“I know where to get free acupuncture, yoga, meditation sessions, a haircut… What I need is a place for my kids, my husband, and me to sleep I tonight.”
LaShondra and her family were evicted from their home of 4+ years on April 3rd. They fought the eviction in court and lost.
Since then, they have done everything “right”: They have a caseworker and are on the waitlist for housing at Compass Family Services. They applied to Raphael House for housing. They have a small amount of financial support from CalWorks. They are connected to the kids’ school social worker, who has very kindly said something to the effect of, “Do your best. Good luck.” They’ve call the emergency family shelters each day to get a spot for the night. (These shelters run day by day. If you are in one day, there is zero guarantee that you are in the next. Six spots are hard to come by.) Mercy Housing provides long-term housing support and has a years-long wait list. She has churned through all of the resource options out there.
They stayed the night of Mother's Day in Denny’s.
And they don’t have a place to sleep tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. Let alone the space to create a medium-term plan or a longer-term solution.
Each day, LaShondra (36) and 3 of her children (11, 12, 14) panhandle to raise enough for a hotel room while her husband (40) works. (Her oldest, 15, goes to work with him and works the phones in the morning trying to secure an emergency shelter spot.) The school know the kids have been out of school for a month and a half - they know that she needs them for the panhandling to be effective.
LaShondra is a strong, smart mamma. She’s keeping it together. She is your neighbor. The mom of your kids’ friends. She is without a savings account, other assets, or an extended family with resources.
And she needs help to get out of the day-by-day panhandling to hotel loop.
What LaShondra needs right now:
-- A place for her family of six to stay for a week. so that she can do another lap of the social service circuit, *meet* her caseworker at Compass Family Services, confirm her spot on waitlists, go to Project Homeless Connect to ask them to sponsor a HandUp fundraising page for her, etc.
-- Some specific clothing items and shoes for her growing kids. Old Navy gift cards would be most helpful here.
What LaShondra needs medium-term:
-- A place to stay through the summer. So that LaShondra and her husband can suss out and begin to implement a long-term solution.
-- A job, once housing is lined up. LaShondra is college educated and very much wants to work - and she needs a roof over her kids’ heads as a piece of this puzzle.
I don’t know yet. What does it take to stop one family - this family - from spiraling into poverty?
Would you consider skipping a coffee today and sending in $5? Or, skipping the organic berries at the market and sending $10? Consider finding a little thing to skip and channel the funds to getting a roof over LaShondra’s family. If you can do more, please do.
If you would rather contribute an Old Navy gift card, please message me.
If you have any leads on an “in” for housing: a short-term sublet, a discounted airbnb, or a discounted motel room, please also message me.
If you have any connections at any of the relevant nonprofits and city agencies; Jane Kim or other local officials that may take an interest; media outlets (she has reached out to KOIT and KTVU with no luck); or any other leads, please message me.