Juana’s Story

Juana* spent 16 months living at St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Mentor along with her two sons in order to avoid an arrest and deportation by ICE. She lost her income and her community in the move to the church. The boys had to start over in new schools. But, the St. Andrew community welcomed them and provided them with food, shelter, and a new community. A parishioner taught Juana how to make chocolates to earn some money and tutors helped the boys with their school work.

Now Juana and the boys are living on their own outside the church. But, it’s tough because Juana still cannot get a job. A food pantry provides them with food. She continues to make chocolates, but it doesn’t cover the rent and utilities. So, AMIS has stepped in to cover Laura’s back utility bill and her rent for the next several months.

“AMIS has been a life-saver for Juana and the boys,” says Rev. Lisa O’Rear, pastor of St. Andrew and one of Juana’s biggest boosters. “I know she’s very grateful for the financial support she’s receiving. And, now with COVID, selling her chocolates is next to impossible. The AMIS support gives Juana both financial and emotional relief at this very difficult time.”

AMIS will continue to follow Laura and the boys and provide support as they, too, grapple with how to survive in this period of COVID-19.

*A pseudonym is being used to protect the family

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