Your Condition is Not Your Conclusion: The Wells Family Take their Next Step

Story and Photos by Greta Gustafson/American Red Crossamanda-1

Red Crosser Amanda Murdock stands in front of School Street School shelter where she has been volunteering for the past week.

After staying almost a month in shelters following Hurricane Matthew, Lamont and Denise Wells and their son Tyrese will be moving into a new place this week. The family was so excited about their new home that they came back to the shelter showing everyone photos, and were especially thrilled about their new backyard.

“It was a pretty specific day, I could tell something was going on,” reflected Red Cross volunteer Amanda Murdock. “Denise had her red dress on with polka dots, her hair was looking all pretty, they both just had a very specific look in their eye and they left for a couple hours and upon coming back in their eyes were just glowing their smiles were so big.”

According to Murdock, the Wells have always had a positive attitude in the shelter, despite their challenging situation.

“They didn’t have many options but it didn’t stop them, it didn’t stop them at all,” said Murdock. “They have kept a very great attitude, they have been nothing but wonderful the entire time that I’ve spent talking to them.”



Lamont Wells stands in the hallway at School Street School shelter ready to take his next steps forward to his new home.

Lamont hopes that his family’s success will inspire others to keep their heads up in a difficult situation. “Everything changes, nothing ever stays the same, even with a butterfly,” said Lamont to the rest of the shelter residents. “Your condition is not your conclusion.”

Murdock confirms their excitement has definitely influenced others around them.

“There’s other folks around that have noticed that and saw the change in their pace and have kind of started to apply it to themselves, you know?” said Murdock. “And it just meant a lot to me, it meant a lot to see one person’s changes and it kind of gives the rest of them hope.”

Even as the Wells are taking their next steps, they can’t help look back at the positive experience they had with the Red Cross.

“I’m going to kind of miss the staff,” said Lamont, “but I gotta go on. Everybody leaves places like high school and when it comes to moving right there everybody gets to crying, but it’s a nice kind of cry.”



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