When a local Lafayette man shared a story on social media of a Baton Rouge mother and son who had been down on their luck, he knew that all they needed was a helping hand to get back on their feet. Now, their story has gotten enough love from people in Acadiana to take them from a tent to a place of their own in a matter of days.

Facebook via Terrance StJulien
Facebook via Terrance StJulien

Terrance St. Julien, who I know from seeing him sling delicious grub in Downtown Lafayette for years, also goes by 'Big T' and has made a habit out of helping those a little less fortunate than him. That habit has proven to make a major impact for those in need, which is exactly the case in this story of the Hill family.

See the initial post from Terrance StJulien where the story of a Mother and Son's hardships had been realized in the form of a tent and campsite in Lafayette.

Krista Hill and her son moved from Baton Rouge to Lafayette a few months back to be closer to family. They started out living at an area motel, but were held at gunpoint and robbed which sent them to the streets. After getting into another motel, Krista Hill was hospitalized for two days from being dehydrated.

Hill got some assistance in the form of a campsite and a tent to utilize for the time being, but Hurricane Nicholas brought in more rain and proceeded to ruin quite a bit of their belongings. Needless to say, this was no place for any person to live comfortably.

Hill's son continued his job working storm-repairs in Lake Charles, but was forced to leave his mother and all of their belongings behind everyday while he brought back as much income as possible.

Hill lost her restaurant job in Baton Rouge, but was always willing and able to work. Unfortunately, with no form of transportation or way to stay clean - getting a job was not possible in the circumstances.

Hill and her son were priced out of a local motel and spent time along construction sites in order to have a port-a-potty nearby. It was clear that Hill was more than capable to take care of herself and her son, but a series of unfortunate events had put her in a spot where she was in need of a helping hand.

"If I could get in there, I could take it from there and I would probably soar like an eagle", Hill said as she explained her need for a place to stay.

After getting all of the details of Krista Hill and her son's journey from Baton Rouge to Lafayette and all-around, Terrance StJulien felt compelled to at minimum spread Hill's story to see if there was anyone who could lend a helping hand.

Check out what St. Julien came back with on Facebook only a couple of days later.

The Hills were able to get into a hotel to have a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in, but that wasn't where the help from great local people would end. Not even close.

Emotionally, St. Julien explained how someone he knows had arranged a rental property for Krista Hill and her son to eventually occupy. They would soon be in a mobile home of their own. The initial light deposit and costs would be covered by the good people who offered their help.

It was time for Terrance StJulien to deliver the good news to Krista Hill.

An absolute shock overcame Hill when she heard the news that her and her son would soon have their own place to call home. It was a matter of days between when she had told 'Big T' her story and when she found out she was going to soon have shelter on a more permanent basis.

While Krista Hill wasn't looking for handouts, what she really needed was a nudge in the right direction. Her and her son's work ethic was evident by everything they had already overcome, but life's turbulence had brought them down to a level that was nearly-impossible to come up from.

Until the Lafayette and Acadiana community stepped up, of course. With the help of St. Julien and social media, Hill was able to get exactly what she needed to begin her triumphant comeback story. With a place to store their belongings, rest, and get clean, she  now would be able to get back to work to support herself and her son.

This is truly an example of a community stepping up to lend a hand to someone who has had a rocky road. The outpouring of love and support that come from her story just goes to show how much good there is right here in Acadiana.

I'm thankful that 'Big T' shared Krista Hill's story so that she would get the much needed opportunity to create a new life for herself. We can't wait to see Hill, as she put it, "Soar like an eagle".

*What Makes Acadiana Such a Great Place to Live

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