CASE 21 • Ms. D is a two-time cancer survivor who carries the weight of seven children relying on her. She works part time while caring for her twin nephews whose mother and father are incarcerated, two foster children — one who was sexually abused and another who watched her mother overdose — and the 2-year-old daughter of a former foster child who recently died from a heroin overdose. She is also supporting two of her biological children as they study in college. On top of this, D is scheduled to have brain surgery in January to remove a tumor. The family could use bedding, clothing and toys plus help with rent, utility payments and other household expenses.
CASE 22 • It started with a leaky roof. Now, five children and their mother are suffering medical problems from the mold in the home they bought five years ago. Mr. S is struggling to pay the medical bills for his family, including 6-year-old twin daughters and three older sons. They need a new roof and heating/cooling system, along with help paying utility bills. The family would also be grateful for winter clothing.
CASE 23 • O is a 10-year-old who has had three hip surgeries causing him to use a wheelchair and keeping him out of school for months. His mother has home-schooled him and taken him to physical therapy three times a week while working nights and while pregnant with another son, now 7 months old. The baby has heart health issues. O’s mother has a part-time, temporary job, but she is worried about paying bills that include student-loan debt. She asks for a television — the family’s TV just broke — as well as for a twin bed, a microwave and a monthly bus pass.
Case profiles by Erin Heffernan, Blythe Bernhard and Leah Thorsen of the Post-Dispatch.