I went to see "Jessica's" family yesterday. Considering their circumstances they are doing better, attempting to improve their surroundings. The mother had painted one room but ran out of paint and plaster to repair the walls.
Try to imagine living in a small apartment with no water, no heat and four small children. When I asked about the availability of gas, thinking about purchasing a stove, I was told the city turned off the gas to the entire building. I asked about the availablity of water, seeing a closed off pipe in a corner, I was told the city turned off the water. Apparently none of the tenants had been able to pay their bills so the city shut them down.
We introduced ourselves to this family a year ago and since then have provided some clothing, food and toys. We have watched their progress - they are trying.
We would like to start to help them in some tangible ways. The first would be to replace their front door - if you call what hangs there as a door - broken, patched, rotten wood.
When the team gets here at the end of March we are planning a clean/paint makeover and the purchase of new sheets and blankets. After that perhaps we can get the water connected and something more than a single rusty hotplate for cooking.
But for now, the door is an immediate need. I took a friend, who is a local contractor, to estimate replacing the door - he figured about $250. I know from his past work with us that amount will not include his labor, so add another $50.
I think that's a bargain ... a new front door and frame installed for $300. Is there someone who would like to be a 'Door Man or Door Woman' for this family? If so please hit the donate now button, follow the prompts and we will have the funds within a week.
Thanks from "Jessica's" family.
P.S. They are lovingly named "Jessica's" family after a social worker from Cleveland who first visited them.