Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Months behind in mortgage payments
Husband's disability helped lead to downward financial spiral

October 25, 2012

Dear W.C.,

My husband is disabled. I work part time. I am not able to work any more hours because my husband needs to be cared for. We have three children living at home with us. They are 10, 12 and 15.

Two years ago my husband came down with what he thought was the flu. He continued working until he collapsed a few days later. It turned out he has Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. We had never even heard of such a thing. He struggles to walk due to the constant inflammation in his joints. He also has nerve problems and recurring fevers. I see a continual downward spiral in his health.

It has been very hard to pay our bills with my part-time pay and his disability check. We are still living in the house we purchased eight years ago, before he was sick and we both were working full time. We are months behind in our mortgage payments. We are about to be foreclosed on. We never thought this would happen to us.

Struggling due to illness

Dear Readers,

I went to the address listed on the letter. The wife answered the door and was surprised to see me there. I introduced myself but she said no introduction was necessary. She invited me in to meet the rest of the family.

The oldest child jumped up to help the father stand when I came in. I told them not to bother, it was not necessary for him to get up. They both shook my hand in greeting. I asked if I could sit and talk with them for a while and they said, "Please do."

I noticed their clothing and shoes were very worn. I also noted the chill in the house and the blanket wrapped around the father. It was obvious they were having a hard time with the utility bills. I remembered these marks of poverty from my own childhood. I knew they were truly suffering in silence due to poverty and a disability. It is far more common than most people think.

We talked for a while about the fathers illness and what assistance they were receiving. I assembled all their income and expenses and we put together their budget. They were struggling to pay a mortgage each month that they could no longer afford. I suggested the first thing to do was get into an affordable housing situation.

They were afraid to lose the house but after reviewing their mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, high utility bills and an overall budget, they realized they could no longer stay in the house.

It was far beyond their means now that the father was obviously disabled and unable to work. It also was obvious the mother could only work part-time since she was needed at home to care for her ailing husband. He struggled with several tasks even while I was there.

I watched as he attempted several simple things and had tears in his eyes as he collapsed in his chair in defeat.

Their budget would work with no property taxes or maintenance, lower utility bills and a rent that was much cheaper than their mortgage payments. Since they had no savings and only $26 to their name, I offered to pay their first month's rent and security deposit when we found a reasonable rental that the family could afford going forward.

Their car was older but paid for. It would need a few repairs but was in good shape. I agreed with the wife that the car was worth saving. The car was needed for doctor visits and the wife's job. We agreed to have the car repaired.

I referred them to the food pantry for extra food and provided gift cards for their immediate food, gas and toiletry needs. I asked for the utility bills, as I noticed they were behind when working on their budget.

When I made a comment about the husbands blanket wrapped around him, the youngest child said, "Mom and I put ours behind the chair when we heard the door bell."

The mother looked embarrassed. I just laughed and said, "Honesty out of the mouth of babes." The mother smiled after that. I told them we would bring their utilities up to date.

I returned to visit after they were settled in their rental. The husband said he was feeling better, but he also said he knew this was the nature of the disease. It can progress quickly and have remissions.

The father strongly felt the remission was helped by the reduction in financial stress in their lives. I hope and pray this remission gives them the relief they need from the daily struggle of his illness. The whole family thanked all of you for your support of The Time Is Now to Help that enabled this assistance for their family.

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,


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.


Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation , The Petco Foundation, Geneva National, Mark and Natalie Reno, Walworth Fontana Rotary Foundation, Dick and Jean Honeyager, James and Lynne Newman Foundation, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Walter and Florence Strumpf, Loretta Jankowski, Milton and Carol Ann Ancevic, Beth Rendall, Roger Gilbert, Susan Koenen Russella, Victoria Wertz, James and Karen Goodrick, John and Karen Bullock, Michael and Kathe Beach, Carolyn May Essel, Doris Esmond, 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.

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 please call (262)348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, in the old Floor Store building across from the Shell gas station and Next Door Pub. "Look for the American Flags."

Side by Side Fundraiser:

Tuesday, Oct. 30, Simple Restaurant will have a fundraiser for Side by Side. Seatings are at 5, 6 and 7 p.m.. $10 Tickets ($5 for children under age 10) may be purchased at the door or from members at area churches.

Cars needed:

Please donate a used car to help our fellow Americans get to work and other daily necessities.

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

Please visit: