A Happy Ending For Homeless Family

I NEED YOUR HELP! You all know how crazy my life story is. I can't tell you how many times people have suggested that I write a book! There's a new twist to the story, and at first glance it's pretty heartbreaking, but YOU can help make it a happy ending!

You already know that I'm adopted, and if you didn't already know, I'm one of nine children. [UPDATE: I just found out there are 11 of us!] Although my birth parents are deceased, I've been able to connect with some of my birth family. However, some of my birth siblings that went into foster care have not been able to be traced. Most of them I've never met.

A few days ago I was contacted by my 26 year-old birth sister, Nadean!!! Can you imagine my shock?!! She found me by tracking down our birth mother's obituary. She contacted the funeral home and asked them to pass her info on to whomever had made the funeral arrangements, and that person happened to be my uncle who I only just connected with in October of this year! He gave her my information and she reached out to me right away.

Here's the part where I explain why I'm shamelessly reaching out for help from any and everybody I know... My sister, her husband, and her two kids (4 and 5), lost EVERYTHING in hurricane Irma. They had an apartment in the Florida Keys where she and her husband worked for a fishing company. Like many renters, they weren't aware of and didn't have renter's insurance. They were put on the food stamp program, they received $300 from FEMA, and they were put on a 6-month wait list to get into a shelter. They could possibly get further disaster relief, but the paperwork is estimated to take about 18 months. Being fishers, and not having lived at their home for more than a year, they did not have any friends that were able to temporarily house them. And sadly, neither of them have any family (until now!). Not wanting their children to experience homelessness, they placed them with the only person they knew who could take them--a grandmotherly figure in the children's lives. The children have been living with the woman since the hurricane, and they reside SEVEN HOURS from where my sister and her husband work! Meanwhile, my sister and her husband are living in their boss's fishing shed at the dock where they work. My sister and I were on a video chat and I saw for myself the conditions that they were living in. There was a mattress up on some fishing crates, surrounded by smelly fishing and boating gear, all tucked into an 8X8 tool shed. Here's how they've been trying to fix their situation...

Rather than getting new jobs closer to where their kids were staying, they chose to stay at their current job because it paid well, and they'd be able to save up for an apartment much faster. So on their days off, they've been commuting 7 hours each way to see their kids! Meanwhile, they're paying the children's caretaker $200/week to take care of their kids. My sister has expressed to me how grateful she is that this woman has been caring for her kids, but all I can think is how can this retired woman charge this homeless family while they're trying to get on their feet?! Money for food and clothes I get, but $200/week is appalling to me. However, I don't know her side things, so I'm trying hard not to judge.

The reason that my sister (it feels so surreal to be referring this woman as my SISTER!) hasn't yet been able to fix her circumstances will likely disgust you as much as it disgusts me. The housing/rental market in and around that area has escalated to an unimaginable price point. Two-bedroom apartments are now TRIPLE the cost because people are taking advantage of the surge of hurricane victims in need of housing! My sister has been unable to come up with the money to put down first and last month's rent on a $2500/month apartment! Not to mention getting any furniture! The money they were able to save went into repairing their car, which they need for their long commute to see their kids.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT...housing isn't even their biggest problem!

The caretaker of the children is not related to my sister or the kids, nor is she a licensed foster parent. Therefore, the state has threatened to take my sister's children and place them in foster care. The caretaker could certainly apply for a foster care license, but that takes time, so the children would be placed with strangers. Like me, my sister experienced horrific abuse while in foster care. So even though there are many loving foster homes out there, having her kids sent to a stranger's home is absolutely terrifying to her. My sister has been given two weeks to find a solution before her kids are taken away! This is the reason she took the initiative to track down her birth family.

SHE HASN'T ASKED FOR MONEY. SHE HASN'T ASKED FOR SUPPLIES... She is so sweet and so humble, and the only thing she's asked me for help with is placing her kids with family so that she won't lose them.

UMMMM....NOPE! I'm not going to take her kids from her! INSTEAD, I'm going to help her with a solution that keeps her family together! And she is sooo excited and grateful for the commitment that I have made to making this plan work!

THE PLAN IS IN MOTION!!! My sister is moving to NH! I'm looking to find them an apartment in Manchester and I hope to raise enough money to pay their first and last month's rent so that they have enough time to get set up and get jobs. "We're not fancy," she tells me. "We can just sleep with blankets on the floor for now. And we don't need a kitchen table, but maybe you have a few extra dishes?" She is so humble! But I have so many friends and family members that I have faith that we can come together to have a real home waiting for them when they arrive on March 7th! They might be willing to settle for a roof over their head and some food stamps...but they shouldn't have to! Because they finally have FAMILY!

I've set up this GoFundMe account so that anyone who is able to can make a donation. The program provides an option to donate anonymously, so there's no pressure to reveal what you're able to contribute. You can also mail me a check, if that's easier. The funds will go toward the initial rent, electricity, and basic needs. Another option for helping is by purchasing gift cards or donating any gift cards you may have lying around that you could re-gift. Target and WalMart cards are ideal because they would give the family an opportunity to pick out some of their own clothes and housewares and feel more comfortable in their own skin.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you in advance for helping to give my sister a happy ending to her incredible journey!

-Lois Brodsky

Donations ()

  • Anonymous Anonymous  
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
  • Claire Hussey 
    • $5 
    • 26 mos
  • Christina Soucy 
    • $20 
    • 26 mos
  • Katelyn Gagnon 
    • $15 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 26 mos
See all

Organizer

Lois Brodsky 
Organizer
Bedford, NH
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