(Memphis) A mother and son are grateful to be alive after a tree fell on top of their home - a car they've been living in for years. It happened Tuesday on Democrat Road near Lamar.
Now, Valarie and Demarcus Howell are left homeless and on the street.
The mother and son were forced to sleep under a porch Tuesday night after the only home they've known for the last three years was destroyed in a matter of seconds.
“The good Lord was with them on that,” said Tommy Berry, who has gotten to know the mother and son over the years because he works right next to the car in which they’ve lived.
It must have been an act of God, because who else could perform a miracle like this?
“We escaped death,” said Valerie Howell. “We were just that close.”
“I was in the back seat and it just came down,” said Demarcus Howell.
The mother and son were unharmed and now have hope for a better future because you will hear their story.
That thought brought Valarie to tears
“We have been out here three years," she said. "These are tears of joy.”
For three years, she and her son Demarcus have stuck together.
“I am basically the only one she has to take care of her,” he said.
It’s his car that they've slept in and lived in under the tree on Democrat Road, until Tuesday around noon when the tree decided it couldn't shelter them any longer.
“It started cracking,” said Valarie. “It started coming down.”
“Actually, I saw it all,” said Demarcus. “I saw the tree fall. I saw her get out. I was here (in the back seat) and the roof came in right here and I got out and checked to see if she was OK.”
“Now we are just out here,” said Valerie.
The two weren't always "out here."
“My son was laid-off from his job three years ago. He had the job for eight years. We had an apartment and everything but we ended up out here,” she said.
Who knows how much longer they might have stayed in the car, waiting for a miracle. Now they've got one, in the form of a rotting tree.
“Get them a place to stay,” said Berry to viewers watching this story. “That`s what they really need.”
“Maybe God has a bigger plan for you,” said reporter Sabrina Hall to the Demarcus.
“Maybe,” said the son.
“I hope so. I hope so,” said his mom.
Both mother and son say they are willing and able to work. They want to work.
Valarie used to work in a warehouse and Demarcus used to be brake technician.
If you’re looking for workers, you can get in touch with them by calling 901-267-2599 or you can find them outside at 2610 Democrat Road.