New Home for Wyatt the Warrior-SCS

The Optimist Club of St Clair Shores recognized Wyatt's mother, Erica Hammel, as a Champion for Children in 2016 for her efforts to pass a bill called Wyatt's Law: a statewide, on-line, searchable child-abuse registry of convicted child abusers.

Erica became aware of the need for this registry when her baby son, Wyatt, was abused by her ex-husband's girlfriend.

Wyatt struggles daily both physically and emotionally after being severely shaken at the age of 1 by his father's girlfriend, a twice-convicted child abuser!  Erica is a devoted single mother who works tirelessly to care for Wyatt.

Last September (2017) Fox 2 News published a story about Erica, Wyatt and their house.  A house that continued to give daily reminders of Erica's ex-husband due to the unfinished renovation project he started four years earlier.      

Maureen Wark met Erica and Wyatt for the first time at their house last fall after a contractor had tried fixing what her ex-husband had done so many years prior, but also left with the project unfinished.  She and her husband brought an electrician with them to determine what needed to be done to finish the project.  This is Maureen's story about why she wanted to help make a healthy home for Wyatt and his mom.

"When I walked into the dining room and kitchen, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of suffocation.  I could feel her ex-husband still in control of Erica's life, by the ripped up ceiling, missing electrical outlets and limited lighting.  I could not imagine how Erica could live there day after day, with appliances plugged in to extension cords, very little lighting, holes in the ceiling and walls.  If I were Erica, I would feel hopeless.  Looking around at the torn up ceiling and walls, she must be constantly reminded of her ex-husband, and then about how his girlfriend abused their 1-year old child and left him with life-long cognitive and physical impairments.

The lighting was so bad, I don't know how Wyatt, who is still blind in one eye, could safely play in that area of the house.

The only way I could think of for Erica and Wyatt to move forward and start healing would be to tear down that house filled with reminders of her ex-husband, and having him no longer be able to haunt them or control their lives.  That house was like a weight bearing down on Erica.

I could not stop thinking about Erica and Wyatt after we left them that day.  As a mother and a wife, I felt so angered that a man who allegedly loved them, caused Erica and Wyatt to live under those conditions.  (The renovation started while the couple was married)

Wyatt and Erica need a fresh start.  The tragedy they both endure could have been prevented, and Erica is working every day to have Wyatt's Law passed so others do not suffer at the hands of a convicted child abuser."

Now the Optimist Club of St Clair Shores is on a mission to rebuild Wyatt and Erica's house so they can start living in a home that is safe and sturdy, and stop being victims of Erica's ex-husband's partial renovation that left their house in a state of disrepair for the past 4 1/2 years.

Please find room in your heart for Wyatt and Erica, and consider a donation of any size.  Together we can help them have a brighter future.  Your donation will be deposited into the Optimist Club of St Clair Shores' bank account and the funds will be used to pay for expenses associated with the construction and to purchase appliances, furnishings and other items to give Wyatt and Erica a fresh start in their new home.

Wyatt's Law passed the State senate panel this year:

Thank you!
  • John&Nancy Stoyka 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
    • $3,000 
    • 43 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 43 mos
  • Carrie Vanneste 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
  • Candice Rusie 
    • $15 
    • 45 mos
See all


Maureen McGovern Antushevich Wark 
Saint Clair Shores, MI

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