Spokane mom credits Salvation Army with helping her go from homeless to housing

The sound is synonymous with the season. Salvation Army bells outside the stores you shop at for gifts and Christmas dinner. And behind every bell that’s rung, there’s a bell ringer with a story to tell.

Lori Eastburn is no exception to that.

Most days, she pulls triple duty outside the stores like Safeway that she stands outside of. Ringing the bell, greeting customers and giving every kid that passes by the chance to do the same.

Eastburn explained, “you have to have a positive attitude! You are doing this for Jesus and for kids. The kids are what make it worth it for me.”

It’s a complete 180 from her life at this time last year.

“Right before Christmas I was kicked out of my house and I became homeless,” she shared.

After motel money ran out, Lori had nowhere to go. As temperatures plummeted and shelters filled up, she slept where she could.

“Underneath a tree, in the back of a U-Haul that was open, a motor home that was unlocked, under a truck, the grass behind my counselors building,” said Eastburn.

Every morning when she woke up, her mission was to find a place to rest her head, that was until the Salvation Army warming center opened.

She added, “the one good thing about all of that was I was clean and sober. I didn’t relapse which happens a lot when you are homeless.”

There was more than her glass-half-full outlook that kept her going when she felt like giving in. Her 9-year-old daughter.

“That I wouldn’t be able to see if I was getting high again. She’s with my old pastor and his wife,” said Eastburn.

When Lori became homeless, she lost the right to be in her daughter’s life. In the last twelve months, they’ve shared just one embrace. Every day Lori is working to change that and the Salvation Army is continuing to help. She is able to show she can hold a steady job working as a bell ringer.

Recently, Frontier Behavioral Health assisted her in securing an apartment inside the Ridpath Building. She has a place for the paycheck to be mailed to now.

“Its not my dream but it has four walls, a roof and a shower and a place to cook,” she explained.

It may not be her dream, but she will never stop looking on the bright side.

Eastburn said, “I get to be a part of society and someone my daughter can look up to and show her that how bad it can ever get, that she can make it through.”