On Sunday, a house fire set a family of 6, with another on the way, homeless. The city has been going bonkers collecting donations, setting up fundraisers, etc to help the two parents and their 4 children (and newborn due in 4 months).
but. i know something about this family.
the father was due to go on trial on sept 29th for robbing two pharmacies at gunpoint in 2009. i should also point out that he did this right when their current youngest child was born. he was originally arrested for also uttering death threats, but i dont know if those charges are still on the ballot.
anyway so 2 weeks before trial, his house burns down and the community feels that it is doing something good and awesome and charitable to collect donations for them.
they used to be my neigbours. the dad moved into community housing with his wife about 6 months after they had separated. it was single parent family housing and she was on welfare with their two children (at that time). she immediately got pregnant and they lived right directly next door to me for over a year before housing caught wind of him being there and kicked them all out. that was in feb 2008. i moved in with my bf that same month, so i know my timeline right down to the day.
anyway in the time before he moved in, she complained to me that welfare was paying less in this city than her previous city in another province. she was getting more than 300 higher each month there. i pointed out that it was probably cheaper to live in this smaller city. but whatever. my point is, they have been jamming the system and taking things from the community for as long as i have known them.
he allegedly robbed two pharmacies at gun point while their 4th child was not quite born yet and then about a month old. he scared the living hell out of all of the people in those stores at the time and they were probably very distraught and distressed during and after that. he was there to take prescription narcotics and he got them. I also know that he is barred from at least one other pharmacy because of fraudulently obtaining oxycotin with a fake prescription.
and now here he is getting the whole community to give to him once again and hardly anyone knows it. some people are finally putting the pieces together because someone posted on two local news articles online today asking if that was the same man involved in the robberies.
the kids are not at fault here. when i knew them well, the older ones, they were really great kids. the kind of kids you didnt mind having over at your house every day because they were respectful and friendly and just plain nice. but after the father was arrested and put on house arrest, i no longer allowed my son to go over there. i ignored their son phoning our house at least once a week to talk to my son. the mom invited my son to her boy's bday party via facebook and i blocked her. i just did not want to have anything to do with them. why the hell would i send my kid to their house when he was on house arrest for bleeping ARMED ROBBERY. are they insane?
anyway so now this happened and i feel bad for them but im not giving them a dime. i suppose if i actually had clothing to pass on, i would, but their kids are no where near my kids in size so i cant help out much with that. but people are donating couches, tvs, etc. there is a fundraiser set up. there is a facebook page set up. there are ads on kijiji for two local cities. its everywhere and it just makes me want to strangle someone. this guy is supposed to be going to prison. how much do you bet his trial in 2 weeks gets delayed?
why should the people who had his gun in their faces have to wait even longer for justice? because his house burned down and he didnt think to pay a whopping 15 bucks a month for insurance? he and his wife keep posting thank you, but they are still without a car and a home! What do they want people to do?? they are in a hotel right now and i know that sucks. i feel for the kids, i really do. i have 3 of my own and no family here that i could stay with if something horrific happened.
but guess what? we have insurance as renters. we are in excellent standing with our rental agency and they would think nothing of transfering our rental agreement to another home immediately if they had a vacancy. we could be in another home probably quite fast and stay with various friends split up if we had to until it was all sorted. but this guy has burned his bridges. his wife has frauded welfare but did not get charged. they have frauded community housing or they would prob find a place for them asap. the woman's shelter has temporary homes for families but have not offered - why? because she stayed there while supposedly escaping her husband and moving across three provinces to do it and they remember. this is a small city. you cannot get away with everything like you can in larger cities.
meanwhile, a house burned down in the same area 2 months previously while a single mom was at work and her 5 yr old daughter was in childcare. her neighbours started the fire so it was not her fault at all. she worked to try to get ahead - and lost her home. i did not see fundraisers for her all over the place. why not? is this family different just because there are 4.5 children? who wants to see a pregnant woman homeless - i sure dont. but i know personal intimate details about this family and this is the third child she has had since sept 2007 when she was defrauding welfare and community housing. she got preg again and had a baby in 2009 right in the middle of his two armed robberies. now she is preg again in 2011 and their house burns down. how many more disasters does she need before she gets away.
i am not heartless, and dont tell me i dont know what its like to be a trapped woman in a bad situation because i do. i was physically abused by my ex husband for years. i was dragged around by my hair, punched, kicked while 4 months preg, almost thrown down stairs (almost, because i kicked him as hard as i possibly could to save myself), and all this while i lived 4000 miles away from my family. i used to scream out the window for help but no one came.
what wised me up was having a baby. when our son was 5 months old i knew i had to leave. he kicked me and pushed me and threw things at me while i was holding our tiny son. i made plans to leave and i did. it took me 4 more months to get it all sorted but i did it. i moved back home and ive been here ever since. so i know exactly what it is like to be in a relationship with an abusive controlling husband and it took having one child to smarten me the hell up and get out. i had a hard time finding a job, it was hell, but it was better than being smacked around and dealing with all that crap. but this woman is on her 5th child with this man, 3 since she fled across the country to get away from him.
so - at what point do we stop? at what point do we have to say NO MORE. they have already taken umpteen thousands of dollars from the tax payers and who knows who else... and now they are just getting handouts left and right like crazy. maybe i would feel better if someone came along and said those kids deserve more and then i could give stuff knowing that the parents are out of the picture. but thats not the case and it is paining me to see so many good people helping them when the vast majority know nothing about them, and have no idea he is allegedly an armed robber. imagine the outpouring when he goes to prison.... but his wife has told me things that would make you want to shake her silly, and she has basically been like a career welfare case ever since. your money, no matter where you are living in canada, may be helping this couple. i dont mind if it helps their kids but at the same time, it's just helping them NOT to have to help their own children. it really sickens and upsets me.