Widowed Mom and Daughter need help

Long story made short: we have lost our home, our dog, all our possessions, and my income, as well as been awfully sick with the virus, broken my nose, and discovered that we are under-insured; all in less than three months.Many people have said, “If you need anything, let me know.”  When you have literally nothing but each other, where do you begin to identify needs? We have struggled mightily, believing that we would figure it out.  Now, at the recommendation of several who have insight to what we are facing, I am asking for help that we desperately need.  Here is our incredibly unlucky story:

Around 0300 on 25Mar2020 (my daughter, Jamie’s, 21st birthday), an explosion occurred in our home.  The explosion broke propane lines, which fueled a terrible fire that completely engulfed our home in less than 5 minutes.  Four fire departments could only contain the fire, not extinguish it.  By morning light, our home and everything within it was turned to a smelly, smoldering pile of ash and twisted metal.  We escaped with our lives, except for Jamie’s beloved 9 yr old blue heeler, Maiya.  We intensely mourn Maiya’s loss. Our abject failure to free her from that inferno haunts us, as do her cries for help from within.  Since COVID19 shutdowns had just begun, we were unable to get rooms in a hotel or obtain mobile housing but finally arranged for an oilfield trailer (with total blackout rooms) to be set up on our property.  This will be our home until we run out of temporary housing insurance or have permanent housing again.  Meanwhile, insurance said it may take two years to rebuild from this, all the while living in this dark, tiny, oilfield trailer.

Within days of having the oilfield trailer, I became terribly ill with “a respiratory virus” and was then isolated in a blackout bedroom for the better part of three weeks to overcome and prevent its spreading.  Jamie - already dealing with PTSD from surviving the explosion and fire, losing everything she had ever known, and witnessing the horrific death of her dog - was now also attending to her dreadfully sick mom and facing the thought of becoming an orphan while still homeless.  She did so completely alone but for her boyfriend because everyone was terrified of “catching the virus”.  An incredibly courageous young lady. While I was recovering and organizing our few new possessions, a cordless drill with battery fell from overhead. I caught it between the eyes and broke my nose. The saga continues…

Within days of the fire, my job was cut back to 8 hours per week because of COVID19. I have worked exactly one day since 24Mar2020 because I was first exposed, then sick, and now have a residual cough that disallows me from returning.  Unemployment is not available because of a glitch with IRS paperwork (which cannot be resolved since IRS is working under COVID19 restrictions).  County assistance is unavailable to us because insurance money (to pay invoices for temporary living arrangements and replace our melted car) has processed through my bank account.  In addition to our normal bills, we now have emergency room bills.  Minimal VA disability pay has been our only income since March.  

Because of the extreme devastation from this propane-fueled fire, our utilities were also ruined.  The well pump shorted out and had to be replaced.  The septic was clogged with debris that washed through before clogging the pipes so the tank had to be pumped and temporary sewage lines dug/replaced. New lines for electricity and water, also run for temporary use, will need to be dug and replaced yet again for our permanent home, along with new sewage and propane lines (from an underground tank).  The basement walls were destroyed; they required demolition and disposal.  These expenses were never considered when determining necessary home insurance. 

Additionally, our county took 12.5% of our housing replacement insurance money before any was sent to us, a practice the insurance said is highly unusual but totally legal.  With this deduction, the mandated payoff of our destroyed home, and the additional unexpected expenses, although we thought we were well insured, insurance is not enough to replace our home and basic possessions.  Without income, I cannot get a new loan.  This combination of many events has left us in a severely dire financial situation.   
 
We have dealt with many large trials in life, so much so that people have often said they were glad they were not us.  This one, however, is beginning to seem insurmountable.  After recommending a gofundme, Jamie’s professor friend replied to our resistance by stating, “This is not charity, it’s community.”  We are exhausted by lack of sleep and nightmares. We are frazzled by our circumstances and inability to overcome.  We are humbled by the willingness of those who can help, offering to do so.  If you contribute, please know that we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to rebuild our lives with your help.

Donations

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    • $40 
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    • $50 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 15 d
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    • $50 
    • 18 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 18 d
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Organizer

Laura Brown 
Organizer
Lisbon, OH
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