Help Us Escape Neighborhood of Gunshots & Raids

October 4th 2020 at 5:03AM my girlfriend Leysa's car was shot 3 times by stray gunfire. It penetrated the rear driver's side door and broke it's door handle. I heard the shots inside and dove onto the floor, fearing for my life. Just 3 weeks prior on September 10th our neighbor was raided by Muskegon's Drug Task Force. We share a beautiful daughter named Zoe who is 9 years old and deserves so much better than to grow up around this type of violence and stress. Two or three times a week we will hear gunfire and sometimes it's close enough to make us dive to the floor. We're having panic attacks at night and we are afraid to even let Bettie and Birdie (our two cats) sit in the windows to watch the birds and squirrels, let alone let our child play in her yard or be outside much at all. They've completely stolen our peace.

10/04/2020 - 3 Gunshots (2017 Hyundai Sonata)
10/04/2020 - Close-Up of the Door Handle Gunshot Damage (bullet hole)51769868_1602194330132903_r.jpeg
09/10/2020 - Neighbor is raided by the Muskegon Drug Task Force
The longer we live in a gang-infested neighborhood, the more likely something bad is to happen to one of us... This is a bad area, even for Muskegon Heights. We've had everything in this neighborhood from home invasions to robberies to drug overdoses to domestic assaults to murders to gang-bangers shooting at cops, to car burglaries, and now our car has been shot three times. Muskegon used to be the "murder capital" of Michigan for a reason. Leysa already works full-time as a kitchen manager at a nursing home and we're strapped for cash as it is already with rent + her car payment, loan payments she's paying off, and other various debts; so there's no chance to save anything to move. I was a freelance web developer and graphic designer for 15 years but I developed worsening health problems (fibromyalgia, 2 herniated discs, and severe nausea) 3 years ago and lost the ability to work.

Since then, we have been struggling to survive and make ends meet. Being disabled, I have a lawyer fighting my case, and while it looks like a potentially positive outcome, the case won't be resolved for possibly years from now; so needless to say, this is an incredibly dire situation that we come to you in asking for help. I lost my grandparents who raised me in 2008 (Grandma to Cancer) and 2010 (Grandpa to Pneumonia), so I have no family to ask for help unfortunately and Leysa's parents already assist us with child care, car insurance, giving Zoe a place to play that is safe, and other various things throughout the year; so they aren't in a position financially to help us further either. We desperately need help and have nowhere to turn.

Thankfully the car still runs and the door that had the handle shot still works but the insurance company wants a $500 deductible to remove the bullet holes. So not only do we not have enough to get it fixed but we have to stare at our reminder of how violent this place is every time we get into the car. Please help us to do better for us and for our little one, Zoe. We can afford $625 to $725/month for rent and would need a 2 bedroom that is pet-friendly (2 cats). ~30 mile radius around Spring Lake, MI because that's where Zoe's school and Grandparents are located. Thank you so much for your consideration and taking the time to read about my family and our needs. We sincerely appreciate any compassion for our situation.

Fix the Car Damage: $500 (deductible from State Farm Auto Insurance)
First/Last/Deposit to Move: $2100 (~$700  x 3) (up for suggestions where)
Moving Expenses (U-Haul Rental): ~$100 ($40 truck + fuel ~60mi @ $1/mi)
Total: ~$2500

Note: Each cent will go directly to Leysa for use to find a new, safer place.

We can pay some of the costs so even if we just got a little help it would be an immense boost to getting us to a safer neighborhood. We will be completely transparent and share receipts when the funds are spent. We are at your mercy and desperately need help. In a world turned upside-down by the pandemic, wild fires, and civil unrest; it's extremely difficult for me to get passed the shame to ask for help, but I would do anything to help protect my family. So many other people deserve help far more than us but for just this once we are asking you to consider our family.

It would mean everything. It would mean giving myself, Leysa, and Zoe the ability to enjoy a world of peace instead of chaos. A world where our children can play outside, where we don't have to be afraid to sit in our living room at night, where don't have gun violence disrupting the soundtrack of our lives, and it would give us peace of mind that we aren't living in a state of constant danger. All we need is a little push and we can keep it going indefinitely. Any contributions towards our goals, large or small, is sincerely and humbly appreciated.

Will you please help our family?



  • Paul Montgomery 
    • $200 
    • 4 d
  • Paul Montgomery 
    • $100 
    • 12 d
  • Richard Kasinger  
    • $100 
    • 16 d
  • Sandra Beidleman 
    • $50 
    • 16 d


Joe Curendero 
Muskegon, MI
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