TJMS awards Tacco Cullins, a single mother of 11, with this weeks Christmas Wish.
Yesterday, I was interviewed by Jacque Reid and talked to you, Sybil and j. Anthony Brown about my desperate situation. My name is Tacco Cullins and i am a thirty-four year-old single mother of eleven children, ages two to nineteen years-old. My problems began last February when i signed a rental agreement with a landlord to move into a house that needed a lot of work. That July, my electrical box exploded and the landlord refused to fix it, leaving us to live without power.I decided to withhold rent until the repairs were made, but instead of fixing the problem, he tried to evict us. It was only after i took him to court that i found out that he did not actually own the house. Since the house was dangerous and unlivable and my money was all gone fighting against what was happening, my children and i became homeless.
Tom, I could not find anyone who would give shelter or help to a woman with such a large family. Our unstable situation almost cost me my children when a division of family and children services worker (dfcs) showed up to take them away from me. If it had not been for my pastor explaining that i am a good mother — my children would have been split up to other homes and i would have been heartbroken. I contacted occupy our homes Atlanta and cried about my problems. They instantly reached out to their networks of organizations and found us a rental house for $940. a month, which we moved into last Wednesday, got us groceries and bought a few things for the children to begin school next week.
Tom, I feel like we have hope again, but we still need help. It is my Christmas wish to have the utility bills for the electricity and water bills paid for several months, so that i can be free to make changes that will affect my children. One of the first things I want to do is to get my g.e.d—then i plan on working to help other women in Atlanta fight against poverty and homelessness, so that their children— like my children— can find a better way to live.