Heather Lynne Storer-Roy and Richard Roy enjoy a Christmas meal Wednesday at Hope Haven Gospel Mission in Lewiston. The couple say they love the food at Hope Haven and rate the food and hospitality a 10. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Richard Roy and Heather Lynne Storer-Roy, who have been homeless for about nine months, arrived by taxi shortly before noon Wednesday at Hope Haven Gospel Mission in Lewiston.

It was Christmas Day and they were carrying their possessions in plastic bags. 

The two have had a short respite from living on the streets. Last month, Richard had gotten a Supplemental Security Income check and used it as an opportunity, in his words, to spoil his wife. He checked the two of them into a motel for a couple of weeks. Heather was grateful to have a break from living on the streets.

Heather said she would love for the two of them to own a house — a fixer-upper.

“We struggle with landlords, paying for an apartment, losing assistance and having our mail stolen,” she said, adding there are many obvious problems that come with being homeless — including not having an address to receive mail.

Despite the challenges, the two seek to keep an optimistic outlook.

“I get to speak with all sorts of people of different shapes and forms and different circumstances,” Richard said. “It’s rough for her, it’s rough for me. But we try to make the best of it. Try to keep God in your life.”  

Rick Jensen, right, coordinator for the Hope Haven Gospel Mission in Lewiston, gives directions Wednesday to Brindie Smith for how many meals they will be delivering and to whom. With Smith are sons Carson Bailey, 18, and Owen Gall, 10, along with friend Alan Heath. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Added Heather: “There are people that care. We’ve seen an outpouring.”

That outpouring of care included the many people upstairs near the mission’s kitchen. They were waiting to deliver Christmas meals to those who were unable to get out of their homes. 

Brindie Smith said it was her children’s idea to come to the Hope Haven Gospel Mission on Christmas morning to deliver meals to shut-ins.

The West Paris family has had a tradition of delivering the Hope Haven Thanksgiving meal. One especially cold year, they brought a meal to a local family living in a pop-up camper.  

It was below zero, according to Smith, and the wind was practically blowing the roof off the family’s camper.

“It was hard to leave them,” said Smith’s 18-year-old son, Carson Bailey.

After that, the boys wanted to help deliver meals on the Christmas holiday, too.  

Owen Gaul, who at 10 is Smith’s younger son, said he likes to imagine that neighbors believe they are friends and family coming to visit when they see their car pulling into driveways.  

This has been a joyous week for Brindie Smith. She said Carson got in touch with her after a seven-week absence, and both mother and son said the best thing to happen to them this week was being able to spend time together as a family.


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