Benevolent UPDATE for Olivia! Sep 25, 2013
We just received the final confirmation from Community Counseling Centers of Chicago that Olivia bought new furniture to replace what was lost in the fire. She has a sofa, end tables, and wonderful new chairs for the dining room table! Thank you for all your support!
My need and situation
I need a sofa, chairs for the kitchen table; pots, pans, and dishes; and winter coats, boots, socks, and underwear for 2 kids.
We don't have furniture so they have to sit on their bed in their room. They have to be in the bedroom all the time. This will keep them from not being in the room. At least they'll be able to sit down.
A friend of mine gave me a table, so I don't need a table, but I only have 2 chairs, and they're falling apart. If we have chairs in the dining room, we can sit around the table and eat dinner. It's just a convenience. It'll feel more like home. I think it'll be a much happier family. Sometimes my kids are ready to go to my mom's house because she has chairs sitting around.
If I get the furniture . . . what that will do . . . because I didn't have it and now I have it, it will just make me feel better about myself. Not just that, but I'll be getting help to achieve that.
What I would always be wishing is that I can sit in the front room with the kids because we don't have any chairs out there. We sit in the dining room a lot. We have a lot of space and it would be fun to be in the front. We can sit and talk, and probably in the front it's more open and we would be able to sit down and relax. I don't have the income now. That's why I won't be able to afford it.
I haven't had any furniture in my house since 2009. I had a fire in 2009. It was an accident fire. My (now) 7-year old had got hold of his dad's lighter, and the smoke was through the whole house, so that's one of the reasons why I kind of fell behind. That was one of the reasons why I don't have furniture anymore. I threw the bed away. I threw everything away.
In 2011 I faced eviction but they decided I won. I won my eviction. In 2012 I started organizing in the neighborhood where I live, in Rogers Park, and we have meetings. And I also have been into an anti-eviction campaign, working with people who are in foreclosures. I just got over a program where I was working with teens, organizing, finding resources; also trying to get them referrals to help their needs. That's basically the last thing I've done.
I'm just thanking who's supporting me.
I think of myself as a very positive, energetic person. I'm most proud that I've accomplished a lot of good things in life. My hope is to continue education and just be a positive role model for me and my family.
I have 5 kids but I have 2 living with me, 7 and 11. My 11-year-old likes to play football and my 7-year-old likes to play basketball. And I'm a grandmother. I have a grandson. He's 2 years old. I'm 43.
I like to read and write, and sometimes I like to listen to music.
I went to school at Sullivan High School. I've worked at jobs including Sam's Club, Albany Care, McDonald's, and Jewel's.
I have lower back pain and the pain is going down the leg. I was doing a homemaker, but my boss told me the economy fell. I try to find a job, but it's still kind of depressing.
Right now, my biggest challenge is me going in and out of court with my daughter. She's fifteen. I have to stay strong and be positive about situations.