I have a close friend, Valerie Miller, who is 28yrs old and a mother of four children all under the age of 10. To say her life has been turbulent would be a drastic understatement. Her current daily routine is working at job that doesn’t pay all the bills and raising her children alone. Some people may say if she didn’t have four children her life would be different/easier and yes that is true, but it would not be complete either. She is a wonderful mother to her own children and even to her children’s friends, but she is forced to make too many sacrifices which may ultimately leave them homeless in the coming weeks or even days.
The following is a brief summary of what Valerie has been dealing with. Her ex-husband stole her children for ten months by taking them without authorization to Tennessee. Valerie drove there every month knocking on the doors of all known relatives/friends of her ex to look for her children. She even called the police to assist getting them returned to her. Ultimately, Valerie did get her children back despite many setbacks. And in the end the courts still allowed her ex-husband to continue to have visitation rights.
Her home was broken into about 10 months ago. They stole her laptop, TVs, the kids Wii and games and numerous other items. As a single mother with four kids Valerie still hasn’t been able to replace these items. She then had to deal with her fear and her children’s fears of living in a home that was violated. The children were very upset that someone stole their toys and couldn’t understand why someone would do that. How do you explain to your young children why your home was robbed?
All the children had to have most of their wardrobes replaced last summer due to a fire at their father’s apartment that burned the entire building down and almost cost them their lives. Their possessions were not replaced since getting the clothing was a struggle in itself. The children continue to be very traumatized by the fire and Valerie has taken them to the local fire fighter station to try to get them more comfortable through education and knowing there are people nearby to protect them.
In addition to her ex-husband, she is also dealing with her sibling who is struggling in this current economy and residing with her at this time. He is unable to assist paying any of the bills but Valerie believes in helping people, so not only has she opened her doors to him, she has put a car in her name for him to use. She is even paying for the insurance on the car! Her vehicle broke down a couple months ago and the repairs were more than the van was worth. She currently has no transportation to get to and from work, to the grocery store, dr. appointments, etc…..
This past August her seven year old child was diagnosed with epilepsy. There are doctor appointments, additional medical bills, learning about the condition, as well as how to teach a seven year old what is happening to their own body. Not to mention the stress and worry that it comes with as the parent of a child with such a condition.
Valerie has now gotten to a state of near homelessness; she is renting from a slumlord, to state it frankly. She has been living in her current home since September of 2010 which was foreclosed on by the bank in July without her knowledge. The landlord has continued to collect rent from her since the foreclosure and even told her she did not have to pay September (due to her hardship) and he would use her deposit as payment. It would appear he has not paid the bank any money. In addition, her gas stove is not able to be used due to improper connections and defective controls. The bank refuses to complete any repairs. You can only imagine how difficult it is to feed her children without a working stove.
As you can see, Valerie needs serious help. I have called all of the county, city, and state resources I am aware of and have been told they are not accepting anyone new at this time. I know there are many families in similar situations, but I have run out of options and I can’t sit by and watch her and her four children become homeless and the kids go without Christmas gifts. It’s simply the final straw. I am hoping that by reaching out to anyone and everyone that we can help this family out. Anything you can donate would be a blessing.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I just don’t know who else to reach out to.