By John Kelly, columnist
The Washington Post
November 14, 2016
I asked Rayven Lynch what made her want to go to college, the first in her family to do so.
“Because I wanted more for myself,” the composed, soft-spoken 17-year-old said. “And for my siblings.”
Rayven’s mother, Martina Lynch, gave birth to Rayven when she was 14.
“I was really a baby having a baby,” Martina, now 31, told me.
I met Martina and her family in their apartment in Southeast Washington, near the Congress Heights Metro station. They are clients of Community of Hope, a local charity that is a partner in The Washington Post Helping Hand fundraising drive.
When a District family is chronically homeless, as Martina’s once was, often the first thing city agencies do is try to find relatives or friends who are amenable to having the distressed family move in with them. That’s what Martina often did.
“But who wants to have this person with five kids to come and stay with them — and for so long — until she gets on her feet?” she said. “That was just too much.”
The situation can end up disrupting multiple lives. For kids, it makes it hard to concentrate on schoolwork. For adults, it feeds a resentment that often erupts in acrimony.
Story continued in The Washington Post.