A Family’s Response to the Nov. 1 “Face of homelessness” article

After reading your story regarding the mother who “struggles to rise above hardships and homelessness” it was apparent not all reported information, with respect to this particular mother, was truly investigated, confirming the facts of how and where she is today.

This mother and child have had and always had numerous family members that have wanted to assist her with support. Every attempt with areas of support offered was to provide both she and her children success in life and their relationships.

The entire Family of this mother, including her ex-husband and ex-in-laws, has offered support in many different ways over the past four years, which included: financial, schooling, housing, transportation, daycare, and continued love.

This individual’s defiance has led her to the many challenges she is facing today and we are all extremely saddened, have experienced continued loss and are taken back by her statement that “she had no family she could turn to for help.”

The history of this family’s story is excessively long to share in one letter; however, the most important fact and truth is this mother has had more offerings of assistance than many who truly need it.

It is extremely unfortunate that there isn’t proper screening of one’s information, prior to allowing individuals to utilize resources that others really need.

Another shocking fact is many of us related to this mother have supported Hope Haven over the years with meals, gifts for the children, and no one from Hope Haven took the time to contact us so we could again offer support for this mother and child.

Finally, the greatest tragedy of all involved is the negative impact to both of these children, in part due to a broken system and the unfortunate choices made by an individual refusing family support when there is no justifiable reason for it!

-Terry & Diana Vonderheide


Editor’s Note:

A Nov. 1 article titled “Face of Homelessness” stated incorrectly that Elissa Vonderheide hopes to win visitation rights of her elder daughter in the future. Vonderheide currently has conditional visitation rights, according to a DeKalb County Circuit Court document.

The article also stated Vonderheide lost primary custody of her elder daughter when her ex-husband saw Vonderheide’s then-boyfriend abusing Vonderheide. Vonderheide lost custody of her elder daughter due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to her ex-husband’s suspicion Vonderheide was being abused, according to a DeKalb County Circuit Court document. These reasons, according to the court document, include filing false police reports, not spending child support on the child and bodily harm to the child, among others.