"Family takes care of each other, right?" That's what happens in Mandy's 3-generation household. Easy? It's never been easy.
Mandy's mom left when she was 4, leaving her dad with 4 girls ages 2, 3, 4, and 5. What dad didn't have was help. Eventually, he had to quit work to take care of the little girls, one with special needs.
"We lived on Food Stamps and whatever we could get from restaurants. Sometimes Dad could get a little job here and there."
Despite multiple medical issues, Mandy had her 1st and only child when she was 27. They, too tried to make it on their own but ended up moving back in with her dad. He was disabled by then, but that meant there was scant - tho reliable - income.
Then they took in a family friend, an older woman with struggles of her own.
When Mandy visited MetMin for the 1st time ever, their family's water had been off for almost a month. What stood between them and running water and flushing toilets was $69.17. It was a bridge too far.
$69.17. I spent more than that when I did my grocery shopping on Saturday.