Time is Now To Help
On the edge of eviction
November 17, 2010 | 08:53 AM
I am writing to ask for assistance for myself and my mentally handicapped daughter. We are on the verge of eviction and we will have nowhere to go. I called the homeless shelter but they are full. I cannot afford a security deposit for another apartment. We fell behind due to some repairs done on my car and a trip to the emergency room for my daughter.
My daughter is in her 20s but only functions at the level of a 6-year old. She will not understand our being homeless. I care for her myself and am unable to work. We live on disability and that does not go very far. Could you please help us before we are living in my car?
I called the writer of this letter as soon as I opened the letter. It was late in the evening and I wasn't sure if I would get an answer. The phone was answered by a woman that sounded like she was crying. When I told her who was calling she said, "Thank God! I have been praying you would call me since you were our only hope."
I asked if we could speak in person. Her reply was she had been evicted the previous week and she was now sitting in the parking lot of Wal-Mart because they had nowhere else to go. I told her I would be right over.
When I arrived it was at night. I saw her rundown car that was filled with bags of clothing and belongings. The woman and her daughter were huddled together in the front seat with a blanket over them. As I walked up to the car I could hear both women crying. I knocked on the window. The mother was very upset but thought clearly. She did not even have enough gas in the car to let it run to warm them up. The mentally handicapped daughter was very distraught, especially due to the loss of stability in her life. The mother's emotional state seemed to be compounding the daughters' condition.
In spite of me telling the mother to please stay in the car, she began to get out of the car. When she did this the daughter began to panic and cling to her mother. I told the mother I was there to help so please get back in the car with her daughter. I calmed and reassured them in a short period of time they would be living in a safe place. I told the mother to follow me to the gas station and I filled the tank with gas. I had made a call to a local motel that often helps with emergency housing.
They had a room waiting for the two women. I told them to follow me to the motel. They were overjoyed to have a warm room, bed, shower, kitchen... The mother told the daughter, "Look dear, this is our room." The daughter gave the mother a big smile and it was the first time I saw the mother without tears in her eyes. I told the mother and daughter to try and get some sleep and we would work out a plan for them in the morning. They thanked me for the room and carried their few personal belongings inside.
I looked at the car and felt an overwhelming sadness. Here was a woman caring for her daughter around the clock and she could not keep a roof over their heads. The car held everything they owned in trash bags and yet it did not seem like it could possibly be a lifetime of belongings. Why are so many of our fellow disabled American's finding themselves in this same position? This was a mother of an obviously disabled daughter that was unable to care for herself.
The daughter needed around the clock supervision that the mother was so lovingly providing for her, but she could not afford to pay the rent when unexpected expenses came their way. I left them in the warm room and went shopping for food. I came back and filled their full size refrigerator and counter. By now the daughter recognized The Time Is Now To Help was there to assist them. She smiled again when she looked at all the food we had provided.
The daughter asked the mother if she could please have some food and I could see tears in the mother's eyes when she handed her a plate. The daughter was so hungry she choked after several quick bites. The mother helped her to catch her breath and then began to feed her daughter small bite by small bite. She explained her daughter needed help with most simple tasks, including eating. She said they had recently cut back her disability check.
She tried to explain to them how this would affect her but they told her it is a cut back for everyone. Their insensitivity was appalling to her. The mother has a wonderful relationship with her daughter, giving her the loving care she needs. Now they had made it impossible for her to financially give her the care she needs.
We went over their expenses and income and came up with an amount they could afford for rent. She had applied for rental assistance but was on a long waiting list. They had been living extremely penny-wise but the apartment they had recently been evicted from was now more than they could afford. The car repairs she paid for through payments were necessary. She was in need of new tires and brakes yet. I offered to have these done. Her car was unsafe in the condition it was in. I also provided her with gas and food gift cards.
The daughter had an emergency room trip, an unexpected expense. She explained her daughter had fallen down the stairs in their old apartment building and she thought she had a broken arm. Without health insurance it was an extremely expensive trip, but again it was necessary due to her mental condition and physical pain.
We found a small one bedroom apartment on the first floor. The mother did not want to have to worry about stairs since her daughter's last misstep on the stairs. The apartment would suit them fine. It was close enough to take walks to the park or library. The mother liked to take the daughter out for walks daily. We provided her with the first month's rent and security deposit. Now that these other expenses were out of her budget she could again keep her rent up to date.
At my last visit the daughter thanked us for her new, as she put it, house. I did not think she understood most of what her mother and I had discussed, but it seems she understood more than we knew. She had a happy smile on her face again. She told me how she liked going for walks everyday with her mom to the park. She also liked when her mom read her books at the library. The mother looked at me with eyes filled with gratitude and said to thank everyone at The Time Is Now To Help. She said she had gone from feeling helpless and hopeless to hopeful and in control once more.
I thank all of you for your kindness in Caring & Sharing what you have been blessed with to help our fellow creations. Thank you again for participating in our "S.M. Fall 2010 $10,000 Matching Grant". God Bless you for Caring and Sharing.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C.
Please Help: 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.
A Very Special Thank You: Paul Ziegler, Michael & Sue Borden, Mark & Natalie Reno, Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Mary Kay Ring, Paper Dolls, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Martin O'Brien, Debra Guzman, Robert Martin, Wayne & Theresa Reuter, Peterson Drywall, Clifford & Louise Morris, Steve & Betty Thornton, Dr. Mark & Cynthia Brower, James & Janice Batten, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Kathy Paus, Gerald & Marilyn Wilkin, John O'Regan, Frank & Ann Huml, June Davidsen, Sylvester & Virginina Seick, 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.
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