Amanda has been coming to us for assistance for a few years. She sat down to share her story and how The Open Shelter has helped her.
“I had just split up with my husband, myself and my three girls. We were going to our own place. We had absolutely nothing. I was starting over after seven years. We didn’t have furniture. We didn’t have anything. I was living with my three girls on my daughter Annie’s SSI which I still am.”
“I just had Joshua & Jeremiah. Joshua had passed away an hour after birth. They were born 25 weeks premature. They were micro preemies. Jeremiah has been in the NICU at Children’s for the past five months. He has hydrocephalus that is when the cerebral fluid doesn’t absorb since he had a brain bleed because he was born prematurely.”
“I did get back together with my husband for a while after breaking up and became pregnant with twins. Including Jeremiah I have four kids—Aaliyah (10 years old), Azzanna (5) & Anastasia who goes by “Annie” (2). We get SSI because Annie was born 27 weeks premature and she has BPD since she was on oxygen when she was born. Most preemies end up with it. Jeremiah has it too. Annie also has really bad asthma.”
“Jeremiah has a shunt. It goes down to his stomach. It allows the spinal fluid to drip off. He has had brain surgery twice. If he falls the wrong way, he could get really hurt. He has a feeding tube. He is deaf & blind on his left side. I have been told three times he is coming home but something always comes up.”
“We are trying to live on $750 a month and our rent is $700. We had nothing to live on. We were going to Faith Mission and eating meals three times a week. But they don’t let you take food home. So we weren’t eating at home. I had to quit my job at a pain specialist clinic because I had Annie prematurely.”
“I had to get over having to ask for help when I came to The Open Shelter. I had to look at it not asking for a hand out but a hand up. Once I started telling Solomon Dean (our Deputy Director of Day Services) my needs, they got met. The Open Shelter always tries to help with everything that we need. Like if Azzanna’s shoes have a hole, they are going to make sure we get the shoes to replace them. So we depend on you, this is how we survive.”
“With my check, I only had barely enough to pay rent. Solomon has helped me with places to help get my utilities paid. That way my kids don’t have to come home from school and the electric is off. I wouldn’t be able to keep my house without your help. I don’t get child support.”
“I worry about feeding my kids. That is what hurts me the most. If I can’t feed my kids, then what kind of mother am I?”
“If I need clothes, I can give you guys my children’s sizes and Solomon & Sheli (our Executive Assistant To The Director) will have a bag waiting for us. You have helped me with everything. You have all kinds of resources. If you can’t get it for me personally, you are able to refer me to somewhere else.”
“I grew up in London, Ohio with my mother. She struggled. She became disabled when I was 6 and we were living on $143 a month. My mother did whatever she could to provide for us.”
“Solomon and Sheli both have been a big part in caring for the children. Solomon really loves the girls, especially Annie. She brightens up their day and they brighten up her day.”
“Don’t question it for one minute if you are thinking about supporting The Open Shelter. Anybody can come in here and see firsthand how they help. Don’t hesitate to ask for The Open Shelter’s help. Your needs will get met. It might not get met right then and there, but they will take the time out to work on it. I have been in every day my son has been in the hospital to talk to Sheli. Solomon & Sheli ask. Some days are hard. Just the conversation to get it off my chest helps. They give good advice. It’s like a big family.”
“In 2013, when I was five months pregnant, I was involved in a car accident. I lost my baby in the car. After the accident, I got addicted to percocets for two years. I then became pregnant with Annie. My husband didn’t even know I was addicted. I was scared that Children’s Services was going to take her away. She was born on a Friday. That Monday, I was in a methadone clinic because I wanted to keep my kids. I am a mother before I am anything. I told my husband about my addiction at Annie’s bedside. He eventually ended up leaving me.”
“I go to the methadone clinic every day. Solomon & Sheli referred me to Comp Drug and I no longer have to pay for it. My medical card now covers it.”
Please Donate Today So We Can Continue To Help Others Like Amanda. Thank You.