Homeless Virginia Mom Struggles To Raise Daughter | Virginia Beach , Virginia | NECN
It’s playtime for 7-year-old Jasmine Patton.
She hops on her mother’s full-size bed, molds Play-Doh and giggles at the cartoons on television on a late January weekend.
She and her mother, Debbie Wiercinski, have been living in and out of hotels since July. They most recently found shelter at the MacThrift Motor Inn at the Oceanfront.
The instability has caused Wiercinski to lose jobs, but she was lucky to find one at a dry-cleaning business in January. She said she approached local shelters for help but was turned away.
Her daughter, a sweet little girl with a cherubic face and head full of the same curly hair that her mother has, doesn’t know she’s homeless. Wiercinski doesn’t tell Jasmine because she doesn’t want her to feel any different from her classmates.
“I want her to be a kid and not face adult things,” Wiercinski said. “I want her to be as innocent for as long as possible.”
This isn’t the life Wiercinski imagined for Jasmine. She wants stability, reliable transportation. “I want what the typical family has.”
Jasmine, meanwhile, wants to be a Girl Scout and have sleep-overs and tea parties. She wants a room with one side painted pink, the other in leopard print.
This evening, as Jasmine plays, Wiercinski sits near her daughter and quietly cries.
A local tax company has told her again that the tax refund she’s been counting on will be late.
Jasmine plants a soft kiss on her mother’s lips, oblivious to their plight.
Wiercinski, 37, has to pay for laundry, food and her weekly hotel rate of $250.
She needs the money now.
Jasmine represents a growing number of homeless children living in South Hampton Roads.
Shelters and school divisions have seen an increase in need from homeless families.