzman with the neighbours who noticed her need and reached out to her [right] | Photo: youtube.com/WBUR youtube.com/ABC News

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SHE WAS SICK

Schutzman's world came crumbling down when her health deteriorated after numerous strokes. She needed two years of rehab before taking up her job again. Ten years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The illness hindered her mobility, and she was unable to work. With piling medical bills and no one to support her, she quickly depleted her financial reserves. 

Lynn Schutzman receives medical attention thanks to caring neighbours | Photo: youtube.com/ABC News

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LIVING IN HER CAR

Schutzman struggled to survive and was embarrassed by her situation. She expressed: "You feel like somewhere you had to have failed. You accomplished all this, but now here you are in the gutter, and you don't want people to know."

Schutzman was forced to move from her home into a tiny apartment before she could no longer afford those fees. She reverted to living in her car because shelters would not take in her two beloved dogs, Chaucer and Chase.

The car Schutzman lived in is being cleaned by volunteers | Photo: youtube.com/ABC News

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HER LOWEST POINT

Schutzman tried to avoid people and did not want anyone to know she lived in her car. She worked hard and held a good job for four decades but was now washing up in a McDonald's store.  

Schutzman explained her situation: 

"

That was the lowest point in my life

... I had no dog food ... and I had just emptied the last bottle of water into the dogs’ bowl so I had nothing to drink."

Caring neighbours stock Schutzman's new home with items | Photo: youtube.com/ABC News

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"IS EVERYTHING OK?"

She was heartbroken at the thought of giving up her dogs, but thankfully someone noticed her in 2019. Melissa Akacha and her neighbor Jennifer Husband-Elsier approached her and asked a simple question: "Is everything OK?"

Schutzman tried to convince them that she was fine, but they could see she needed help. Husband-Elsier used social media to find out more and raise funds. 

Schutzman is thrilled as she enters her new home | Photo: youtube.com/WBUR

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A DIVINE INTERVENTION 

Many people in the area also brought water, food, and some things for the dogs. Schutzman said: "I just cried thinking, this is divine intervention. God knew I was at my lowest point, and he brought this wonderful community around to help me."

Ten days later, Akacha and Husband-Elsier had located a studio apartment for Schutzman. Thanks to donations from caring people online, they paid the rent for two years.

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HER NEW HOME

Other community members brought furniture and ensured she was set up and ready to move in. In a special video, viewers saw Schutzman's reaction as she entered her new home.

She noticed all of the small details and cried with joy and thankfulness. The neighbors continued to pop in and formed an unbreakable bond with Schutzman

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ANOTHER HOMELESS WOMAN GETS HELP

Homelessness affects many citizens, and due to job losses and illness, people are left without an income and forced to live in their cars or on the street. LaShenda Williams lost everything due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

She lived in her car and struggled to survive until a kind stranger took notice and offered her some help in 2020. Jackie Vandal, a Kroger store manager in Tennessee, offered her a job, and soon she became a favorite employee. 

Vandal helped Williams turn her life around and find a place to live. Akacha and Husband-Elsier's kindness had a similar effect on Schutzman's situation and proved how one or two people could make a difference. 

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