Hi! My name is Dannielle and I am currently a full-time student at Harold Washington College in Chicago. I am pursuing an associate in arts and then a bachelors in music when I transfer (hopefully). My biggest goal is to make it in the music industry so that I can support myself, my family, and also give back to those that have helped me and those just like me.
About three years ago before I came to Chicago, I was homeless with my Mom and my four siblings. Sometimes we stayed in hotels if we could, other times it was in our minivan parked in front of her storage unit. It was rough because my siblings (except for the youngest) have Autism ranging from moderate to severe, and they need constant attention and supervision because of their special needs. Most days consisted of repeated bathroom trips because they can’t efficiently say that they need to pee. Because of our sometimes constant stays in the van, my siblings began to regress and lose most of the skills they had learned living in a normal environment. Very stressful for us, but for my mom especially.
My mom has Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) and heart failure (She was born with heart disease). About five months ago she was told that she needed to be on the heart transplant list because her heart is beginning to give up on her.
Going back to shortly before I moved to Chicago, I was around 20 years old. My mom and I have never really had a good relationship. I don’t know how to describe it other than being stressed out. I was abused from the time I was in kindergarten till I moved out and while I can’t exactly say that I am healed (I need a lot of work), I can say that I understand why my mom was always so angry and sad. She didn’t have a support system and the people that would sometimes help always judged her and blamed her for things that were never her fault. I didn’t make it any easier, although I tried.
About six months before I came to Chicago, because of us (my mom and I) clashing heads, my siblings were put into foster care for two years before they were returned to her and as ironic as it may sound, my mom was able to get an apartment (signed for by my stepfather) and a job while my siblings were in the custody of the state. And soon enough, after my siblings were released and the case closed, my stepfather refused to sign another lease for the apartment thus rendering my mother and siblings homeless. Again.
And I don’t know what is happening as of current because my mother would rather not speak to me.
So, currently, I stay in a transitional youth shelter that can be shut down any day because of lack of funding. I’m sure there’s another reason but I’m too worried about where I might be able to stay if that does happen. I am struggling to find a job that I can maintain while I go to school and the thought that constantly weighs heaviest on my mind is: how am I going to get my family out of that situation? Which doesn’t make sense because I’m not doing much better if at all?
I have dreams and hopes for the better but I feel as if I am stuck and am unable to find the right solution.
I am afraid that I won’t be able to give my mom the life that she deserves. I know that she doesn’t have much longer and that scares me because she has done so much for us only to have her health get worse because she struggles. I want her to know that I do care. Even if I don’t always know how to express that.
Please, if you have read this, I thank you again for taking time out of your day to read my story.
I’m not so worried about myself, but if you can help me put my family in an apartment or house, I will be forever grateful. I just want to give them a home so that my mom doesn’t have to stress as much.
Here is my paypal link: paypal.me/Love032010