This year we became friends with two refugee mothers and their young children. After arriving in this country, they resided with others who were physically, sexually and emotionally abusive. To protect their children, they left this unhealthy, dangerous and violent situation.
These mothers acted to protect their children. In so doing, they thought that the social systems in place would provide guidance and aid. They have found that our social services are overwhelmed by too many cases and too few case workers.
Government laws prevent the mothers from seeking lawful employment for many more months. Having spent all of their savings to keep their children clothed, fed and warm, they face a scary unknown: Homelessness.
Honestly, we thought that locating safe shelter would be quick. But it is much more difficult and involved than making a few phone calls. Unfortunately, homelessness is an incredibly widespread and growing crisis. After spending hours daily on the phone with dozens of shelters, it is clear that all of the shelters in and around our region are full. Wait lists exist. But what is one to do before your name is called?
Donated funds also will pay for an immigration lawyer. We consulted several attorneys and found a skilled and compassionate lawyer. Recognizing this as a humanitarian case, the attorney has agreed to work with the families at a 50% discount. This is an incredibly generous gesture. Each family's legal fee will be $2,500.00, ($5,000.00 in total).
Due to serious threats to their security, they yearn to find safety for their children. They cannot return to their countries of origin due to threatened violence, nor can they return to the original housing in the U.S. due to crimes committed against them. Where can they go? Where should they turn?
We asked the attorney how people in such critical circumstances are to survive with so few actual available social services and without work permits. She said simply: "Friends, family, faith groups. The system does not sustain those in need.
No donation is too small or large to help these two incredibly brave, dedicated, hard-working, loving mothers and their four young children.
We will place your donations in a separate account to pay for the following:
$440 -- one week hotel for safety (recommended by
by police) before apartment was ready
$1000--$500 immigration legal fee deposit per mother
$225 -- Apartment deposit fee and application fee
$500 -- Gift card to mothers for food/necessities
$755 -- First month's rent (which was discounted 50% off of the $910 rate) plus $350 "move in fee".
In total we have used $2420.
We will use the remaining funds for the following:
$910 -- March rent we will pay via money order
$910 -- April rent we will pay via money order
$910 -- May rent we will pay via money order
$3850 -- We will give the mothers the remaining funds by transferring $1925 to each of their respective bank accounts. They will put the funds toward their individual bills from the immigration lawyer, (each mother still owes $2000).
The families will pay for utilities, gas, food.
(Food pantries have been extremely helpful!)
We hope that you will help us to support these two beautiful mothers in their quest to keep their children safe. There are no words to thank you in advance for your support.
Please share with friends and family so that we can show the true generosity of our American Values.
With sincere and deep gratitude,
Jeff Blumenthal and Jennifer Stark-Blumenthal
- Marsha Per
- Irina Escalante-Chernova
- Amanda Bartlett
- Ellen Fenoglio
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