Vince & Kam's Housing Emergency

************************************************UPDATE*********************************************************

My sincere apologies.  Things have been moving so quickly,I realized I have not given everyone an update of our situation.

I moved in with a neighbor.  Her Mother and my Mother worked together for decades as social workers with Public Aid.  Shortly after we moved out, my brother was rushed to the ER with some serious health issues.  Those issues landed him in the hospital for a week and he has been in a nursing home since.

We both qualify for disability housing.  There are over 41,000 people on the wait list for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).  Currently, we will not be eligible for an interview for 10 years.  So, we are looking at other options.  It is difficult because he has quite a few mobility issues.  So we need an apartment that is handicapped accessible.

I've also been looking for employment which has been difficult for a few reasons.  I have not worked since 2008 and that's a long gap to explain.   Also, an employer does not want to hear that you are in remission from liver cancer.  All they can envision is time off work for health related issues.  So, I continue the job search...

So as we continue to navigate this season, we are still in need of funds to move into an apartment until I can find employment.  During this giving season, we are hoping you can find it in your heart to give a little more.  Please keep us in your prayers as this holiday season approaches.  I pray for health and prosperity for each of you and your families.   God Bless You and Thank You...

Vince & Kam




Friends,

I come to you with a humble heart asking for help.  Last Monday, we lost our home of 56 years and my brother & I have been given 45 days to move.  Neither of us knew this was coming, and we don’t have the money to move.  If you’re wondering how this happened to us, I need to share our story and it all started a decade ago.

In 2009, I started experiencing pain, swelling and stiffness in both hands and wrists.  This wasn’t new since I’ve had arthritis since I was 10 and it has spread to almost every joint in my body.  However, the situation got worse.  On my 50th birthday, as my Mother helped dressed me, I went to the Doctor to find out why this was happening.  Two months later in February of 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 liver cancer.  I was extremely sick and without health insurance.  I had been laid off from my job two years before, right before the economy
tanked.  That was the 3rd layoff in 10 years.  For this reason, I moved back home to Chicago.

After surgery, I stayed in the hospital and rehab for 6 weeks.  Still without the use of my hands, wrists and now shoulders, I had to learn how to do basic skills a different way.  I continued outpatient rehab for 8 months.  The day I was able to touch my thumb to my fore finger on my left hand, I screamed like a baby... it meant mobility.

Fast forward to March 2012.  My brother asked me to take him to 
the ER.  I didn’t even ask what was wrong.  I threw on some clothes and off we went at 10 am.  He wasn’t seen until 10 pm.  We were both scared and didn’t say a word.

He had emergency surgery the next day.  After 4 surgeries and 4 years in a nursing home, he came home in 2016.  While he was in the nursing home, our family’s situation continued to decline. My mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2012 and passed away in 2013.

My brother and I were struggling to live on social security and disability, an amount that barely kept us afloat and prevented us from paying property taxes and making needed repairs to our home.

My brother fell ill again one month after being home in 2016 resulting in another stint in a nursing home.  While there, he fell twice.  They found severe arthritis in his neck that was suppressing his spinal cord and he had a blood clot in his brain.  He underwent a six hour brain surgery and had a seizure once he got to the neurology ICU.

I never would have imaged 10 years ago that I’d develop liver cancer, my brother would have brain 
surgery, my Mother would pass away and we’d lose it all.  We were just like you — working, paying our own way and carefree.

Today, I’ve already put some things in motion so that we can vacate in 45 days.  However, my disability check and my brother’s SSI check didn’t allow us any savings and we need help to pack, move, provide a
security deposit and purchase an inexpensive car to help us manage  our basic needs, like grocery shopping and doctor appointments, that are even more difficult when you’re wheelchair bound.

I’m humbly asking for your help.  If you could please find it in your heart and pocketbook to assist us, we will be forever grateful.

Thank you,

Kamala D. Lee
Vincent O. Lee
  • Steven Wolfe 
    • $20 
    • 24 mos
  • Beverly Waddell-Jiggetts 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Sheila Solomon 
    • $100 
    • 30 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
  • Sandra Crews 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer

Kamala D Lee 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
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