Help Katie Live on Her Own

Hello! I’m setting up this GoFundMe account for my twin sister, Katie Fetterolf. She is 34 years hold and is disabled – she has Cerebal Palsy resulting from a birth injury. It’s been quite the journey growing up with her. She had over half a dozen surgeries before we were 10 years old. While I was growing and meeting milestones like any other child, she was waking up every day experiencing challenging obstacles on a daily basis. She gets around in a walker, but doesn’t have much control over the lower portion of her body, however this doesn’t stop her. And although she faces all these challenges, she always has such a strong work ethic and amazing drive in life. I’ve always admired that. She is a true role model to myself and many people. She earned 2 bachelor degrees from Temple University, in addition to a Masters degree. And today she works for the University as a Loan Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Lending Library. She looks at her job as the most rewarding thing to happen in her life, something most people would just take for granted.

She currently lives in a studio apartment at The Edge, an apartment complex in Philadelphia (a couple blocks from her work). She has lived there alone for 5 years now. She walks to work every morning, rain, shine or snow. She is able to live on her own with help from a laundry service, grocery delivery service and a walk-in shower. However, her apartment complex mainly houses Temple students, and being in her thirties, Katie has wanted to move on and look for a place that is more appropriate and suitable for her age - a place she fits into. Unfortunately, It is extremely difficult to find any kind of accessible housing, especially in the city. For Katie to shower/bath on her own, a walk-in shower is essential. She is unable to lift her legs in and outside a tub or even a little ledge. I can’t tell you how rare is to find a walk-in shower/tub free apartment. Between, her, myself and our family we have called all over the Philadelphia area and have found only a couple apartments that have walk-in showers and are either occupied or beyond her financial means.

But the issue here is, for over a year now she has been on a month to month lease. The apartment complex agreed to this last May since it is extremely difficult to find an accessible residence, especially an affordable one. Katie didn’t want to sign another year lease just incase she found a new apartment and had to break the lease. However, two months ago the Edge asked if she would like to renew for a one year lease, unsure of this since her goal is to move out, she said she would get back to them and when she did the apartment complex said her apartment was given away and come August 1st she will not have a place to live. Not only do I feel like the communication for all this was terrible, but this is now causing an enormous amount of stress in Katie’s life.  Every morning she wakes up and stresses over this -- how could she lose the one thing (her apartment t) that allows her the freedom and independence she so needs in her life?

In addition to this, Katie also doesn't get any kind of assistance from the government. She doesn't receive disability because she "makes too much money". But the money she is making isn't enough to afford her an accessible place. So how does that make sense? Wouldn't you think she would still get some sort of assistance? Yes she works, but she is also still disabled AND working which requires extra needs and expenses in itself.

So we currently have found only two options that will allow her to continue to live on her own:

1) An accessible studio apartment in center city...which currently exceeds her budget.

2) An apartment complex that is willing to update the bathroom of a one bedroom apartment to meet accessibility standards, however Katie would have to pay for the permit and the costs of this upgrade.

So in a nutshell, I’ve created this GoFundMe to help raise money for Katie to afford one of these living options but most of all to allow her independence. Her independence and freedom means more to her than anything in the world and a place of her own is necessary to keep that. No one in my life deserves this extra donation more than she does. She works harder and appreciates more than anyone I know. She needs to find an affordable place by the end of July, because come August 1st she will no longer have a place she can call her own. 

Thanks so much for reading this and giving a helping hand even if its just a few bucks. Help Katie keep her independence. 

Donations

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  • Celia Feinstein 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Kim Singleton 
    • $75 
    • 44 mos
  • Timothy Senavitis 
    • $200 
    • 44 mos
  • Kathryn Wahlin Helland 
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
  • Linda & Daniel Whiteley  
    • $61 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer

Kristin Mann 
Organizer
Philadelphia, PA
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