Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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On the edge of homelessness

January 19, 2012

Dear W.C.,

Could you please help my family? We are living in a motel room for the next two weeks and after that we will be homeless. We lost our home to foreclosure after I was injured in a car accident and lost my job. My unemployment did not cover all our expenses and I was denied disability. Everything went downhill fast.

I tried to just keep food on the table and the utilities paid so my two children would not do without heat and food. I tried to save our home but I could not make the payments while unemployed and trying to rehabilitate from my injuries. I sold all our belongings just to have enough money to pay for a motel room for a few weeks. The only thing we have left is some clothing and my older car that isn't worth much.

Homeless Family

Dear Readers,

I have been receiving many requests for assistance in the past few months from families living in motels. While they are relieved to not be living in their cars or on the street, it is still not an ideal environment to be living in, especially with children. Most of the families I visited recently in motels were all sharing one room and they were very crowded. They had very few personal belongings and felt overwhelming fear over their future.

I drove to the motel named in the letter of request. The phone number listed on the letter was no longer in service. This is another problem I have run into, lack of contact information or information has changed since they wrote the letter. If I have no way of contacting someone it is impossible to offer assistance.

When I knocked on the motel door I could hear children inside. The door was answered by a woman that seemed to be in her late 30s. She appeared to be very weary as stress and lifestyle have a big affect. After introducing myself and showing some identification she invited me in to talk. My heart sank when I saw the children were doing their homework crowded around a small end table in the small room.

The mother introduced them and they went right back to doing their homework. The mother said, "There is nowhere for them to play and we had to leave or sell most of their belongings." The mother said when the weather was nice she would take them to the park or library just to get out of the small room. She said she would use the computer at the library to search for a job.

We then went on to talking about her car accident, job loss, and foreclosure. It was a story I have heard many times recently. An injury, illness, or job loss, or all combined, and then rent, mortgage payments, utilities, food, car payments, and other daily necessities become too much to afford and financial disaster strikes. This mother did not have any family to fall back on for assistance. Her ex-husband was nowhere to be found for child support. She had managed to support her two children successfully for many years.

Then she was in a car accident and badly injured. She was laid up for six months and when she tried to return to work found it still too painful. Her spine was injured in several places and she found it difficult to sit or stand for long periods of time, both of which were requirements at her previous job. Her employer let her go after a few more weeks of poor work and missing several more days. She received unemployment and applied for disability. She was denied disability and her unemployment was not enough to make ends meet. She stayed in her house until the bank foreclosed on them and they were evicted.

I could see the tears in the woman's eyes. She said she had always been so proud of what she had done with her life. When her husband had abandoned her eight years ago when her children were babies, she was determined to get a job and support them on her own. She managed to do that until the car accident that changed everything.

We spoke about her injuries and what jobs she felt she could manage. She told me about two she had applied for and they seemed right for her abilities. The mother told me about a rental that was close by and she felt she could afford as soon as she got a job. After reviewing her budget I told her we would pay her first month's rent and security deposit after she secured one of the jobs, to get the children out of the small motel room. This statement gave her hope. She excitedly said she felt sure she would be able to manage one of these jobs.

Due to the caring and sharing network of The Time Is Now To Help, I knew one of the employers she had applied to for a job. I contacted this employer and asked them to give her a chance. This woman got the job, which involved several different facets of responsibility, allowing her physical limitations to not be compromised.

The Time Is Now To Help provided this family the promised first month's rent and security deposit. We supplied them with three beds and bedding. We filled their refrigerator and cabinets with food. We provided toiletries and household necessities, some of the things they had to leave behind when they were evicted from their home with nowhere to go. We also had several repairs done to her car to make it reliable again. I spoke to the employer several weeks later and they assured me they were very happy with her work.

The next time I visited I saw two children playing in the living room, not stuck in a small motel room. They seemed much more lively and happy. The mother was excited she had gotten a job, making her independent again. Thanks to our help this mother and children went from despair and homelessness, lost in this recession, to renewed happiness and excitement for life. I had told her how The Time Is Now To Help works and how thanks to all our supporters our help to our fellow creations continues. She told me, "Please tell everyone thank you and God bless them for changing our life." Together we continue to remove the pains and suffering of poverty for many.

Please remember the Fox Charities $25,000 Matching Grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another, doubling you assistance for our poverty stricken fellow Americans. A Big Thank You to everyone for supporting The Time Is Now To Help. Together we make a big difference in the lives of our fellow creations.

Health and Happiness, God Bless Everyone, WC/Sal Dimiceli Sr.

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: Bill & Lois McEssy/McDonald's, Fox Charities, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Clarence & Marilyn Schawk Family Foundation, Unilock, Paul Ziegler & the Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Leather Lips Watersports, Elkhorn Roofing, Gregg Kunes, Brian Pollard, John Clair, North South Foods Group, Eye Physicians & Surgeons & their employees, Lake Geneva Middle School 7th Grade Lake House, Heinz's Diamond Motors, Lisa & David Issroff, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Martin O'Brien, Donald & Ellen Siehoff, Distribution & Transportation Service, Jim & Sue Burke, Silver Sneakers, Joe & Cecilia Kowalski, Victor & Doris Kranitz, WD Averitt, Robert & Elizabeth Sanders, Dorothy Tookey, Carl & Estrid Sanders, Patty & Sid Johnson, Glen & Ellen Wiedenhoeft, Joseph & Maureen Shaughnessy, Rick Onisko, Richard Jais, Jackson Creek Apartments tenants, Joanne Zeasman, Patricia Erickson, The Ahler Family, Kenneth & Joyce Pagel, David Segerstrom, Thomas Grotelueschen, Joy Oleston, Tom & Sally Talamantes, The McCabe Family, Peter & Gail Nieuwenhuis, Les & Pauline Malsch in honor of Barbara Giovannoni, Mary Gauger, & Mary Smarslek's Birthdays, 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: Linda Skiles and family in memory of Kelly Skiles. B.J. Williams in memory of Thomas Ultsch, James & Karen Bowey in memory of their son Chuck Bowey.

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.