Fixing Little Haven(Sandy Damaged)

- House was damaged in superstorm sandy when I was 15
- We worked to fix it and finally got home after 11 months
- Received a grant to lift house, displaced for a second time
- Lead paint and complications with the grant left us with a half finished house with no help 3 years ago
- Family has worked hard every chance we get to fix the house on our own
- Grant deadline is in 28 days, If we do not finish by the 1st of December, 2017 there will be a lien put on our house and we’ll lose it for good
- We need $30,000 for materials and installation
- any and all help is appreciated!!
- Please help us get home. We have worked so hard for too long so that we can have a home again.

My Story:

My name is Christine Little, and I am 20 years old. In October of 2012, my house was damaged in Superstorm Sandy. I was 15 years old when the storm hit land, and because the storm surge came earlier than expected, my father brother and I were unable to evacuate from our home. That day was filled adrenaline as we ran all of our belongings to the second floor. The night was filled with nothing but wind, darkness, and the sound of waves splashing against the back door. 

(water filling starway to basement)

(The start of the flooding )

(The back yard)

(The flooding progressing )

We only got a few inches in the first floor which was about 4 feet above ground, but it was enough to displace us. Like many other people, we received little to no aid in the process of fixing our home, and after 11 months of hard work and displacement, we were able to fix it ourselves and move back in. 

It would be an understatement to say that 16 year old me was excited to finally have a home again. I had no idea how to handle the trauma I had endured, and ended up developing anorexia nervosa in the time we were displaced. Once home, I felt a relief from the disorder and began my journey to self love.
(17th birthday at home!)

A little over a year later, however, my parents informed me that we had received a grant to lift our home. All I heard was that I would be losing my home for the second time. This is when the PTSD set in, and I began to experience my first flash backs. Due to lead paint and complications with the grant, we were left with a gutted house in the air and little to no help to fix it. 

Since the winter of 2014, my father has been working incessantly to fix our house by the deadline specified by the grant, while the rest of my family and I have helped whenever we can. The above mentioned deadline is December 1st, 2017. That is 28 days from when I am writing this. If we do not finish our home, after all of the hard work, blood, and sweat we have invested into it, the grant company will put a lein on our property. 

As of now, the plumbing, electric, and gas lines are finished. We need to: 

-build a deck on the back of the house

-finish the siding on the back of the house

-purchase and Install insulation

-purchase and Install drywall

-purchase and install all appliances: toilets, sinks,  showers, baths, refrigerator, oven/stove, microwave, dishwasher, ect. 

-Instal and purchase molding for around the windows, doors, and lining the ceilings and floors

The estimated cost of the materials and some installation is about $30,000.

It has been 5 years that my family and I have been struggling with this. That is a quarter of my life.

A quarter of my life has been spent living out of my car, or at a friends house, or hopping couch to couch. A quarter of my life I have struggled with anorexia(mostly recovered) and PTSD(Still developing). A quarter of my life I have had vivid flashbacks of a time I can not access and a place that no longer exists. I have had flashbacks to the night of and the weeks following. I have opened a container of coffee grinds, smelt it, and thought I was home. I have felt the autumn air hit my skin every October only to be reminded of all that was and to be filled with hope of what will and should be. I have watched my parents sacrifice so much to try to get our home back to living condition. I have watched them work endlessly as the odds stack against them. I have watched them struggle as every penny they make goes towards material, and as I sit there: another expense that they have to balance. I have watched my father get up for work in the morning, come back to town, eat dinner, and work on the house until the late hours of the night, just to get back up for work in the morning and do it again. 

We have invested too much time and effort and love into this house to lose it. We have put so much hope into having a place to call home again. Into having a dresser for our clothes, or a room for our things, or a shower we can actually leave our shampoo in. Even a sink to put our toothbrush next to, or a kitchen to cook pancakes in on a Saturday morning. I want so badly to help my parents. They have worked so hard in their life, and have done so much for me. They deserve to have the home that they have worked so hard for. 

Please, we have 28 days to finish our house. Every penny counts. If you have no money to give, that is completely understandable. A share or a volunteer to help with insulation and drywall is just as valuable as money for materials. This is our last resort. So many times I have laid in my car and closed my eyes and envisioned what it would be like to be home again. I cannot bare the though of losing the one thing that has given us hope through this whole mess: the felling of finally going home. Please donate if you can, whether it be your spare change or your time. If you can not do either of those things, please share this with everyone you know. This is our last hope to go home.
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Christine Madeline Little 
Highlands, NJ
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