There are two kids at our elementary school who are living in an emergency homeless shelter in Tustin....they are in 2nd grade and 4th grade. These are good kids, beautiful kids, who happen to be best friends with my kids. They have captured my heart. Despite their current situation, they are well behaved, full of joy and smiles, and so resilient.
Their parents have fallen on hard times. The dad is an insulin dependent diabetic who cannot work. The mom is trying her best to take care of her husband and her children, but she lost her job in medical billing trying to juggle caring for her family and providing income for them. They were evicted from their home in our neighborhood and since October have been living in a crappy hotel in Tustin....but the money ran out. Now they have been transitioned to an emergency shelter.
They are trying to fight their way out despite horrendous odds. They have no vehicle and very little financial support from the government. I know the kids scrounge food from their school lunches (paid by the school district) to bring to their siblings and parents.
These are good people, good parents...who have had all the cards lined up against them. This mother is fighting with everything she's got to care for her family. She's researched and exhausted all local resources that can help. The wait list for low income housing is 5 years. The local long-term homeless shelter will not accept families with children over the age of 12 (they have a 13 and 14 year old). The one lead on a homeless non-profit organization's apartment fell through because they don't have space. The family was assigned a case manager who then told the family they don't work with families larger than 7....they have 8 in their family...6 kids and 2 adults. How does one turn away helping 6 children under age 14?
How can we help this family, please....can we come together as a community and help one of our own?
I've spoken with the mom extensively and come up with a list of their immediate needs:
#1 on their list is obviously housing and transportation. That is where this Go Fund Me comes in. Hopefully we can raise funds to get them an apartment, motor home or some sort of stable housing.
#2 Uber gift cards. The family is not permitted to leave the shelter on foot, and they have no other transportation. Uber gift cards would allow them to leave the shelter to get supplies and will be especially helpful next week on Spring Break while the kids are out of school.
#3 Volunteer drivers to doctor appointments. The father is an insulin dependent diabetic. However, the government requires extensive documentation from physicians to grant him disability benefits. They can't get the documentation they need because they can't routinely get him to doctor appointments without transportation. Anyone willing to volunteer to drive to doctor appointments, I can put you in direct contact with the family to coordinate a schedule.
Some other info:
While they are at the emergency shelter, they are not able to bring in any food or have anything delivered. Once we get them into a more stable housing situation, I would like to set up a meal train and have anyone interested bring them a hot meal.
Also while at the shelter, they do not have a lot of space for donated items. They do have a storage facility with their other belongings, which is generously being paid for by a wonderful donor through April 9.
Any help you are willing to provide this family would be greatly appreciated and welcomed. Please contact me directly, and I can put you in touch with the parents if you want to reach out to them personally. They are extremely happy and relieved that so many people want to help them.
Thank you all for helping...
Cameron, age 14
Nicholas, age 13
Damien, age 11
Chase, age 9
Alyssa, age 8
Kinsley, age 3
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