LIMA — Two years after leaving an abusive marriage, Lisa, a mother of four, is left with a dilapidated house with barely any means to repair it.
A Social Security check is the only source of income each month. Her multiple health issues prevent her from working and her ex-husband, she said, is a drug addict who often doesn’t work, so she doesn’t receive child support.
With only $100 left over from each check, Lisa has found it difficult to repair her leaking roof, the baseboard heat, broken sink, refrigerator, dryer and porch, which she is constantly getting fined for.
“I cannot keep up with everything,” she said. “Every time I turn around I get ahold of one thing and then another thing happens.”
Because she is limited on money, repairing the porch has become a job for the whole family, which has started to put a toll on her health and her relationship with her children. She visits the doctor monthly to try to heal her aching back.
“It’s hard to run after teenagers when you hurt so bad and you can’t move,” she said. “It really sucks.”
It bothers her that she cannot provide for her kids like she wants to. She does all she can for her 18-year-old son who is a high school senior, her 15-year-old twin daughters who struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome, and her 12-year-old daughter who is a growing preteen.
“They are my strength,” she said. “They are the ones in my heads and it’s like I got to get everything together for them.”
This holiday season she would like to buy bicycles for her kids to help them get to and from the library when they have school projects. Also the kids are in need of clothing and shoes. Her son wears a large in shirts, 34/32 pants, and a size 13 in shoes. Her twins wear size 7 in jeans, a medium in juniors shirts, and a 8 1/2 in shoes. Her youngest daughter wears a small in juniors shirts, size 16 girls pants, and size 6 in shoes.
Lisa acknowledges that asking for help with the house is a lot to ask for but something as simple as cleaning supplies or garbage bags could actually help her get more wood to fix the porch. Despite all of the obstacles that have come her way, she is determined to make it through.
“I’m not just a person who stays at home and collects Social Security and food stamps,” she said. “I try my hardest to get what I need, and I work hard.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews