By Mónica Lozada
Community As A Campus outreach services are currently assisting this family of siblings who lost their mother to gun violence.
Esmeralda Hernandez, 38-year-old single mother of nine children was murdered in front of her home at 221 S. Kilpatrick, on July 14, 2021. She is described by her oldest son, Joseph as a strong, independent woman and mother. Growing up he helped his mother raise his eight siblings, and although they struggled, she always found ways to make them happy even though they didn’t have much financially. Since the loss of his mother, Joseph, a 23-year-old, has taken responsibility for his siblings. He made a promise to his mother before she passed that he would never let his siblings be separated and he in fact has kept that promise. He works every day to provide for his brothers and sisters, the youngest of them is two years old.
Since the passing of his mother all the social safety nets have failed these children. They still live in the same home where their mother was killed. They have a CHA voucher for a 4-bedroom apartment, yet no one wants to rent to a 23-year-old with eight siblings. They all have some form of depression, PTSD and anxiety and in need of therapy. On November 7, 2022, one of the boys was robbed at gun point when he was on his way home from work. A job he got to help his older brother take care of their siblings.
Our goal is to help them get a fresh start at life. So far, we requested CHA extension on the moving voucher to find them a rental space, it expires in 30 days. Once a rental is acquired, they will need bunk beds for the minor children because there are five boys in grammar school and the youngest children are girls ages six and two. We were able to secure therapy from Chicago Survivors and raised $3,000 through a Go Fund Me initiative to ensure they have winter clothes.
These are good kids that need a village of support after being failed by so many. Please contact Monica Lozada, CAAC Outreach Coordinator at email@example.com
If you can assist with the following:
- Secure a rental property that accepts CHA with 3-4 bedrooms before rental assistance expires.
- Purchase seven beds total, 2 sets are bunk beds.
- Household items for their new apartment, (dishes, utensils, etc.)