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Aurora

Roommate steals more than money



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September 25, 2012 | 01:53 PM
Dear W.C.,

I am in need of help with my rent. I am a 28-year-old woman with one child.

I have primary custody of my son who is 6 years old. The trouble started when a friend I trusted became my roommate. She was paying half the rent and utilities. We were getting along great, and I thought everything was perfect. I had someone to share the household expenses with and a friend to spend time with.

After about six months of living together I started to notice changes in her behavior. She didn't get home until real late at night, and I could tell she was drinking. I tried to talk to her as a friend because I really cared about her welfare.

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Then I began to notice things missing from our house. It got to the point every day when I got home from work, I checked to see if all my belongings were still there. I never let her spend any time alone with my son anymore.

When I asked her for last month's rent she told me she had paid it directly to our landlord. This wasn't unusual as she sometimes would do this, and I always trusted her. When I paid this month's rent my landlord asked me where the other half of last month's rent was.

I was confused and told him it had been paid. He assured me he had not received it from my roommate. When I confronted my roommate about this, she blamed the landlord and said he had misplaced it. When I questioned her further she got defensive and started to yell and scream at me.

I knew something was wrong with the woman I thought was my trusted friend.

I tried to help her but she got even more angry with me.

That night I slept in my son's room with the door locked, afraid of what she could be capable of. The next day I took my son to day care, and I went to work.

When I got home I was shocked to find our whole house emptied.

She had taken my furniture, TV, stereo, kitchen appliances, dishes, my clothing, all our food, some jewelry I had gotten from my grandmother, and even the bath towels and bedding. Some cash I had hidden for emergencies was gone, too.

All I could do was cry while I waited for the police to come file a report. There was nothing else they could do for me as I know she was probably long gone. It turns out her name wasn't even real. I was the one who signed on the lease, not her. I feel so stupid and used.

When I received my utility bill only the half that I paid was paid. Now I am unable to pay the back rent and overdue utilities, much less replace everything she stole from me. I have found my son and I to be on the verge of eviction and my utilities are behind due to allowing someone I trusted into our home.

My ex-husband is not able to help due to an accident.

Trusting friend

Dear readers,

I went to the address on the letter and knocked on the front door. It was answered quickly by a young woman. I showed her my identification. She said she recognized me from The Time Is Now to Help column.

She invited me in and introduced me to her young son.

He was a charming boy full of questions. He was sad when he told us about his "Auntie" that had lived with them but moved away without saying good bye.

He said, "My Mommy said she borrowed some of our things but will give them back to us when she comes back to visit."

I could see the devastated look on the mother's face when he told me his version of the betrayal. After a few minutes of talking with the boy the mother sent him to his room to play with the toy cars I had brought along for him.

We sat on a few odd chairs she had set up in her kitchen. She apologized for her furniture saying the roommate had also taken her kitchen table set.

The mother told me about her divorce one year prior. Her husband was a good father but not a good husband.

He had liked to go out with women from work even when they were married. The father had been paying child support until he could no longer work after an accident several months ago.

He was supposed to return to work in three weeks. After the accident and the child support stopping she could not afford the rent on her own.

She invited a friend she had met through work to be a roommate. She said it had been ideal for the first six months and then things had started to change.

By the time she put two and two together the woman had placed her in a terrible financial position. She had not paid her half of the bills for the past two months. She would not be able to catch up without our help.

After we went over her expenses and income I could see she still was coming up short. She would need her child support to make her budget work.

We needed to bring the mother and child through this tough time. I explained to her how all of you make our work possible.

She started to cry saying, "How incredible it is people helping me and my son." I told her, "Good people, God's people do come together to help one another out of the goodness of their hearts."

She cried some more with relief from the fear of becoming homeless. In a broken voice she added, "Please thank everyone for helping my son and I."

The Time Is Now to Help brought her rent and utilities up to date. We also provided used furniture, some household necessities and clothing from Chris Ann's Resale Shop at no charge.

I dropped by several weeks after the ex-husband had gone back to work, to see how things were going.

This time the door was answered by a smiling, happy mother with her young son by her side. The woman thanked us for all we had done for her and her son. She told me to have a look around. What I saw was a kitchen with food and a neat clean apartment. When I said goodbye, the mother said, "I still thank God for all the people sent to help my son and I."

Once again, together we make our world a better place doing God's good works. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Health and Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

Help needed

Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.

Thank yous

Geneva National, Mark and Natalie Reno, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Walworth Fontana Rotary Foundation, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Taylor Luoma, Excel Family Chiropractic and Wellness, ITW Foundation, Dan Mehring, James and Karen Goodrick, Carolyn May Essel, Dolores Rich, John and Kathryn Swanson, Will and Mary Grace Swanson, Robert Keller, Randall and Margaret Smith, Michael Stahl, Margarie Egger, Sal and Rose Marie Muniz, Kenneth and Joyce Pagel, Sharon Sunshine Club, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262)249-7000.

Memorials

Patricia Ludtke in memory of her husband Willis (Bill) Ludtke. American Legion Hall Post 24 Time Is Now Fundraiser: The Lake Geneva American Legion Hall Post 24, 735 Henry St., Lake Geneva, will be holding an all you can eat Smelt and Cod Fish Fry on Friday, September 28, 2012, 4:30-8:00 p.m. Proceeds to benefit The Time Is Now to Help.

Chris Ann's Resale Shop: I will continue to ask Chris Ann's Resale shop for furniture and household necessities to help our poverty stricken fellow Americans. If you have anything you would like to donate to Chris's shop please call (262)348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, WI, in the old Floor Store building across from the Shell gas station and Next Door Pub. We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities.

Goodsearch for The Time Is Now: Search the web with www.goodsearch.com and help to raise funds for The Time Is Now to Help. Just make www.goodsearch.com your homepage and pick The Time Is Now to Help as your charity.

Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org

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