UPDATED: GoFundMe created for Vanderbilt employee whose home was destroyed

A GoFundMe has been created for Sheila Joy and Roger Franklin, who were recently displaced after a car destroyed their house.

Destruction outside of Vanderbilt employee Roger Franklins home

Roger Franklin

Destruction outside of Vanderbilt employee Sheila Joy and her husband Roger Franklin’s home, as photographed on Nov. 19, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Roger Franklin)

Bailey McCallister, Staff Writer

UPDATED: This story was updated on Nov. 27, 2021, at 9 p.m. CST to include a comment from Sheila Joy and additional details about the situation.

On Nov. 19, a drunk driver drove into the house of Sheila Joy and her husband Roger Franklin, destroying it and creating a dangerous living situation. Joy is a retail market clerk for Vanderbilt at Highland Munchie Mart.

To help alleviate the financial pressure of finding somewhere safe to stay, Franklin set up a GoFundMe fundraiser

“Somebody drove into my front door and destroyed everything in my living room and the house is not safe,” Franklin said in an email to The Hustler. “We can’t afford to move, we’ve been here for 15 years and have nowhere to go.” 

As of publication, 197 individuals have donated $5,987 to the GoFundMe. Franklin posted a video update to the GoFundMe on Nov. 25 stating that he and his wife had found safe shelter.

Thank you to everyone who helped us to have a safe place to stay after our house was damaged by a drunk driver. Some of the damage caused us to be without water, so having a place to shower and just be at peace really means so much,” Joy said in an email to The Hustler. Vanderbilt students helped us to have a happy Thanksgiving. Much love to you all!

Franklin similarly expressed his gratitude for the support he and Joy have received. He was especially appreciative to have already reached their fundraising goal. 

“I am really surprised that we reached our [initial] goal so quickly,” Franklin said. “It has restored my faith in humanity. Thank you to everyone who has donated, it has saved us from tragedy.”

The Vanderbilt community in particular has come together to support the couple, especially as a token of appreciation for Joy’s work at the university. Many students, student organizations—such as VSG—and community members have donated to the fundraiser and have posted it on social media.

“[At] Vanderbilt, we’re a family,” first-year Qwynn Foster, who posted the fundraiser on social media, said. “We help each other and that’s the beauty of a school like Vandy. There’s this beautiful kinship that people at Vandy have to each other and it’s mostly seen in situations like this.”