Family Home is Now Sold

For a little over a year now, Claudia Ivey and her family have been suffering from one misfortune to another.  Starting in Fall 2013, her oldest daughter was hurt in the ocean by a large wave, breaking her neck, teeth, and nose.  It was shortly followed up by her dear aunt going to the hospital for an injury, only to find a tumor. Then David, Claudia’s husband, suffered a debilitating heart attack that was followed by a triple bypass surgery.  The end of 2013 set up Claudia and her family for one of the worst years of her life, as 2014 did not get easier for the family.  

Claudia has spent her life helping others.  As her youngest daughter, I have witnessed some of the nicest things come from my mother.  A local family with seven children relied on my mom to help them go to doctor appointments, attend school, go to the store for food and clothes, and so much more including handling their funds to help them situated for their life together.  Other families in the area knew they could come to her as well, including many of our friends.  

Claudia’s taken in people to live at our house in times of need, including one friend who was so bad off that she was almost put into a group home.  My mother was able to get her help with medical to the point that a year after she moved into our house, she was given keys to her own home and was able to live and function on her own.  Claudia worked at group homes before helping people daily until she lost her job due to her own medical disability, multiple sclerosis.   She has one of the kindest hearts, and has even helped strangers who she could tell was in need.  Now she needs help, and we’re alone.

In the beginning of 2014, Claudia’s aunt, Esther, passed away from cancer.  This left Claudia with two homes.  While we have wanted to keep the house that we’re in, the family home for multiple generations, the payments on the house were higher than my dad could really afford with his job.  Though giving up the house would put my sister and I out on the street.  While both of us are working to get our own place, my sister is recovering from a broken neck and I was hit with a bad electric shock in 2004 getting severe nerve damage, leaving me permanently disabled with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.

Through the year, we have been trying to make things right.  Working on trying to find a home for my sister and I, while my mom and dad have looked to moving into a much smaller location.  A new problem arrived, as a cough hit both my mom and dad that started not long after moving in to take care of Claudia’s aunt. This cough is so bad that it will not go away, keeping them awake at night, and the doctors going in circles on what could be causing this severe cough.  

My dad has returned to work, but his health has not returned since the surgery. He is weak and may not be able to continue working much longer before his retirement can kick in.  My mother’s health is worse than it ever has been, and her knees are so bad that she’s looking at knee replacement.

In August, the Michigan Flood happened, causing us to lose so much in our family home. The basement was completely flooded.  There were 5 curb loads of trash and 3 weeks of non-stop cleaning for me to help my parents.  We lost a lot of family photos, home movies and furniture during this flood.  Mold set into our basement tile floor, you can smell it throughout the house.  While FEMA  helped with furnace, water heater and sump pump and we had a few crews volunteer to help clean our basement, no one would pull up the bad tiles which the mold is trapped under.  

The house that we’re losing was bought brand new on May 18th, 1948 by Claudia’s mother and father, she was born in 1950.  She grew up there, with her brother.  While growing up, I would visit that house often as I was very close to my grandparents.  We lost my Grandpa in 1996 and my Grandma in 2003.  My mother moved back to her folks house in late 2002 to take care of her mother.  I moved in 2003, as we started to build an addition onto the back of the house so we could all be there for my grandmother.  In 2010, my brother moved into the house with his wife and three children.   He has since moved to another state to be closer to his wife’s family.  Our house has had four generations of our family living within it.  In all reality, we do not want to lose this house.  

David has worked for years at a factory and has done many side jobs.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s he was the Art Director for a Horror Host TV show called “The Ghoul Show” and in recent years he worked on “Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive In”.   Both of these series were not paying jobs, as he did the work for experience and passion.  He’s also worked on building props for haunted houses and has made costumes for many years.  His work has entertained and touched the life of many.

David is due to retire soon, though the house payments remain too high for him.  His health has us worried, as he needs rest and deserves the chance to retire, which is the only reason they are looking to move into this senior park that Aunt Esther lived in.  The idea of losing the family home has been a big depression upon my mother, though we have not seen any answer that could save us.  As we backed ourselves into a bad corner in 2003.

The addition to the back of the house cost a lot, and the company that was doing it never finished the job.   We had to get rid of our old house at that time, and so my dad wanted it to look nice for the new owners and spent a lot to fix it up with new floors, furnace and so much more.  We still owed on the house, but thought that it would sell well.  When he finished fixing up the house, the market crashed and we lost money on the sale instead of being able to pay it off.  It ended up adding to the money we still owed to our current mortgage on the family home.  

Claudia has been trying hard to find a way to save the family home.  Making payments on the house every month and rent at the new place.  Though money has ran out, and this January 2015 is the first time that we do not have the money to make the house payment.  I have been watching my mom break all year long, and want nothing more for my folks than to be able to live in the home they want without being weighed down by stress.  Their health is already taking a toll on us all, and with how much good they have done for those around, I hope that there can be a time where money problems could disappear.

With the money raised here we will put it towards helping Claudia and David.  What I would really love is to save the family home, which is what the goal is set at.  Though if we can’t raise enough for that, we will pay for movers to help us get the stuff out of the house and into storage.  We need the movers, since my mother, father and I are handicapped and have barely made a dent on getting stuff out of the house, with all the hours we’ve spent there.   And put advance payments on the storage, so that it can help take some stress off till the house is no longer with us.   If we raise over the goal amount, it will go towards fixing up the family home for them, such as finishing the addition which has sat undone for over 11 years.

I am reaching out asking for help for my mother and father.  Hoping that together we can make my mom’s dream of keeping the family home come true.  

Thanks in advance for anyone decides to help!


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Michele Ivey 
Ferndale, MI
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