Cases 90-92: Family is uprooted when landlord loses house

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100 Neediest

Drawing by Raelin Burnett of Valley Park High School.

CASE 90 • Mr. D is raising four children ages 10-14. A few years back, the family went from homeless to hopeful when they moved to a house that Mr. D was told he could lease with an option to buy. But the house went into foreclosure because the owner wasn’t using Mr. D’s payments to cover the mortgage, as he had promised. Mr. D, 47, started a trucking company, but he had to give it up when he lost vision in both eyes. He also suffers from diabetes, back problems and nerve damage. Mr. D’s income from disability benefits doesn’t stretch enough to cover basic expenses. They could use help catching up on rent and utility bills. They also need clothing, shoes and coats.

CASE 91 • Seven people, including 1-year-old twins, live in Mrs. C’s one-bedroom home. She’s retired and didn’t expect to be caring for her teenage grandchildren and baby great-granddaughters. Her grandson, 18, requires ongoing medical care since he had a kidney transplant and undergoes dialysis. Her life is full of family and love, but she would welcome help with utilities, dialysis supplies, household items and toys for the little girls.

CASE 92 • Ms. B and her five children are about to be evicted from their home after falling behind on rent payments. She also owes money for past-due utility bills, and the electricity recently was disconnected until she got a doctor’s note that stated her medical hardships. Ms. B gets $675 a month in disability payments for chronic asthma and heart problems; her rent eats up $500 of that. She asks for monthly Metro passes to get to doctor’s appointments, plus food and clothing, including school uniforms, underwear and shoes for her children, who range in age from 17 to 6.

Case profiles by Lisa Eisenhauer, Valerie Schremp Hahn and Leah Thorsen of the Post-Dispatch.

To give

ADOPT A CASE: For highest-need cases, the program supplies donors with a list of a family's needs. Donors are asked to meet at least one of the stated needs and provide at least one present for each person in the family. Everything goes directly to the family, through a social worker.

DONATE: Monetary gifts to the 100 Neediest Cases general fund are used to help 4,300 cases, and go directly to the families.

FUNDRAISE: Encourage friends, family and others to join you in helping. Set up a fundraising page for your adopted family or the program overall, and have an even bigger impact.

TO HELP: Call 314-421-6060 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, visit 100neediestcases.org, or mail a check payable to "100 Neediest Cases" (no cash) to P.O. Box 955925, St. Louis, Mo. 63195.

Tradition

The tradition of 100 Neediest Cases campaign dates to 1922, when civic leaders formed the Christmas Bureau. The Post-Dispatch has partnered with the program for more than five decades, renaming it 100 Neediest Cases in 1954.

HOW IT WORKS: Social service agencies, working through the United Way, identify thousands of needy families. Volunteers then select 100 cases to be profiled in the newspaper to raise awareness.

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