Hello, I’d like to start this off by introducing myself. My name is Grace, I am 22 years old. I have an amazing fiancé, Jeff, as well as a 6 year old bonus (step) son, Everest, and we were blessed enough to have our rainbow baby girl, Blue, on Mother’s Day this year.
I’d also like to say that despite everything we’ve been through, we are so truly blessed to have everything that we do have. I just want our family to be happy, healthy, fed, and with a roof over our heads. (I didn’t mean to rhyme that, but I guess it sounds smoother now, right? Just trying to keep the situation light haha).
Our story is quite a long one, but I do believe it’s worth hearing.
Jeff and I met by miracle, and I thank the stars for him every day. To sum up an absolutely chaotic introduction story, I worked at a pizza shop last year. I was working a regular Wednesday night, nothing too crazy. A man and a woman come in with a small boy, and they come up to my register. The man looks confused, and the woman is holding the child, and suddenly they start arguing about whether or not this kid needs to eat. Well, to my surprise, this lady was trying to *kidnap* this young boy–they go from arguing, to her trying to run out of the door with the child. Apparently, the man with the child came into my pizza shop actually looking for help, because this lady was harassing him and the child outside, and he happened to know my manager. The man with the child is now my fiancé, because I’m the one who brought the child behind the register with me, and called the police while he restrained her in the dining room. Yeah, um…crazy first meeting, right? It wasn’t hard to fall in love after this all happened. I gave him and Everest a ride home that night after all of the chaos had run it’s course. Jeff started working at that pizza shop, we began hanging out every night. We became best friends, and we more or less courted each other for about a month. He lived behind the pizza shop with Everest, in this very small closet of a room. I moved in after we became official, despite there being little to no space. After about a month and some change, I found out that I was pregnant. This was an absolute miracle, because I have struggled with endometriosis and PCOS for years now, and the doctors told me that I was completely infertile.
We were ecstatic about the news, and I immediately told my foster mom at the time. She tells me to move to Texas into her giant house, and that she wants me to have a stress-free pregnancy. So we do. We packed all of our belongings, quit our underpaying pizza jobs, and drove to Texas. Unfortunately, living with my now-ex foster mom was a disaster. She kicked us out after about 3 months, changed the locks on us. She was mad that Everest threw up on the carpet…..yes, really. She was also mad that neither of us had gotten a job yet, despite both of us looking the entire time we were there. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jeff’s ex-wife quite literally burned all of him and Everest’s documents (birth certificates, social security cards, etc), so we were working on getting those for him as well. We were doing Instacart together while we lived there, and I was also buying groceries for the household using my government benefits, but she was still mad. The whole situation was a disaster, and she never discussed rent or anything of the sort when she told us to come live with her. There was also unspoken domestic violence going on in the household, between my foster mom and her new boyfriend. The entire situation was poorly communicated and executed. We were forced to pack up all of our belongings within an hour, and we were kicked out with Everest who was 5 at the time, at 3am last year in October. Thankfully, we were blessed enough to have made it back due to me making a Facebook post about the situation. I had many amazing friends donate us gas money to get back to Colorado.
Fast forward to Colorado. We were able to stay with our best friends for awhile, however they only got their apartment because they applied through a local youth homeless prevention program. We did not qualify for this program because we had a child with us. I was so sick my entire pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum, AKA extreme nausea and vomiting, far worse than your standard issue morning sickness–fatal for both mom and baby in some instances. I couldn’t hold down water. We would have to leave our best friend’s apartment during the day in case their case manager popped by, because we technically weren’t allowed to stay there. Jeff couldn’t go work because I was so sick, and I couldn’t watch Everest by myself in the car all day. We continued to do Instacart until January. In January, we were told that we couldn’t stay at our best friend’s house anymore, because their case worker found out about us staying there. We stayed with another friend for a little while, and meanwhile we were on the waiting list for every type of financial aid and family homeless intervention program in the area. Unfortunately, deja vu occurred because our friend we were staying with was in the same youth program that our other friends were in, and his case worker found out about us. It felt like nothing was going to get better.
We spent the entire months of February-March sleeping in our car, and staying in hotels when we could afford it. I don’t know if you’ve been to Colorado or not, but it snows extremely badly here in the winter time. And unfortunately for us, it was a late winter this year, and it snowed all the way through March in our area. We were freezing cold, poor, we had no resources besides our local food pantry, and occasionally the local church would let us sleep on the floor in there for the night if it was under 10° at night.
At the end of March, we finally got the call that suddenly made everything so much better. We got a call from Family Promise, a local family shelter, saying that they finally had availability, and we could move into a room the next morning. We cried. All of us. We all sobbed. We went there the next morning, got our intake paperwork done, and we got a place to stay. Everything was good for awhile.
Since we finally had stability, and we also got our tax return, we were able to get most of Jeff and Everest’s documents, aside from social security cards. That was a huge breath of relief. Family Promise was working on helping us get an apartment, as they offered to pay the deposit and first month’s rent for us. We were just waiting for me to have the baby at this point in time, since she was coming any time now.
Fast forward once again to Mother’s Day, and Blue was born via an emergency c-section. It was a miracle. Shortly after she was born, Jeff got a job at a masonry company, which was going good for awhile until he got injured on the job. It took him about a month to recover, as it was a wrist injury and his job was to carry/load bricks all day. Well, once he finally recovered, we got a notice on the 4th of July stating that Family Promise was going to be closed down due to lack of funding, meaning that we would once again be homeless if we didn’t find a place within the next 28 days.
We spent the entire next month searching for apartments in our budget range, as Jeff got a landscaping job shortly after we received notice of the shelter closing. We did end up being homeless for a few days after the shelter closed, but thankfully we had money to keep us in hotels for those 3 days. With a very large stroke of luck, one of our good friends moved out of his apartment and hooked us up with his landlord’s number. I swear it was a miracle, because we were out of money for hotels as they get pricey even for a small room, and I got a call back from the landlord saying that we could move in as long as we paid first month’s rent and deposit, and took the unit as is. Family Promise wrote us a check for $2,000, and we signed a lease agreement and had an apartment within hours. It was and has been the biggest blessing.
Unfortunately, now we are once again in a bind. Jeff’s landscaping job ends as of this week, and earlier in the month, Everest brought home “hand, foot, and mouth disease” from school. Therefore, my fingertips felt like razorblades, and Blue was also covered in blisters. I needed Jeff to stay home for a week or two to take care of us. I thought it was going to be okay, because I usually get government benefits every month, but apparently this month there has been an error that I’ve been trying to get fixed, and we won’t receive our benefits next month. We don’t have any money for rent, aside from $140 that we will soon be getting for his last check. Our rent is due on the 1st, and it is $1,277. We need help staying afloat, we need help for our babies. I would literally eat nothing but ramen noodles for the next 5 years if it means that my children do not have to experience homelessness again. I know this has been an extremely long post, but I felt that I couldn’t just ask for this money without giving context as to how we got into this predicament. We are Buddhists, so money is not important to us, but keeping our babies happy and healthy is extremely important to us. Please help us if you can, this is truly a cry for help. We’ve been denied a loan, and I’m trying my best to get ahold of my case worker to get my benefits sorted, but it’s still not going to be enough. We need a blessing of some sort. It’s getting cold again, and I can’t let my children go through this again. They deserve so much better. And if you took the time to read this, even if you don’t donate to our rent fund, then thank you. I know this was a lot. Thank you so very much. I have attached a photo of our bill, as well as screenshots of my fiancé in the newspaper from when Family Promise closed down. My PayPal link is https://www.paypal.me/gmiller1298
Thank you, and have a blessed day.
Edit: I was unable to attach more than one image, but here is the link if you’d like to read the news article- https://www.google.com/amp/s/gazette.com/premium/colorado-springs-stand-alone-shelter-for-homeless-families-to-close-amid-dwindling-donations/article_689885b0-021e-11ed-92cc-ffb5cf16ddb9.amp.html