Neighbors raise money for 70-year-old living in SUV with dogs, get her an apartment

Homelessness is a pervasive problem in many cities and communities, and unfortunately, it often seems that most people simply ignore their community members who are sleeping on the streets. However, in a heartwarming example of compassion and kindness, two women in a Philadelphia suburb saw a 70-year-old woman living out of her car with her two dogs and decided to take action.

In stepping up to help this woman, they brought the whole community together and gave her a new lease on life.

The woman, Lynn Schutzman, had been living in her car for two years after a sudden turn of events in her life. She had been working as a pharmacist and had a good education and a loving marriage.

However, her longtime husband passed away, and with medical bills pouring in, she found that she couldn’t keep up with the expenses. Lynn had no choice but to live out of her car with her two dogs.

Fortunately, her circumstances changed thanks to the concerned neighbors paying attention to her situation. Jennifer Husband-Elsier and her friend Melissa Akacha noticed that Lynn was living out of her car in a store parking lot and decided to do something about it. Jennifer posted on the app Nextdoor, asking if anyone else in the area knew what was going on, and the community responded with a wave of kindness and generosity.

Police officers show their hilarious dance moves inside an elevator

(Youtube screenshot)

After the initial post, people who saw the message started reaching out to Lynn, giving her meals and offering help. But Jennifer and Melissa took it a step further and started a GoFundMe campaign. Within days, they had raised enough money to rent Lynn a studio apartment and pay for it for two years. They secured the lease and then various other community members volunteered to help decorate and set up the space for Lynn to move in.

Police officers show their hilarious dance moves inside an elevator

(Youtube screenshot)

When Lynn first walked into her new home with her two dogs, she was beside herself with emotion. The volunteers had done an amazing job setting everything up, and all Lynn could do was cry tears of joy and gratitude. “Thank you so much, you have no idea,” she repeated, holding onto her dog’s leashes.

Now, Lynn has these words to keep in mind: “It wouldn’t have happened without these angels,” she says. “I just want people to realize that this can happen to anybody. … I had nowhere to turn. Sometimes, you know, just the kindness of strangers makes all the difference in someone’s life.”

Police officers show their hilarious dance moves inside an elevator

(Youtube screenshot)

But the love didn’t stop there. Jennifer even invited Lynn to Thanksgiving with her family, and Lynn now gets invited to neighborhood events and dinners. Lynn did not just get a house; she got a community.