When Three Strikes Become a Grand Slam
Most folks wouldn’t look at a simple two-bedroom apartment in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood and think “home run”, let alone equate such a space with a bases-clearing, out-of-the-park banger. Yet in many respects, that’s exactly what it is: a stadium-sized inspiring. And the three strikes which preceded this particular “hit” will tell you why.
See, before Grace Giday got these home run digs, she and her family were stricken by immigration, homelessness and addiction. No, the strikes weren’t always all called at the same time – or even for the same family members – yet they often did come in tandem. Not that it matters much. Even a single strike can easily knock a person out of the game for good.
In fact, the three strikes of immigration, homelessness and addiction are knocking folks out of the game, and with far greater frequency than ever before. One look at any American inner city will tell you that in a heartbeat. Which is one of the reasons we equated the Giday’s two-bedroom apartment with a bona fide Grand Slam. Landing that place didn’t just an answer those three strikes, it served as a sort of counterattack. It also gave three generations of Gidays a home base to stand on.
Three Strikes, Three Generations
Yep, this story isn’t only about three strikes; it’s also about three generations of a family being at the mercy of those three strikes. In fact, that’s how we got on the the Giday family to begin with. They’d been singled out by KPBS investigative reporter Scott Rodd for his piece on a multi-generational family living in San Diego. And we were lucky enough to see the piece cross our feed.
According to U.S. Census data, more than 10% of the region’s residents live in multigenerational homes — sometimes by choice, sometimes out of necessity. It’s a little bit of both for the Giday family. This two-bedroom apartment is all they can afford, even with government assistance. But they also believe that after years of hardship living together has strengthened their bond as a family. Their story is a winding journey through homelessness, incarceration, addiction and threats of deportation — culminating in sobriety, faith and family unity.
Indeed it does seem that more and more homes are housing more and more generations these days. It also seems as if Rodd and company are/were determined to find out who, how and why. Now, we don’t know if reason constitutes “how” or “why”, but we’re willing to bet the Gidays at least know why.
Actually, the why would become apparent the minute you got wind of even one of those three strikes. So would the how. No surprise really considering they’re meant to represent immigration, homelessness and addiction, three of the most formidable challenges currently facing our country.
Before that two-bedroom flat became available, our hosts were also facing those challenges. In fact, both 54-year-old Grace Giday and her 33-year-old daughter Bana were without shelter, and relatively recently to boot. Both mother and daughter have also had their fights with addiction. In fact, this is the first time the two got to live under the same roof for quite some time. With Bana’s 10-year-old daughter Honey now in the picture, the three get to be a family again.
The Right Three Strikes
Grace Giday had three strikes called against her long before people started equating her story with American baseball. And while an Eritrean grandmother is probably not the first person you’d expect to redefine baseball’s hallowed Grand Slam — after all, the Boston Red Stockings’ Charlie Gould hit the first “official” four-run homer a full 122 years before Eritrea was even a country — the way Grace Giday fielded three strikes that preceded this particular hit lends a certain grandness to the gesture. And a slamming grandness at that! We at Healing Properties wholeheartedly applaud the Gidays formidable strength and courage, and most emphatically salute their great good fortune.