This is Cedric. He stands on a corner near my home most mornings. He waves, he tips his hat, he smiles and greets every person that passes by the busy boulevard. His gentle kindness and the sparkle in his eye are infectious.
I've been getting to know Cedric over the past few months. He lives in a motel a few blocks away with his wife, two daughters, son-in-law and 3 grandbabies, with a 4th arriving any minute. He has had two strokes, he has degenerative bone disease and diabetes. His wife was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and it just took a very devastating turn. Her illnesses have taken her out of the work force. He is a war veteran, a motivational speaker and a family man. He is absolutely committed to keeping his family together.
His younger daughter graduated from high school this spring and is currently studying to be a nurse. She is bright and motivated and eager to enter the workforce. His older daughter is on bedrest, about to deliver her 4th child, but has a job waiting when she is ready to go back to work. His son in law just returned to work after a back injury this summer. He works seasonally for a private company here in Denver, supporting his (almost) 4 children.
Cedric never complains, he just tells his stories (only because I have asked) with a caveat of hope-he knows something will change for him. He is always a beacon of joy in our community, but he truly is in a tough spot and needs some help.
Cedric has not been able to find employment for some time because of his disability. He is in constant pain. What started as a temporary situation has turned into 2 years at the motel. He and his family have tried to find more permenant housing when able to save a chunk of money, but no one will take a chance on him with no steady income and a physical disability. His bone disease has had him in the the hospital at least twice this summer, each time setting him back.
They pay nightly for the motel-way more than a monthly rent might cost per night-but he cannot leave until he can truly get ahead. I have been over there. He is making it work for his family, the owners are very kind, but it is no place to raise a family. He tells me about drugs being dealt outside his window at night, violence at night, among other things. He takes such great care of his family, but the position they are in only allows them to focus on the every day-food, the children's needs, the impending birth of his 4th grandchild. He is so dedicated to all of them, that is why he spends his mornings on our neighborhood corner.
Cedric could use a big hand up. He gets a small veteran's benefit each month, but it is not nearly enough to provide a home. The generosity of strangers that pass by certainly does help, but it isn't enough to make the big changes. He is so grateful, he calls them 'all these beautiful angels out here'. He is a good man with a good family whose real desire is to give back to the community. He already does.
This is why I am starting this fund. My hope is to put Cedric and his family into a real home. I have calculated the cost based on my research of a year of rent (with deposit) for a modest three bedroom house, condo, or apartment in the Denver metro area. The hope is that a landlord would not turn him down if he had his entire year's rent covered. I know it is a big sum and a lofty goal, but if you understood the heart of this man like I have had the privilege to, he is deserving of a chance to change his and his family's legacy. A year would give him the chance to take a breath, get the hip replacement he needs and get on his feet again. He is confident that after a year he and his children would be able to take over and provide for his family and start real movement forward.
My hope is to find a place for Cedric before the holidays. Any amount toward changing this family's story is so very much appreciated. Thank you.