Fundraising initiative aims to help Texas warehouse worker and his mother
Christian Willis asks for help to reach his $1,500 goal and avoid homelessness
Map, TX – After a dispute with a neighbor caused them to leave their apartment a year ago, Christian Willis and his mother moved into a budget hotel, Comfort Inn & Suites, in April 2021, with the intention of finding a new home quickly. Due to a combination of rising costs, poor credit scores, a lack of stable income and dwindling savings, Christian and his mother are still living in hotels and struggling to get into an apartment. room.
Christian, who is often the sole breadwinner for his family, is now employed in a warehouse. Like many Americans, he’s grateful to work, but still can’t make ends meet. With his paycheck — about $500 a week — he’s able to pay hotel bills ($400-$430 a week) and stretch the rest to pay for groceries and transportation to and from work. . This leaves almost nothing and prevents him from finding an apartment.
Earlier in the year, he managed to buy a few simple pieces of equipment, like an air fryer and a mini-fridge, so he could cook food in the hotel room rather than always ordering from DoorDash due to the lack of kitchen. But in several cases, Christian had to use either cash advance apps like Earnin to borrow extra money, or pay-later apps like Zip to split his hotel expenses into smaller billing amounts. At first, these methods allowed her to avoid traditional payday loans and bought time for her mother to land a job that would temporarily help her pay hotel bills. However, after hotel rates rose and the owner of the Comfort Inn abruptly closed the property in June 2022, Christian and his mother hastily moved to the Red Roof Inn.
A month later, the family’s belongings were about to be auctioned off due to unpaid rent on a public warehouse. To end it, Christian had to urgently take out a personal loan with an expensive APR. Now, after payday loans take their deductions, Christian and his mother struggle to afford the hotel room as well as expensive carpool fares just to get to work every day. Despite the long walking distance, everyone tries to take the bus or train whenever they can. Nonetheless, Christian faces a weekly battle to settle his bills and ensure they aren’t kicked out of the hotel.
Knowing that this life situation is unsustainable given their meager resources and heavy reliance on payday loans to get by, Christian had decided to reach out to charities willing to help. He created a GoFundMe page in March and his goal is now to raise $1,500. These funds will allow him to rent a one-room apartment and get a cheap electric car or scooter that will ease the difficulty of getting to and from work.
With costs rising due to inflation and supply chain issues since the pandemic, Christian understands that times are tough everywhere. Although he hoped he wouldn’t have to rely on strangers’ charity, the GoFundMe is really a last resort to help him and his mother get back to a real home in an affordable apartment. However, despite including photos and videos on his social media pages documenting his situation, he has often faced backlash for promoting his fundraiser. People were quick to scold him without first fully understanding his story and his struggles.
Because of this hurdle and bashing, Christian has now set up a new, separate crowdfunding campaign on Fundly. This campaign aims to receive support through donations that will help alleviate one’s loan debt while attempting to seek financial relief through a consolidation service. Additionally, in an effort to use all the resources at his disposal and give back in any way possible, he also promotes a number of online fundraising stores that contain freebies that people might be interested in buying for the holidays. A portion of each order will go toward their fundraising goal.
Even in the face of these trials, Christian strives to remain optimistic. He says, “I still believe in destiny and purpose, and I don’t give up on finding a sense of fulfillment. I have high hopes and dreams for independence and a new career so I can pursue a better future. I also think everyone should get a second chance if they are so determined to find that light at the end of the tunnel and overcome the obstacles that block their path to success.
For more direct from Christian, watch this video. For additional updates on his story, connect with him at facebook.com/ChristiansHotelFundraiser or instagram.com/hotelfundraiser. You can help Christian and his mother by making a donation on their GoFundMe Where Fundamentally page. Alternatively, those who prefer to show their support by purchasing fundraising items can make a contribution through one of the online gift shops featured on its Page. Donations made through either crowdfunding site will be immediately available to Christian.