Hope Beats Hardship

By Arthur Bridgeforth, Jr. and Pamela Waxman

Life offers many challenges. Flushing your toilet should not be one of them.

Thanks to donors—and their profound act of hope—this Michigan family has one less thing to worry about.

Dominique tries to keep a good attitude. She works hard to create positive outcomes in life. But recently, one downturn after another tested all of Dominique’s reserves.

“I was taking care of my 96-year-old grandmother, and two hemophiliac kids that I was giving shots to every six hours. I couldn’t pay no bills,” said Dominique. “My basement flooded. I had to pay $3,500 to get my backyard dug up. So I couldn’t pay no bills, like nothing really.”

Dominique is also pregnant. Trouble with the pregnancy forced her doctor to order her on bed rest. As a result, her bills piled up, including a water bill that ballooned to $2,300.

Dominique was determined to not have her water shut-off. Without running water, her home would quickly become unsanitary. If she had no water, she would risk losing custody of her children. Children living in a home without utilities are considered neglected—even when the issue is actually poverty.

By the time she was referred to The Human Utility, Dominique had already asked for help from the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan. Our two organizations joined forces to pay her water bill.

Because of her acute financial need, she qualified for a payment plan from the water company. She only needed to come up with $815 of the total balance. The Human Utility paid $400 and the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan paid $415.

“Ms. Marie, she got right on that,” Dominique said of our customer support manager. “I sent her the paperwork and the bill was paid the same day.”

She will pay the remaining balance through her payment plan, which lowers her monthly payments considerably. Her most recent bill was $62, an amount she can afford.

The Human Utility uses technology to do some good in the world. People who care—people like you—are the real precious resource. Each time you donate, you bring a dose of normal life back to someone like Dominique who desperately needs it. Thank you.