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Housing market displaces hard-working family of five

by ELLI GOLDMAN HILBERT
Staff Writer | November 29, 2021 1:06 AM

As part of the annual Press Christmas for All Campaign, we share with readers the stories of those applying for help. This is one of them.

Like many people living through the housing crisis caused by an exploding real estate market this past year, “Rebecca” and her young family found themselves displaced when the home they were renting was sold and the new owners chose not to renew the lease.

Rebecca, her husband and three children found themselves without any options and were homeless for two and a half months. A friend let them stay in their trailer while they searched for permanent housing, Rebecca said.

The loss of housing created a ripple effect of insecurity for this family, one they're still struggling to recover from.

They secured a two-bedroom apartment, which isn’t adequate for two adults and three children under 9 years old. But it was the best they could find, Rebecca said.

She's grateful to have a roof over her head but because the apartment is so small, her husband isn’t able to have his three children from a previous relationship for overnight visits because there's no place for them to sleep. Prior to the housing crisis, the family had never struggled to provide an ideal living situation for all of the kids, Rebecca said.

Coming up with a $3,000 deposit was extremely difficult for the family. When COVID-19 struck last year, Rebecca had to quit her job so she could manage the children’s education from home. Now she's trying to find a position that works around the kids' school schedule.

A representative from North Idaho College’s Head Start Program, which Rebecca’s youngest child attends, said “this family worked tirelessly to obtain housing that was safe for their children. Both parents have been amazingly dedicated volunteers at their children’s schools.”

The family is seeking help for car repairs so Rebecca’s husband can travel to his job in Sandpoint.

“It would help us greatly,” Rebecca told Press Christmas For All. “Getting help with the car repair would mean we don’t have to rely on someone else. It would give us security.”

Each year, Press readers donate generously to the program. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors who are struggling, including the elderly, disabled, veterans, homeless and mentally ill. Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living near or below the poverty level.

The beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All are going to keep their dignity intact while the community provides a hand up to help get them back on their feet.

Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. It is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers.

Here are four ways to donate:

  • Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
  • Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176
  • Go to cdapress.com. Click on the MENU button, then click on Christmas for All 2021.
  • Drop off your check at The Press weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 215 N. Second St. in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

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