by Andy Aber, age 8
Week 1: I went to school all week. I told my teacher I was hungry. She asked me a few questions, but she didn’t give me anything to eat. In the evenings, my parents are always talking about money and how we can’t afford anything. Dad finally went to the store and bought some groceries while my brother, sister and me were at school, and mom was at work. He also went someplace to see about getting something called an EBT card to help get food, but they just gave him a piece of paper to fill out. One day at school my teacher handed me a piece of paper that said I won $50 for an art contest she entered me in. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to buy this new toy that I’ve been wanting! But after I got home and told my parents about it, they said I had to give them the money to help pay for bills. I was not happy! It’s MY money! It’s not fair! Dad told me I was gonna have to stay home from school one day next week to go to the bank with him to get the money.
Week 2: My sister didn’t go to school this week. She went to the doctor to check on her baby. She said they didn’t help her much because she doesn’t have insurance. She went over to her boyfriend’s house to ask him for money, but he wouldn’t give her anything. When we got home from school, we had a broken window in the house. It’s gonna cost $55 to get fixed, which we don’t have. Our neighbor told us while we were all away, someone broke into our house. For a long time, we couldn’t figure out what was missing, but then mom realized her paycheck was stolen! I skipped school one day and went to the bank with dad. The line was super long with only two people working. Dad was complaining they need more workers. Everyone ahead of us was taking forever and the bank closed before it was even our turn!
Week 3: We didn’t have school this week. My brother and me had to stay home all day by ourselves. I hate that my brother acts like he’s my boss. He’s only 2 years older than me! A couple strangers came by our house and said they needed the money for the house payment. We only had $15 in cash and they said they would take that. When our parents got home, they were furious we gave them all our cash. They told my sister to take the microwave, stove and refrigerator to the Pawn Shop to get money for them. She also took one of the cars to see what she could get for it, but the Pawn Shop said they already had too many of those same items and would not give her money for anything. Mom didn’t go to work one day so she could go to the bank. She waited in line for a long time. When it was finally her turn, they wouldn’t give her any money because she forgot all of our Social Security cards at home. She was mad because she wasted money to get there.
Week 4: Things are getting really bad at home. We still don’t have any money, and the line at the bank is always so long that mom can’t get her paychecks cashed. Dad said she needs direct deposit! They are always fighting about money. One day when we got home from school, there was a sign hanging on our door that said EVICTED. When dad got home, he said we had to go to the Homeless Shelter. I’m so sad. We don’t have anything. I don’t want to go back to school because I know the other kids are gonna make fun of me for living in a Homeless Shelter. I don’t know what my family is going to do now…
Excerpt used by permission from the Medina County Commissioner’s Newsletter at https://www.medinaco.org/medina-county-commissioners-january-27-2023-newsletter.