CASE 53 • Though she’s disabled by kidney failure, Ms. V, 62, has a heart big enough to care for somebody else’s children. Many of them. She took in five under the age of 10 last year. Their mother dropped them off at Ms. V’s home. She’s also guardian of her 13-year-old granddaughter. Ms. V had to move into a bigger place to accommodate everybody. But she stabilized their lives and enrolled them in school. Now she’s behind on bills, and the transmission on her car recently blew.
CASE 54 • Ms. D has struggled with drug addiction for more than a decade, but she has been sober for the last seven months and is in outpatient rehab — even though she has to get a ride or travel an hour by bus. Her husband had two strokes and is now paralyzed from the waist down and unable to work. Many of their bills have gone unpaid during the family’s struggles, and they are hoping for some help with utility bills and also for some clothes and gifts for their daughters, ages 8 and 11.
CASE 55 • Ms. S is a working mother raising five children. A year ago, she managed to save enough to move to a better neighborhood with better schools. She started to see immediate improvement in her children’s grades. But this spring, a fire next door pushed them out of their new home, forcing them to stay in hotels and later with relatives after their hotel assistance expired. They found a new place at the end of summer, but the moves set them back financially. Any help to give the kids a happier Christmas would be appreciated.
Case profiles by Jesse Bogan, Robert Patrick and Jacob Barker of the Post-Dispatch.