This is a fundraiser for Chandan White, a young Black man living in the Twin Cities area. He does not have a place to live as he's not been able to get steady work due to the pandemic. He wants to support his 3-year-old daughter Damiah and needs a little help to get back on his feet.
Monies raised will be used to help Chandan afford an apartment that he has recently qualified for and hopefully purchase a vehicle so he has more employment opportunities available to him.
That's the summary. To understand how Chandan got to where he's at today, keep reading.
A Difficult Start
We need to begin his story when he was little, about 7 years old. He and his little sister lived with their mom and her boyfriend.
“My mom was a victim of abuse,” he explained to me, “Her boyfriend would hit her behind closed doors. My little sister and I could hear what was going on.”
The abuse grew worse and worse — soon they were watching their mother being beaten frequently, no longer behind closed doors. One day, his mother ran from the house with her abuser behind her.
“My mom was beaten in the street in front of our house,” he says, “The neighbors called and the state got involved. My little sister and I were taken away and put in foster care.” He did not see his birth mother again until he left the system at age 17.
Chandan and his little sister stayed with the same family for nearly 10 years. Chandan looked me in the eyes and said, “They should do a better job of vetting families that want to help kids in need.”
His family ensured that their older biological children were taken care of while Chandan and his little sister barely had their basic needs met. Chandan worked part-time jobs and saved up his money, but his family members would find it and steal it.
“I was robbed of everything,” he told me, “It takes a lot for me to trust people now.”
Their adoptive father began beating Chandan’s little sister and she ran away from home. Once she was gone Chandan was the subject of his violence, so he left too at the age of 17. He escaped to a friend’s house and has been staying with various friends and their families for much of the time since.
More Difficulties Pile On
Two other significant events happened that same year, Chandan’s senior year of high school. An incident had occurred at the school and Chandan was accused of being involved. A teacher called him into a room and shut the door to reveal a police officer waiting for Chandan.
“He grabbed me and forced my arms behind my back, threatening to arrest me,” he said, “Now, you and I know that if that man had evidence he would have brought me in. He didn’t have any evidence, he was just trying to get me to say something. I didn’t even know what he was talking about.”
Chandan never set foot in school after that day, leaving midway through his senior year. He never earned his high school diploma.
It was around this same time that his girlfriend informed him that he was going to be a dad. He devoted himself to being a part of his daughter’s life.
“I don’t want my daughter to have the kind of life I had growing up,” he said, “I want her to know love.”
When his daughter was born, Chandan stayed with his girlfriend’s family and cared for his daughter while his girlfriend recovered from a difficult labor. He was there for six weeks, caring for his newborn infant.
“Once you hold your own child in your arms…that is a bond that you cannot break,” he tells me. “I want to spend as much time with her as she can. I want to be there for her.”
His daughter Damiah is now 3, living primarily with her mother, though Chandan is involved and wants to be a part of Damiah’s life.
“She is sassy now, just trying to tell her mama what to do,” he smiles faintly. It is the only time he smiles during our entire conversation.
The Pandemic Brings A New Low
Chandan’s employment opportunities are limited since he does not have transportation and does not have a high school degree. He has been working at a fast-food place when the pandemic began and everything shut down for a time. When the restaurant opened back up, Chandan wasn’t scheduled for as many shifts as he needed to make ends meet.
He had moved in with his biological grandmother, but she became concerned about his bringing home the Covid virus and potentially making her ill. He moved out from his grandmother’s place and began couch-surfing again. He quit the fast-food job and has been spending his time looking for anything else that will give him more employment.
“I’m starting to lose hope,” he says, “I keep hoping and praying to God that things will turn around for me, but I don’t get any breaks.”
This fundraiser is to help Chandan purchase a car so he can be open to more employment opportunities that are farther away from him. He now has enough money for a security deposit for an apartment but will need assistance making the monthly rent until he can find steady work. His dream is to be an entrepreneur, to build something that people need and run his own company. For now, his short-term goal is to get back on his feet. As Chandan puts it, “I’ve got nowhere to go but up.”
Your generous gift to help Chandan during this time will be greatly appreciated by him and his daughter Damiah, who wants to have her daddy in her life.
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