Cheryl was 75 years old when she lost her husband. In addition, her vision is failing and she suffers from stage 4 renal cancer. When Lone Star Legal Aid first met Cheryl, she was living alone with no nearby relatives and sleeping on her couch. She relied upon Meals on Wheels for food, receiving only 4 meals a week, and had no way of getting to the grocery store on a regular basis. She was financially unable to pay for the gas in her vehicle that her Home Health provider used to do her errands.
Cheryl presented herself as a very proud woman and was not used to asking for help. Her husband had cared for her until his own health declined, sending him into a nursing home, to later unexpectedly pass away. It was her husband’s death in January 2020 that connected Cheryl with the Lone Star Legal Aid Conroe Branch Office. She was given our number and convinced by her Home Health provider to reach out.
Although she had only reached out for assistance with probating her husband’s will, it became apparent that she had little to no assistance with other necessary aspects of life, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the course of the interview with the Lone Star Legal Aid Conroe Branch paralegal Natalia Reese, these needs were addressed. Natalia was able to provide advice on pertinent COVID-19 issues like Stay at Home orders and Public Utilities. Natalia was also able to assist her with applying for Food Stamps online, to get the maximum benefit for the COVID-19 period.
When Natalia asked how Cheryl was able to get provisions from the store, she said that her Home Health provider can do so from time to time, but they use her car, and paying for gas to do so is a hardship. Natalia Reese immediately researched Food Pantries in the area and after speaking with San Jacinto County Emergency Management, was given a resource to contact; Crowdsource Rescue. Crowdsource is a Houston-based non-profit that uses next-generation technology to quickly connect both professional first-responders and vetted volunteers with response cases immediately before, during, and after a disaster. One such response is taking food to those without the means to obtain it for themselves.
Working with this new coalition, Natalia Reese helped Cheryl apply online for all of the services referenced above. Natalia was able to reach out to Crowdsource Rescue and give them a list of items that Cheryl needed. They were able to coordinate and deliver the items on the very same day. Crowdsource Rescue is also going to assist in getting Cheryl a bed to sleep on.
Conroe Branch Managing Attorney Deborah Concepcion and Conroe Branch paralegal Mary Rodriguez personally drove to Cheryl’s home to begin the process of opening the matter to assist her in Probating her husband’s estate. They were also able to assist her in notarizing some documents that she had not been able to do because she lacked the resources and transportation to get out.
Now that all of that is taken care of, Natalia Reese will be assisting Cheryl with applying for Social Security Disability and Social Security Income.