Client Story: Lionel and Chyrisse

Lionel and Chyrisse lost their Tampa home of nine years in 2018 when they couldn’t keep up with rental payments.

The couple’s income dropped after the call center Chyrisse worked at cut her hours because business slowed. Chyrisse said she offered to make partial payments to cover a portion of the rent until she could find additional work, but her landlord refused.

The landlord evicted the couple and their three children, now ages 6, 10 and 12. The family of five lived in multiple motels for a year. Landlords wouldn’t rent to them because of the eviction, Chyrisse said.

“It was expensive and nerve racking because there were five people in one room,” Chyrisse said of living in motels.

Then a car accident in September 2019 injured Lionel and Chyrisse and totaled their only car. Chyrisse said Lionel can’t work for six months because of his injuries.

After everything the family had been through, Lionel’s friend, Mike, said he wanted to do everything in his power to help them. Having previous experience managing rental properties of his own, Mike contacted multiple rental property owners vouching for the family and pleading for them to give the family a chance.

The family received good news when a property owner agreed to rent them a home.

Mike then reached out to The Mustard Seed of Central Florida after scouring the Internet for furniture banks.

“It’s amazing because we tried to get help from different places, and nobody was willing to help,” Chyrisse said. “We got our whole house furnished from The Mustard Seed. Who does that?

“I haven’t been smiling for a long time,” Chyrisse continued. “My children asked me, ‘Mommy, why don’t you smile anymore?’ This (furniture assistance) is so nice. We’re all so happy this is happening.”

If you would like to help others suffering from disaster or personal tragedy, click here to donate.

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