My mother and I have one week to raise enough money to save my childhood home. Donations will help cover her mortgage debt, which will allow her to keep our home, and future payments up to three months.
My name is Eva Maria Lewis, I'm an activist, artist, and advocate from the South side of Chicago, and I'm a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania with a full ride scholarship. None of this would be possible without my Mama. My Mama sacrificed everything for me. A single mother, she quit her job after they relocated to a suburb so that she could fully invest in me. Since then, she has struggled with sporadic unemployment and accrued debt. Still, she has managed to make ends meet, put me in programming, and invest in my education in hopes she would see her sacrifices pay off.
Her vulnerability as a Black woman, and first generation college student, became evident when she had to make economic decisions in her adulthood. It is fact that there are more evicted Black women than there are incarcerated Black men. My Mama has almost become a part of that statistic so many times in my life. After 'buying' her property in 1995 from someone with devious intentions, she found out in 2006 that she did not own her home, and had to fight to re-purchase it, costing her more than she had access to. I was six years old when we were almost left homeless with no warning. This happens to so many people of color, with little to no financial literacy, who do not have the resources to understand when they are being manipulated. However, my Mama is a fighter. Despite seeing eviction notices throughout my lifetime, we have managed to keep our home through unconventional means.
Now, our neighborhood is being gentrified. It was just posted that our home is worth nearly $100k more than it was purchased for. On January 10th a motion was proposed to foreclose our home due to our inability to pay three months of mortgage payments. My Mama owes more money than she originally bought the house for. On top of that, in order to keep it a few months back she had to file bankruptcy, so every penny she gets goes to the government. We have until January 17th to scrape up $5,000 just to keep this house. I'm praying we can fundraise even more so she can spend the next few months stacking her money to sustain herself, and get back on her feet.
Now at an Ivy League institution, it breaks my heart to see the poverty I come from; the person who invested in me to be where I am today is still economically struggling. I have spent my whole life in South Shore. Endless family celebrations, memories, heartbreak, and moments of growth have happened in this house. My dream is for us to eventually pay the last penny of the $85,000 we need to own this home, so my Mama can be free to fulfill her dreams. She is passionate about health access and healing methods; she wants to open her own community healing center. She cannot do that if her agency is taken away by capitalistic individuals (and) the government, who demand everything she makes.
Please help us save our home. There is so much more to life than scrapping for pennies, I want us all to be free.
Can’t donate? Please share. Even a quick share on Facebook can help.
The average share raises $97.
Looking to raise money?