The diary title says it in dollars. I defy you to describe it emotionally. The Ames Family and I are both having a busy day. Both Mark and Shanan are so relieved and they thank you very much. Frem me: Thanks doesn't cover it
The Ames Family's story was thoroughly vetted by me. I spent 5 days checking out their story, checking with the owner of the impound lot, the manager of the motel, Shanan's discharge status, her disability claim, and many more sources. Because I met them originally through a story that ran on KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles where the Ames family's contact information was published, this is the first time I have ever publicly identified a veteran for whom I volunteered.
Here's the quick and rough synopsis - The Long Version is here.
Shanan: In 1995 was given an honorable discharge from the Navy. She had witnessed and experienced Military Sexual Trauma. At the time she was discharged she was lied to. She was told to never contact the Veterans Administration for care of any kind - she wasn't eligible. On Monday we corrected that.
Mark: A good provider for his wife and 3 daughters [17, 10, and 2 years old]. When he proposed to Shanan, her engagement ring was a beautiful one from Tiffany's. When Mark was flipping houses in 2005, his leg went right through the attic floor. What Mark thought was a torn ligament developed into sepsis and gangrene. He nearly died. His leg was amputated above the knee.
The Ames family's economic security was destroyed
by insufficient insurance that would been covered by Obamacare.
The House Rental Scam: [thanks to KTLA Reporter Steve Kuzj, Riverside]Their financial condition is improving for the first time in a long time. We raised enough to keep the van from being auctioned this morning. That was our goal. Many have told me in previous comments that we should collect more to pay off the $2000 owed to the impound lot. If you agree here's the link:
Mark Ames, an above-the-knee amputee who walks with a prosthetic leg, and his wife Sharon [actually Shanan], a disabled Navy veteran, rented a home on Aug. 20 through an ad they found on Craigslist.
“It was everything it was supposed to be, except it wasn’t,” Mark Ames said.
Ames told KTLA he dealt with the purported landlord entirely by email and was issued what he thought was a legitimate lease for a year.
“When someone gives you the lease you expect them to be the owner. Not someone make it up,” Ames said.
On Wednesday, a woman identifying herself as the real property manager showed up at the home with a police officer and told them they had to leave immediately because they were trespassing.
“We don’t know where to go or what to do at this point,” Ames said.
The couple went to a nearby Motel 6 where they are now staying with their three children.
“With our money gone it makes it very hard to get into someplace else,” Ames said.
We all know that Daily Kos is not able to take care all of this family's problems. What we have helped Mark and Shanan do is save their personal effects and the van they are in at the impound lot. We have directed them to the Homeless Veterans projects in their area, confirmed that Shanan's Veterans disability claim filed 3 years ago is active and is very well written, and introduced Shanan to the Veterans Health Care Administration's Women's Health Clinic and the Military Sexual Abuse Clinic. She now understands that with an Honorable Discharge she has total access to the Veterans hospitals, clinics, and programs. For her that was a major step forward.
Personal Messages to you from the Ames Family
We the Ames family wish to express our very great gratitude to all those who have been donating money to save our van.
To be less formal; Thank you so much, we owe all of you,and will attempt to help others as well when we are back on our feet again.
The scam that hurt our family seems to also have brought out the kindness in others. Thank-you and may God be with you all.
Love, Shanan, Samantha, Anna, Robin and Mark
I would also like to add my personal thanks for the show of support and love from people that don't even know us. When this thing with the house happened, I felt like such a loser that I had let my family down and lost all our stuff that I didn't know what to do. But through the kindness of all of you, I can lift my head up a little and know that things will work out. I didn't know that there were so many good and kind people in the world. From a father that feels the weight of the world on my shoulders, Thank you for the helping hand.
The total amount on paypal is $1,676.43
I can't thank you enough,
Throughout the time I have worked with Mark and Shanan, they have been grateful, honest, and uncomplaining. Whenever I suggested to Mark that there was a VA program that might help the family, he has taken action. From them I've learned that surviving while being homeless is a full-time job.
Thank you so much.
7:41 PM PT: I will be back in about an hour. I'm diabetic and need to eat. Thank you, everyone.
8:05 PM PT: XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Mark just called with an update. He's totally freaked ! ! ! !
Tonight = $1,258 + Last night S1,676.43 = $2,934.43