Viewers help homeless Raleigh family facing shelter deadline

Posted June 3, 2013

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— After WRAL News reported Friday that a mother and her two sons had to leave a Raleigh homeless shelter and had nowhere to go, viewers called to offer their support.

Jenn holds her 4-year-old son, Nalo, at the Raleigh Rescue Mission Life inside a homeless shelter

Jenn, who asked that her and her sons' last names not be used, said she failed to save enough of her income – one of the Raleigh Rescue Mission's criteria for staying there – and would have to leave the shelter by Tuesday.

Many viewers reached out to offer their support to help Jenn and her sons – 10-year-old "C" and 4-year-old Nalo – get an apartment. As of Monday morning, the details were still being worked out, but WRAL News has learned that Jenn and her sons will have a place to stay come Tuesday. The shelter has pledged to help her through the transition and will allow her to stay until the details of her next move are worked out.

Jenn said she appreciates what the rescue mission has done for her family and says she has no hard feelings against the organization.

Although she works at Subway, the 34-year-old single mother said she didn't have enough money for a first month's rent and security payment for an apartment. Adding to her struggle, Jenn said she just received the official diagnosis that her youngest son, Nalo, has autism.

Jenn is a homeless mom of two Family could lose place at shelter

She left her family and friends in a small Mississippi town last summer and moved her sons to North Carolina’s capital, a place she once visited when she was younger, hoping to find more opportunity in a bigger city.


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  • tierneemalinadeveaux Jun 6, 2013

    Signofthetimes, Barber is only out for himself. Helping this lady would not have gotten him any media attention, and would have been more like what Dr. King would have done.

    I am so happy to hear that people stepped up to help this lady. Maybe WRAL should report one person per week who needs help until we clear out all the shelters.

  • cblackman Jun 5, 2013

    While it is very admirable to help this young lady...and, the kids do not have a choice of any other lifestyle...However, we are enabling her as we have enabled a very large percentage of our society....No racism involved...Our system is enabling these folks...if she makes too much money,then she is stripped of all her benefits...But, if she were allowed to make more money, keep some benefits then she has a chance to beome independent...We incentivize folks to live off the system...I really hope she makes it...perhaps she needs to go back to her family for moral support if nothing else. I tend to help those that are not able to help themselves and the government refuses to help...that group is totally lost in the cracks...those that try to work and cannot quite complete the month before the money is gone, or they have an unexpected expense...or elderly and they cannot buy their medicines...those are the folks no one is interested in helping....

  • Hans Jun 4, 2013

    "So basically if you are a "Christian" and do not help the poor, needy, sick, hungry, or homeless, you are not following Jesus' teachings. How do you reconcile that? Hypocritically?" - URADA
    June 4, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    There are no true Christians left in the world, or very few of them.

  • Hans Jun 4, 2013

    The number of hateful comments directed at this poor family is appalling, and leads me to believe that racism is indeed alive and well. Would it have been better had she aborted her babies? Abandoned them?

  • dontstopnow Jun 4, 2013

    I just want to know if William Barber helped her? He sure spent a lot of the NAACP money paying all those fines for the chaos he and his merry followers are creating in Raleigh. Of course, giving this lady and her children some of that money most likely would not bring him enough news coverage. :)

  • icmfal Jun 4, 2013

    Personally I'd rather read about a homeless war veteran getting help from the community rather than someone who has made poor life long decisions she can't escpare from. - Obama care for life

    Gee. and i remember homeless vets getting blasted just as bad as this lady is. Remember our Vietnam vets? our Vets from the first Gulf War? Many people had nothing nice to say about them either.

  • kornfan2448 Jun 4, 2013

    "Why have kids if you cannot afford them?" minarchist

    Someone very close to me told me years ago that, "If you wait until you can afford it, you'll never have kids". I have never made $50K and have never had any where near that in the bank, but my son has NEVER gone without and we have NEVER received assistance of any kind. He has also just graduated from public school and is much brighter than a "busted lightbulb" as you put it. We have had a lot of great leaders and successful people in this world that came from families that probably couldn't "afford them", so I'm glad not everyone shares your sentiment or this world would have missed out on a lot. Sure, there are people that shouldn't reproduce, but I'm not going to condemn someone that is attempting to at least make an effort, even if it's different from how I would do things.

  • URADA Jun 4, 2013

    "The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

    "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’" Matthew 25:35-40

    So basically if you are a "Christian" and do not help the poor, needy, sick, hungry, or homeless, you are not following Jesus' teachings. How do you reconcile that? Hypocritically?

  • Obamacare for life Jun 4, 2013

    vinyl, once again you've hit the nail on the head.

  • lfields2 Jun 4, 2013

    Curious, no rent, no groceries, no utilities, what was she spending her money, from the Subway job, on?? And again, most single mothers get support, if not from the father, then the state. WRAL needs to dig a little.

    My thoughts too....