LIMA — A summer of homelessness, of being bounced from the home of one family member to another, has put exceptional strain on a Lima woman, her boyfriend and her 3-year-old son this holiday season. And it has put a severe damper of the family’s hopes for a merry Christmas for the youngest member of the family.
Renee, her son and her boyfriend were staying with Renee’s mother but were evicted after it was discovered they had not been listed as occupants on her mother’s lease.
“My mom has cancer, and she had been participating in the Shelter Plus program through Coleman’s that helps people in need of housing,” Renee said earlier this week. “I was on her lease back in 2017, then I found out I was pregnant and moved out of the house.”
What followed was a revolving door that included Renee, her brother and her sister moving in and out of their mother’s home. Initially Renee’s siblings were attempting to lend her a hand to provide shelter, but then the family dynamics turned sour.
“It’s caused a riff in the family,” Renee said. Her family has been homeless since July, living in a campground during warm weather and staying with various friends and family once the weather turned cold. They are currently taking it day-by-day in trying to keep a roof over their heads.
Renee works at a local dollar store and her boyfriend “has a job interview tomorrow,” providing a glimmer of hope that better days are ahead. But in the short term, it is the Christmas season and how to provide for her son that occupied Renee’s thoughts.
Her son is a typical 3-year-old who “loves Spiderman, Disney movies and monster trucks,” she said. He is in need of a pair of boots, size 10 1/2; a coat (size 5/6) and other clothing in the 5T-6T range.
“I’ve been wanting to get him a jogging outfit and a second layer of clothes for this winter,” Renee said.
Others in the family are in need of clothing as well, including women’s boots in size 11, jeans in size 17 and a large winter coat. Renee’s boyfriend is hoping to acquire some steel-toed boots in size 12-12 1/2 in anticipation of landing a factory or construction job.