Tell your story about giving and inspire others to live generously.

I Like Basements.

Submitted by Joe Hays

How living in a family's basement for a summer changed my life.

I’ve never been homeless, but I was ‘between housing’ once, for about three months. I had just gotten back from an oversees trip to Africa and wasn’t sure what the next step was, when a family at the church where I was interning invited me to live with them until i figured things out.
When they suggested I stay in their basement, rent free, I was grateful for their kindness. When I realized that they were opening up more than their beautiful home – that I was truly being included in their lives, I realized I was being blessed.
In their generosity, I shared a part of their lives that still has an impact ten years later. Family meals and chores, all sorts of discussions and even a helpful talk about budgeting and responsibility, set an example what a healthy family looks like.

It was all of the small things I observed that meant the most, a family in a nice neighborhood taking in a poor college kid who’s crappy, noisy, car leaked all over their new driveway and never mentioned it. Or the many times I came home too late or too loud and they never got angry. They didn’t need to share their dream home with me, but they did.

They were kind, generous and caring, and now in our small little starter home, my wife and I have a friend living with us because we appreciate how important that kind of community can be. How valuable it is to share our lives and blessings with others. Often our homes are the things that are the closest to our hearts, when we open our homes, it’s amazing how our hearts follow.

I like basements. And thanks to this family, I’ve never been homeless.