The knot in my throat while I am trying to gather my thoughts is overwhelming and I am struggling to breathe. I am a proud woman and work very hard for my family, but I have been slowly sinking no matter how hard and persistently I work to make ends meet. I am an Elementary school teacher in Louisiana and the sole provider of my family of four. I rent a modest home for me, my husband, and two children that I have been struggling to keep over our heads for months now. My husband has been unemployed for almost two years mostly because of health reasons and does not have an income to help me support this family. The weight on my shoulders is becoming unbearable and I am just not enough to support the needs of our family. Allowing myself to ask for help is a last resort, and if I had other options I would most definitely choose those over admitting that I just can’t keep up.
We live on a small teacher salary of $47,000 a year that is impossible to maintain our family of 4, especially since the cost of living is rising while my salary remains stagnant. The three bedroom home we rent costs $1200 a month, and our monthly bills absorb most of my income. We struggle day by day to put food on the table and meet our kids basic needs, resorting to receiving help from family or borrowing money.
When my husband became ill two years ago, I found a second job at a restaurant waiting on tables. I was working from 8 am to 9 pm every day, including weekends. That really helped us to stay on top of our bills, but had some consequences on my personal health and took away almost all time I could spend with my family.
Unfortunately, when Covid-19 came around, I lost my job at the restaurant last October, as business had slowed down and the owners couldn’t justify having me there any more. Once again, we were left with my teaching salary to cover all of our expenses. Since October, we have been unable to keep up with our rent and other bills bringing us today to the uncomfortable situation of being severely behind in our bills and getting evicted at the end of March. There was an eviction moratorium that was helping our family remain here even though we were behind on our rent. That moratorium ends March 30th, allowing our landlords to evict us.
In addition to rent, we have loans that we committed to pay, utilities bills that are significantly behind, and the unmet needs of our kids are piling up. To make matters worse, I have a horrible situation with my teeth that I cannot afford to fix, leaving me to suffer painfully. The dental work that is necessary will cost over $20,000 to fix and that is just unattainable for me.
As difficult as it feels to do, I am humbly asking for assistance from anyone that is blessed to have more than others. I am asking for enough money to catch up our bills, avoid eviction, and take care of the health issues that remain unaddressed because of the lack of money. This seems like a long shot and a lot to ask for, but all I have left is hope that all will work out in the end. I am thankful for having the opportunity and privilege of asking for help.