Things were going well for her family, said this young mother.
But after her husband lost his job in September, everything changed. Now, the family of four, soon to be six, is homeless.
When she became pregnant with twin boys, seven months ago, they were financially stable. With two little girls, ages two and four, hoping for a boy, the couple had decided to have one more child. The mother said they never imagined they would be in the situation they're in now.
"My biggest fear is I'm going to have these babies and not have a home for them," she said, crying.
The couple moved to Coeur d'Alene nearly four years ago. The father was from Bonners Ferry and the mom grew up in western Montana.
"We really tried to make a good life for our kids," the mom said. "Now I don't know what we're going to do."
When her husband became unemployed, the mom, 25, was going to North Idaho College. She was studying to become a radiology technician, and was getting straight As.
"That was my dream. I was a great student in high school. I always wanted to go to college and do something that would help people," she said.
She has since had to drop out.
"I can't go to school, be pregnant and homeless," she said.
She said her husband has been looking for work since September, applying for jobs wherever he can. He was working delivering furniture, can drive a truck, operate a forklift and has other skills.
At one point, he took a job with a lumber company in Montana and they moved there and stayed with the wife's aunt.
"He worked for two days and then they laid the whole graveyard shift off. Two days," she said.
The family returned to Coeur d'Alene and they're staying with a friend, a single mom with two kids of her own, living in a two-bedroom apartment. They can't stay there for long, she said, because the woman is breaking her lease by helping them.
"If it wasn't for her kindness, we'd be out on the streets right now," the mom said.
She said they aren't looking for a hand-out. They're receiving food stamps, but have decided to hold out on applying for cash assistance because they want to do it on their own.
"He just needs a job, a break," she said. "He's a good guy, a hard worker, a dang hard worker. We don't drink. We don't party. We pray every day."
They have applied for help through various agencies that provide housing assistance or transitional housing, she said, but the waiting lists are long.
Everything they own is in a small storage unit, and she said she's afraid they'll lose their possessions because they can't afford the rental fee.
"That's our life, their toys, our beds," she said. "This is the last thing we ever expected."
With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for people like this - the jobless, homeless, those who are barely making ends meet, individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Many are alone this holiday season.
Each year, our generous readers' donations allow us to assist thousands of Kootenai County families in need. Each day until Christmas, we will share the stories of those whose holiday memories will be a little happier because of Press Christmas for All.
Donations are collected, then distributed in the form of gift cards to Kootenai County residents in need.
Press Christmas for All is a holiday charity now in its 27th year. It is managed as a nonprofit by The Hagadone Corp. Because it is run by volunteers from The Hagadone Corp. and their partners at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, every penny raised is distributed in the form of gift cards from Shopko or Super 1 Foods, local retailers who also generously support the program. The cards can be used to buy food and gifts but not alcohol or tobacco products. All contributions are tax deductible.
To give, please send a check to:
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You can also call (208) 664-8176 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and donate by credit card.
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Recent donors: Richard & Vivian Fedash; James Daley; Barbara Carey; Marcia Ogle; Bonnie & Jim Crowder; Lolly Jerome (In memory of Eddie Jerome); Joan Word, Joe & Diane Dahlhelm, Dusty & Audrey Rhoads, Donald & Maxine Schierman, Ernst & Lillian Muench, Vicki Garvin, Doris Bartlett, Vern & Marje Peterson (In loving memory of our grandson Dustin J.C. Peterson), Howie & Jennifer Stalwick, Marilyn & Richard Moore, Thomas & Stephanie Koennel, AM Sedgwick, Cathy & Fred Potter; J & H Yuditsky; William & Janice Bodlander.