FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The school her children attends sent a raw turkey home to cook for Thanksgiving. The only problem is Michelle McCray has no oven.
For nearly a year, the mother of five has been living in an extended stay hotel room with her children, ranging in age from 1 to 12.
Six people share one bathroom and a kitchen/eating area the size of a closet.
There is a small microwave and refrigerator.
Three of the kids sleep on a pull out sofa. McCray, her baby daughter and another child sleep on the bed.
When asked what gives her hope right now, McCray replied simply, “My kids, mainly my kids give me hope.”
CBS4 first told their story back in February 2019. At the time, McCray had just lost her partner, 29-year-old Tadarius Nisbett.
Nisbett had been murdered in Fort Lauderdale. Nisbett is the father of 1-year-old Leilani and was a stepfather to McCray’s four other children.
“My 1-year-old looks like him, so I cry every day,” said McCray.
McCray’s children, who are devoted to each other, say they wish for a real house and a van for their mother. Right now they walk everywhere.
Gloria Lewis has been helping the family through her charity, “Care In Action USA.”
Lewis works full time as a waitress in Delray Beach.
When she isn’t waiting tables she serves up meals for the homeless through her charity, she has been paying for the McCray’s hotel room to the sum of more than $25,000. But now she is financially stretched.
“I’m at my wit’s end. It puts the feeding program in jeopardy and we can’t afford to do that anymore,” she said through tears on Wednesday. “We are crying to the public to avoid putting these kids on the streets.”
McCray is working at a temp job that barely pays for the baby’s daycare.
McCray’s mom, who used to watch the kids, is in the hospital and it’s unclear when she may be released.
“It’s scary to think about it, but I’ve got to try my best,” said McCray.
If you would like to help the McCray family, either helping them secure a permanent home or donations for basic living expenses, please contact Neighbors 4 Neighbors at neighbors4neighbors.org or call (305) 597-4404.
You can also get in touch with Gloria Lewis and Care In Action USA at (954) 732-9238.