I’m sure you can only imagine the trauma that the children, Leandra now age 21, Arissa (Buggy) now 20 and, Jabiel (Harvey) now 16, must have been through, finding their Dad deceased, dealing with the loss, arrangements, sadness, memories, and the uncertainty of their future.
Over the past two weeks, the SFP staff has worked diligently with the family and the landlords, who are just spectacular human beings, to evaluate if the children can remain in the apartment they have been in for the past four years. It appears that they are welcome to stay on and their rent is being priced at 30% of income, as affordable housing should be for everyone. With the donations received for the family, SFP will be able to assist with rent to get them going. This will allow both girls to stay at their current jobs and for Harvey to continue in the school he loves, where he has developed wonderful friendships.
It just so happens that Janet and Ed Caylor had just donated a beautiful vehicle to the program and we were able to give it to the children and pay for registration. Leandra paid for insurance. We will be helping with gas and any vehicle expenses needed.
SFP Program Manager Ashley Miller will be counseling the children. In their short lives they have been through a lot and we want to be sure that they have an appropriate outlet for their emotions and mental health moving forward.
There is still work to be done. Arissa is looking for volunteers to help her with driving so she can get enough experience to get her license. There will be needs for budgeting and financial planning, discussions concerning higher education, employment training opportunities, high school success and completion, and much more in the months ahead. We will be there every step of the way with these special young adults. We are dedicated, as we are with all of our former families, to walk with them no matter the need.
To those of you who were able to donate to the family, I want to assure you that we will be assisting them get set up with utilities, rent, food, hygiene supplies, and any other household needs they may have. Please feel free to ask for an accounting of the expenditures if you are so inclined.
Those of you who have prayed for the family, the children are very much aware of all your love and good thoughts. They are so appreciative of the outpouring from you all on their behalf.
A celebration of Michael’s life will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 12:00 PM at the VFW in Raymond, NH. Anyone wishing to send condolences are welcome to address them to Leandra Kelly. c/o Seacoast Family Promise, 27 Hampton Road, Exeter 03833, and we will be sure they get to the family.
Monetary donations may be made through Seacoast Family Promise. Gas and grocery cards welcome.