There's No Place Like HOME

Hello! My name is Tarra Neff.  I am a single mom to Ira, age 15, and Hannah, age 12. Following a near-death accident/spiritual crisis/emergence on a mountain in Oregon a few years ago, we relocated to New England to be closer to family.

I’m writing for your help. After a lengthy process, I’m FINALLY on the verge of buying a beautiful home for my children and I. We have worked tirelessly for the last 12 months to get to this point and now the countdown is here; we are mere weeks away from our closing date, we couldn't be more excited!

The significance of our home ownership is tied up in our story, which is a long one. In fact, I am currently writing a book about it. It's that long!

Here’s part of it:

Before my accident, a more serious and terrifying tragic event happened to our family.  While I need to protect the privacy of family members, I can say that it isn’t the kind of incident that one can ever easily recover from.  By the time I was lost and stuck on that mountain, I was so scared that I had barely slept or eaten for 9 days.   It was February, 19 degrees, and my truck got stuck when I took the wrong road down a mountain I had never been up before.  I just barely survived walking down that mountain. I was seriously injured, delirious, frozen, and terrified. Somehow, I came off that mountain and found myself in a mental institution. There, I never received medical attention, although I was suffering extensive hypothermia, frostbite, and from a deep gash in my leg. Instead, I was beaten, drugged and sedated.  Mis-diagnosed after 10 days, they released me, and I fell into a deep depression.  

Desperate for a fresh start, we relocated to Northampton, Massachusetts and lived with my mom until we moved into our own half of a duplex.  I got a job, and got myself and my kids into counseling. We worked hard to fit in with our surrounding community, becoming active members of the wonderful UCC Haydenville Congregational Church. We made friends, my son played little league and my daughter danced Ballet.  I started to feel better and my kids thrived. 

Then, about a year ago, I learned that my landlord and next door neighbor was a known predator and pedophile. It wasn’t just triggering to feel unsafe again. My kids are 12 and 15 and keeping them safe as a single mom had been hard enough. It broke my heart to realize that we needed to move again.  The question of how to afford it loomed…

I did some research and learned about a program in Vermont that would allow me to turn my section 8 voucher into a portion of a mortgage that I could get through the USDA.  I signed up, paid the $100, took a required home-ownership class, and then realized I had to pay off my racked up credit card debt before I'd be ready.  For the following year, I worked hard to finally pay everything off.  I set up my appointment with Neighborworks’ financial advisor, the next required step after uploading what felt like 50 million documents online, and finally found myself eligible for homeownership! 

It's been a tiring, confusing, and emotional process, needing to satisfy 3 different governmental agencies’ rules and regulations*. When we found our home, our “perfect for our little family” home, it all became worth it! Now we are just about ready, but we need your help to make it to the finish line.

My  son was thankfully permitted to start at his new High school before we moved. However the hour-plus of driving there and back(sometimes twice a day when I work) has taken it's  toll on my car’s tires and my gas budget. It's been completely worth it, Ira is thriving at school and making friends!

As our closing date quickly approaches, it's clear that we are coming up short for the closing costs, moving expenses, new car tires, a cord or 2 of firewood, and other costs associated with moving/wintering in Vermont. It all adds up!

I’m a hard worker and clearly, I have a vision. My kids are fabulous humans and I’m proud to say that they are now thriving. But it’s quite a bit of work to keep us all in a good place, because we carry the scars of our experiences.

I’m asking your help to get us into our new home. Owning a home, in beautiful Vermont, is within our grasp!  This new home will be our forever home.  I am almost 40, and am more than ready to settle down.  This new home I will be able to leave for my children and grandchildren.  It will give me a chance to pass on a gift of great value and pride. Owning our own small humble piece of property on this great Mother Earth, is our chance to give back, curb our carbon footprint, rejoice in community, and heal our collective wounds in the process; what a blessing this is!

It’s hard for me to ask anyone for anything. But as I look at my life, I see how much I give- to help women and children get to safety, to enrich the lives of my elderly clients, to raise children who are open and honest with me. So I’m trying this out!  For anyone who donates $50 or more, I will give a first copy of my new book.  It's coming out nicely, and it's one of my main focuses these days.  It helps me to process the years of debilitating long term pain and trauma associated with hypothermia and frostbite, and takes a dive into the complicated and stigmatized world of mental health.  My spiritual life has grown exponentially. That night on the mountain was both the scariest and most incredible night of my life.  My healing process has been long and successful, and continuing it requires a real, permanent home, without a child molester sharing a driveway with us.

Your donation to help towards the costs of closing on our new home and moving, would be a gift from your heart to ours. A home where my son can work on his woodworking projects and roam our land.  Where my daughter can do her painting and play with her puppy.  Where I can take a bath and plant my morning glories.  Where my children can go to school and me to work, and where we can all make lasting friendships and give back to the community.

Your help will help us for generations to come.  And I'd be more than happy to show anyone the home if they live in the area and they want to see  it.  

I love you all.  Thank you.  God and Goddess Bless


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Tarra Neff 
Westhampton, MA
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