Financial Goal: $23,760
We are friends of Tiara Teesdale, a young woman we've gotten to know this year. Tiara is 24 years old. We are old enough to be her grandparents. We came to know Tiara after inviting her mother, who was homeless and mentally ill, to come live with us when she was diagnosed with terminal stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Tiara’s mother lived with us for seven months. She died July 22, 2017. The San Diego Union Tribune did a feature article about our experience which you can access at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/homelessness/sd-me-ana-homeless-20171213-story.html
Phil, Tiara and Jane
Tiara has many challenges in her life. She was an only child raised by a mother suffering from schizophrenia with paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. She was separated from her mother and sent to live with relatives as an early teen when her mother's mental illness caused her to lose her government job, their home and their possessions. Her mother lived on the street for eight years. Tiara was only 15 when her mother became homeless. Tiara loved her mother very much but never had the financial resources or suitable housing to be able to care for her. Tiara became estranged from her extended family because of her perception that they rejected her mother during the time she was homeless. She has no meaningful emotional attachment to her biological father who divorced her mother when she was a child. Essentially, she lives without an emotional support system.
Tiara's mother before her Schizophrenia became severe.
Tiara’s TalentsDespite these challenges, Tiara is a survivor and a person with enormous potential. She is very artistically talented and industrious, and like her mother, intelligent, articulate, and insightful. With help, she can become a contributing member of society.
Drawing and painting helps Tiara cope with anxiety and depression.
Devotion to Her Mom
Tiara was working three minimum wage part time jobs and going to community college when her mother became terminally ill. Although Tiara did not have the financial resources or suitable housing to be able to care for her mother she was a devoted daughter. Several days each week, Tiara drove 35 miles round trip to visit her mother. Tiara struggled with her rigorous schedule. She finally decided to drop two jobs and her college courses so she could be present to her mom and help with her care. Some nights she worked her remaining job until 2:00 a.m.; then traveled 15 miles to spend the rest of the night and the next morning with her mom at our home. Her mother, because of her mental illness, could not express the love and appreciation Tiara needed and deserved.
A part of her grieving process, Tiara made this picture of her mother out of colored beads placed on a Puerto Rican flag background. The Puerto Rican flag represents her mother's birth country.
Tiara is grieving and depressed. Before her mom died she said with tears in her eyes, “When my mom dies, I will be completely alone in the world”. She knows she needs grief counseling, a more supportive living environment, and help with living expenses as she gets back on her feet and back in community college. We see her frequently and observe that she is struggling. We help her as much as we can but are unable to support all of her needs.
Absent Intervention and Support
With help, Tiara can become a contributing member of society. Absent some intervention and support, however, her life circumstances likely will relegate her permanently to the margins of society, and possibly to the street, like her mother.
We would like your help funding Tiara’s financial needs while she attends community college the next two years. After Tiara re-enrolls in community college she is committed to working part time while carrying a full academic load. She will work full time during summer break. We will help her with her studies and provide her with tutoring, as needed. I am a retired Certified Financial Planner and I will help Tiara manage donated funds to ensure they are spent according to her budget.
Would you be willing to help us help Tiara? We would be so grateful!
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