This is Deahanna's story:
I moved back to Arizona in September of 2011. I moved out here with my boyfriend and our 4 children ages18, 16, 15 & 13. The main reason I moved here was due to work. I have worked with disabled children for almost 15 years. I love what I do. Our children have been very patient with me and trying to be as supportive as they can, Right before Thanksgiving last year I was diagnosed with Cancer for the second time. I under went surgery the 5th of December and proceeded in to Chemotherapy. As I'm feeling pretty well for the most part there are still days that I need to lean on my children for some help. I got my home certified through the State of Arizona to have my own Respite home so I could work from home and help my children with school and everyday things that we do. I do have a child of my own that is on the spectrum. So sometimes our crazy life style can be a bit challenging. I WOULD NOT CHANGE IT FOR ANYTHING.
Jason has been a paramedic for 15 years and has been unable to get work out here due to a class he needs to take for National Registry, The class costs anywhere from $300 - $500 dollars, depending on who’s providing it. When I got here I started working with Elite Community Services, providing Habilitation and Respite services to kids with disabilities. In October of 2011 I started working with the little boy that I have now, He's so sweet and yet so misunderstood as he is severely Autistic. He comes from a not so stable back round. But, now he gets so much love and support from our family and he's settling in pretty well.
The young lady (age 15) that we got on the 23rd of April was placed with us by CPS under the Right to Protect. I now have guardianship over her. Our goal is to see this young lady not be a statistic and fall through the cracks. She has some abandonment issues. As she becomes more settled she will be in need of a lot of therapy. Jason and I have been talking for a while about becoming Foster Parents but this is a 6 month process. We are able to take in children but can not be paid to have them until we complete the program. With that being said, Jason and I thought we had at least 6 months to prepare before we got any foster children.
I never want to see a kid go hungry or without a home. I have a close friend that has been trying to help me out and steer me in the right direction to try and get some help for these kids. Being new to the area has made things very challenging. We really don't know anybody here in San Tan Valley.
I have applied for SSI for the little guy. We are now receiving some (very little) help from DES. I have contacted some churches and the Salvation Army but have had no luck. Also, a friend of mine contacted a news station as she wasn't sure how to help and that was her only option.
We are in need of twin beds, dressers, clothing, extra food and toys that are safe for a toddler that is almost blind and can't walk very well. I know the economy is very hard right now and so is taking care of a family of 7 off of my income. We truly do appreciate any help.
The sizes/ages/genders are as follows. *BIO represents biological children:
16 yr old boy: 30-32 pants, large tops & 13 shoe (*BIO)
15 yr old boy: 34-34 pants, 2x tops & 14 shoe (*BIO)
15 yr old girl: 0-1 Junior’s pants & shorts, small tops & 7 ½ shoe
13 yr old girl: 3-5 Junior’s pants & shorts, Med to Lg tops & 9 shoe (*BIO)
3 yr old boy: 3 to 4 Toddler clothes and kids 10 shoe
Diapers sizes 4-5
If there are any questions as to the legitimacy of Ms. Hubbard’s efforts, she has a copy of the State inspection. She receives food benefits for the whole family now but it's not at the regular rate due to some income from her employer, Elite Community Services based in Gilbert, AZ. To learn more about Respite homes and services from Elite, please visit http://ecsaz.org/
To make arrangements to drop off, pick up or meet Deahanna with your donations you may contact her directly at 480-272-9621.
Also, I’d like to think that we as a community can go above and beyond all the wonderful outpouring of donations (yes, I’m being optimistic and positive!) I, the writer welcome any fundraising ideas/suggestions to try and raise money for Jason’s training. Ex: car wash, bake sale, yard sale, etc. Please pass this around to your friends, family and local businesses. Word of mouth goes a long, long way. Thank you for reading, listening and donating. Much peace to you all and may you find happiness in giving.