Catching up with Tangiler London

If you ever wonder whether your support of SPiN Cafe does any good… if you’re not clear who benefits… if you need a reminder of the lives that get turned around thanks to your donations… read on.

Tangiler London: Still going strong

There’s a line in an old country song, “The cards are stacked against ya, girl, get back in bed…” But some folks don’t listen to the fates, they just keep on going. Tangiler London lost her job, her husband, her home, and her health in less than a year. It nearly crushed her. But SPiN Cafe propped her up when she needed it, as we reported here in April of 2018. And she’s been gratefully helping SPiN ever since.

For nearly two years after we printed that article, Tangiler cooked two dinners a week for SPiN’s guests, and put in extra time managing the SPiN day center and helping guests with their laundry. And she spent many wide-awake nights keeping guests safe at Oak Harbor’s Haven shelter.

That changed this year when SPiN was forced to vacate our rented space, and again when COVID-19 pushed our meal service onto the street. Tangiler’s health issues have kept her at home for most of the last six months as they put her at greater risk in the pandemic, so she couldn’t work at The Haven either. But she scraped up enough in unemployment – after a nightmare of rejection and delay – to keep food on the table and a roof over her head.

Tangiler has been working on a memoir of sunshine, smiles, abuse, and dysfunction, from her childhood in Louisiana. “It’s not pretty,” she says. “But it’s important. It’s necessary, and it’s a story I need to tell. I smile a lot. People even compliment me on my smile. But there’s a lot behind that smile that needs to be told.”

As our state gets a handle on the pandemic, Tangiler will be coming back to work, a little at a time, using proper precautions.

“It’s so good to be out of the house. Just coming down Pioneer Way, I see so many people I know. We’re reconnecting. I just love feeling normal again.”

In that old song, the heroine ignores the advice, buys a lottery ticket, and wins eleven million bucks. That’s not exactly Tangiler’s story, but she still feels like she’s hit the jackpot with SPiN.

When you support SPiN Cafe, you make stories like Tangiler’s possible. Many thanks to our neighbors and friends who are so generous.