I'm writing to ask for your help for a struggling family. I've been corresponding with a wonderful person, Phil, for the last five years. Phil is a black gay man in prison in Washington State. He was caught up on drug charges as a very young man and has been in prison for over a decade. He's now 36 and beginning the process of planning his release. Last year Phil's son, Anthony, 18 also got locked up on drug charges. Anthony is preparing to be released in March. For both Anthony and Phil to be released, they need to show that they have a home to go to. The aim is for them to go to the house of Phil's cousin, Leekecia. Phil, Leekecia and Anthony are a key support system for each other, and the family has faced all the violences of a racist criminal system that have been devastating in countless ways.
Leekecia and I have also become friends over the last 4 years, getting to know each other initially through Phil. Leekecia is 33 and lives in Spokane and is studying at Spokane Community College studying Business and Cosmetology. Her dream is to establish an instructional program that helps young people get jobs and stay out of the system. Leekecia works hard to get by, to keep her car running so she can get to school, and barely makes ends meet on student loans. In October, Leekecia learned that the apartment building where she rents is in foreclosure proceedings. She had to move, quickly, and had no resources to do so. If she goes into the shelter system, which is what will happen if she does not get help, she won't be able to provide a place for Anthony and Phil to be released to. Her students loans provide some help, but it is not enough to create stable housing until Anthony and Phil are released.
This fundraising campaign is aiming to help raise money for Leekecia's moving expenses and housing expenses until Anthony and Phil are released. Please help, and please spread the word. This wonderful family needs our support at this crucial time. They've been deeply impacted by the racist criminalization system, and are facing a major crisis--please help them get through this.
Thanks so much for your support.
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- Colleen McCormack-Maitland
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