If you’re a dedicated athlete, there’s nothing quite like kicking your shoes off at the door after a hard training session, eating a good meal, and getting some rest in a comfortable bed.
That’s not an option for the Sheppard sisters, however.
Tai, 11, Rainn, 10, and Brooke, 8, live in a homeless shelter with their mother, Tonia Handy, in Brooklyn.
“It’s horrible. It’s infested,” Tai told the Associated Press. “It’s unsanitary. The first time we got there, there were roaches everywhere we looked.”
Even though all of them don’t have their basic needs being met, and have to sleep in the same bed, the young girls are competing in track and field events at the Junior Olympics in Houston this week.
Handy has been a single mom for 10 years, and she works the phone lines for a car service. It’s not enough to make ends meat and raise three growing girls, though. The family was kicked out of their apartment over a year ago after Handy couldn’t make rent. They also had to grieve the loss of Hardy’s 17-year-old son, who was murdered three years ago.
Through it all, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke found an outlet in track thanks to Jeuness Track Club.
“This is a means to get them to college,” Handy said, “to opening doors that maybe I can’t open for them.” (ESPN)
Here’s a closer look at the family who is battling poverty using sports.