When Hurricane Harvey hit over the summer, it left devastation in its wake and forever changed the lives of countless people.
The recovery process has been tough for everyone affected, but for one couple already struggling to get by, it left them out on the streets with no one to turn to.
Hoaliti Birdsong and his wife, Tessa Grey, were living outside New Orleans when the hurricane struck.
“We got flooded out of our house when Harvey came through,” Birdsong explained to FOX 4.
“It put about three feet of water through our living room.”
Homeless and with few other options, the couple took the advice of someone who suggested they relocate to Kansas City, Missouri, which he said had better job opportunities.
He set them up in a hotel temporarily. But unfortunately, things didn’t work out as they had hoped, and when they’re temporary living arrangement ended, they found themselves homeless once again.
“No shelters will take us in,” Grey recalled to FOX 4. “Whenever they would say there was an opening, we would call back and they were full.”
The two slept in a field—hundreds of miles from home, in a new city, and in the freezing cold.
“That first night right before they got there, my toes felt like they were going to fall off,” Birdsong said.
Little did they know, fate would bring an opportunity.
Chris Arndt, from Independence, just found out his tenant was moving out. Arndt and his wife rent out their second home, which would soon be vacant.
The couple planned to find a new person to rent out the space. But one day, Arndt was coming home from work in the city—and he saw two strangers sleeping in a field.
While he didn’t know anything about the people “under that blanket,” they left a lasting impression as he drove home.
A voice in his head told him he would have to go back for them.
“I’ve been learning to listen to the voice of God,” he explained to FOX 4. “And it was just there saying, ‘You have to help them.'”
After clearing his plan with his wife, Ardnt knew what he had to do.
He drove back and found the couple in the same spot, struggling to stay warm. Tessa Grey, who has a number of health issues, seemed in particularly bad shape.
“She was so cold, she couldn’t even barely move on the ground.”
Ardnt took Birdsong & Grey back to his house to get warm.
But it wasn’t just for the night—he had something even greater in mind.
He let them stay in the vacant home, rent-free.
It’s a temporary measure to help the couple get back on their feet and find more permanent housing, since Ardnt and his wife can’t afford to have them stay long-term. They’ve set a move-out date for January 3rd. FOX 4 is also hoping family or friends will hear the story and reach out to help.
But for now, the couple has a place to stay, out of the freezing cold. While the decision might have cost him a few weeks’ rent, Ardnt knew it was the right thing to do based on his faith.
“Which is what the church is for—is to help those in dire need,” he told FOX 4.
“And if you’re sleeping out on the ground in the cold, I’d say that’s a pretty dire need.”