This week, Lucy helps Maria and her family spread their wings of independence by setting them loose on the public transportation system. It will be crucial for them to know how to navigate it once they are on their own.
Coronavirus is still a thing. I need to find another place for this family because when Maria starts to work, she will be open to getting the virus. My family will be safer if she is not with us. It sounds pretty cold, I’m sure. Even having them explore the city puts my family at an increased risk. My state, like many others, has just decided to open up a bit, and both cases and deaths are increasing.
Monday was tough. Maria had a job interview with a fast food restaurant. They seemed unconcerned with her lack of paperwork but Maria said that she couldn’t take the job because it would be at night, I explained that she could take public transportation but she was nervous about a system that she was unfamiliar with.
I sent the Maria, Juan, and Julia on an adventure to explore the local public transportation. They had a phone, a backpack with snacks, a backpack with their required paperwork (they have to take the paperwork everywhere they go), and an all day ticket to ride public transportation. I gave them $20 so that they could get lunch or whatever while on their adventure. Two hours later, I received a frantic call.
Julia (Maria’s teenage daughter) left the backpack on the bus. This is the backpack with all of their paperwork. This is the backpack with the EBT card (food stamps – Julia qualifies) that pays for their food. This was the backpack with their all-day public transportation pass. Julia was horrified. Maria was beside herself. Mercifully, it was not the backpack with the phone.
I asked them to send me their address so that I could go and pick them up. They sent a ping from their phone that gave a little map with their address, and I set off. I stopped on the way there to confirm their address, and they sent a different ping with a significantly different address. I asked them if they were on the train, and they said yes. I asked if they were on their way back to the house, and they said no. I asked where they were going, and they said that they didn’t know. I told them to get off the train and send me directions. I headed in the direction of the latest ping and eventually caught up with them.
The trip back home started silently. I didn’t want to say anything. Eventually, I started talking to Maria, and she started going off about how Julia wanted to hold the backpack, and how Maria was responsible. It was a little bit embarrassing, and I felt terribly for Julia. She must have felt horrible. I told Maria to call her ICE contact, and also call Julia’s case manager. I would call the lost and found.
Julia and I went to the lost and found on Tuesday but they didn’t have the backpack. I will call again tomorrow. As of now, nothing has been resolved. It should be possible to fix things with ICE. It should be possible to get a new EBT food card. It will be a pain, but it should be possible.
Next week will be our final post in this series. Find out how the situation resolves for Lucy, Maria, and their respective families.