Hello, my name is Erin Harris, and I have created this GoFundMe for my very good friend Jen and her 3 month old baby, Lucy. On August 19th, Jen courageously decided to leave her abusive boyfriend, Lucy's father. While no mother wants to take a child away from their father, Jen realized that, after being verbally threatened, her life was actually in danger. For her safety, as well as Lucy's, she initially went to a woman's shelter and has since been bouncing between hotels and friend's homes; Lucy even having to sleep in a suit case one night because Jen could not bring the crib in her initial departure.
Jen, a California native, moved to Chicago 6 years ago. She is currently in the suburbs of Chicago, where she moved to live with her now ex-boyfriend almost a year ago. All of her social support - close friends and family - live in Southern California. While she cannot immediately leave due to court hearings and current laws, which require her to stay within 25 miles of Lucy's father, her hope is to eventually gain full custody of Lucy. While currently in a home for displaced women and children, Jen is now focused on hiring a lawyer to gain custody.
Why She Needs Funds:
- As an adjunct instructor at a local university, Jen did not receive any maternity leave or pay, so her savings are depleting quickly.
- While her plan has been to go back to teaching in the fall term, Lucy has refused to be fed from the bottle (a possible side effect of the stressful atmosphere she was in), so Jen was unable to work at this time.
- Lucy's father, who claims to want full custody, only agreed to an initial $250 a month in child support.
- She needs a lawyer to help her navigate this complicated legal situation and is fearful that without strong representation, she will have to share custody with the man who threatened to assault her.
- Her family wants to support her, but is not in the financial situation to cover all the expenses associated with this.
What Funds Will Be Used For:
Lawyer's fees for:
- Custody (i.e., allocation of parenting time and responsibility)
- Relocation in Illinois (fighting to not be forced to reside within 25 miles of Lucy’s father’s residence)
We are asking for a $10 donation, and if you can contribute more, that would be amazing.
The sooner she gets the funds, the sooner she can put a retainer down for the lawyer who will take her case, which is $2,500 with a $325/hr fee after that.
And if you are unable to donate at this time, please do share this campaign on your social media accounts. The more people who see this, the more likely we are to get the funding she so desperately needs.
Thank you in advance for your contributions. We will keep you posted about her situation, where your funds have gone specifically, and the ultimate outcome of this campaign. And if you donate, Jen will personally write you a thank you note as a small token of her gratitude for your assistance during this trying time.
A Final Note For Friends in the Chicago Area:
To protect her privacy and location, Jen asks that you please share this campaign directly with others via email or text message rather than social media. Thank you!
- Huimin Liu
- Pamela Holcomb
- Jerry Mikutis
Organizer and beneficiary
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