SHEBOYGAN — A wheelchair bound and homeless mother's prayers have been answered for her and her daughter. They finally have a warm place to stay thanks to the generosity of hundreds of strangers.
Ashley Mckinnie and her daughter have recently been staying in and out of shelters in Sheboygan. At one point, she thought she was going to be kicked out of the shelter too.
"My daughter has been struggling because it's hard for her to take a nap and she's been sick. She's been really tired in the morning so it's rough leaving out. I was told that if she keeps throwing tantrums about leaving out we will get kicked out. It is freezing outside right now and I'm in a wheelchair and I often times have to wheel myself to the library," McKinnie wrote on her GoFundMe page.
Since 2016, Mckinnie said she has struggled to stay afloat. That year she attempted suicide, which resulted in a spinal injury and her relying on a wheelchair to get around.
If you or are loved one is thinking about suicide, help is available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.
Since 2019, Mckinnie said she has experienced homelessness off and on. And her injury makes it difficult for her to find a job.
According to a 2021 Sheboygan City report, there are 500 people experiencing homelessness in the city each year. According to one city official there's just one full-time shelter and one warming shelter. The warming shelter is only open in the winter months.
Mckinnie said something as simple as having a place for her daughter to nap is tough when they're not at the shelter.
"If the library's closed we go to the bar or the kid's museum," she said.
As a last resort, she decided to make that GoFundMe hoping someone would hear her prayer. Hundreds have heard it. She asked for $1,400. Instead, as of the publication of this article she has $70,000 and counting.
"Update we are in a hotel for the week. A pastor helped me out. I should have a place within the week because of all your guys help. If anyone knows of any places that will accept me no matter my credit history that would be gratefully appreciated. I'm going to try for a mobile home," she wrote on GoFundMe.
It's still a long road ahead for Mckinnie and her daughter, but this helping hand from the southeastern Wisconsin community will give her the boost she needs to provide a warm home for her daughter and food on the table.