Ploof Family
Jenna often remembers being homeless herself. She juggles caring for her ailing father, teen sister, and newborn son.
Ploof Family
Jenna often remembers being homeless herself. She juggles caring for her ailing father, teen sister, and newborn son.

Ploof Family

Howell, Michigan

Jenna often remembers being homeless herself. She juggles caring for her ailing dad, teen sister, and newborn son.

Homelessness Can’t Stop Us

“I’m like a sister, a wife, a daughter, and a friend all in one,” says twenty-two-year old Jenna Ploof. Jenna balances her caregiving for her father, Bill, with raising her newborn son and looking after her younger sister. While Jenna was still in high school, Bill started to have pain in his feet due to diabetes. The pain ultimately became so hard to bare that Bill’s leg had to be amputated, preventing Bill, a Navy veteran, from continuing his work as a truck driver. The family began to live in and out of hotels. “it was like a snowball, but a big one thrown fast,” says Jenna. “We would just barely squeeze by on food,” adds Bill. “I had kids you know, I couldn’t let them starve.”

“I Want To Do It”

Bill is proud of his daughter for all she has done as his caregiver — all while attending community college and working at Panera Bread to support the family. “Without her, I don’t think I would have gotten this far,” he says. Jenna wouldn’t have it any other way. “You know, some people see my situation, they’re like absolutely baffled how I do it. I want to do it.”