Community donors and organizations are fundraising for the down payment on a home for a Moab family affected by tragic losses.
Lori Lameman’s husband, Ferdinand, died on Sept. 27, 2014, when he was pinned beneath a motor home that he was repairing at a Moab car dealership.
Since that time, Lameman has been the sole breadwinner for herself and her three children. Then, on May 1, their home was destroyed when a fire began behind the refrigerator.
With the experience of two painful losses, Lameman and her children, Lindsey, 13, Linealah, 12, and Lorlinda, 16, moved into a single room at the Hampton Inn, where Lameman works full time as the laundry manager.
Staying in the hotel room was a temporary solution as the family began to look for new housing, but with Moab’s limited availability of housing, the search results became dead-ends.
“It sort of became apparent with all the failed attempts that had happened, we were like, ‘OK, what is something that Lori can have that can be hers, and she wouldn’t have to worry going forward?’” said Rhiana Medina, executive director at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center (MVMC).
Medina is assisting the Lameman family with their relocation, and right now, more than a dozen community donors and organizations are raising the money the family needs for a down payment on the purchase of a home in Moab.
On Monday, June 25, Lameman met with Medina at MVMC, where the two discussed the documents to an offer on the purchase of a trailer at Grand Oasis.
“This trailer is something that this group of women and the Interfaith Council has been helping raise for the down payment, but after that, it’s on her,” Medina said. “I’m excited for her to be able to do that for her kids and have property here where she’s lived for so long and had a family so long. She totally deserves it and we’re super excited.”
Others coordinating, assisting and donating to the Lameman family are Mallory Nassau at the Department of Human Services’ System of Care, Linda Skogrand at Not So Churchy in Moab, retired Grand County schools superintendent Margaret Hopkin, Sara Melnicoff at Moab Solutions and the Moab branch of 100+ Women Who Care.
The LDS church, Grand County High School, Grand County Middle School, Community Church of Moab, Colin Fryer and pastor Dick Pacheco with the Interfaith Council are involved, as are a few who have asked not to be named, including one anonymous donor who gave $5,000.
A Moab-based real estate agent helping to navigate Lameman through inspections, negotiations and contract writing asked not to be identified because she wants to “stay in the background.”
Finalization of the purchase of the home was confirmed on Wednesday, June 27, after the offer documents were presented to Inspire Communities, a California-based company with properties in 13 states, that now manages Grand Oasis.
Lameman said she has lived in Moab for more than a decade.
“My husband first came here a year after my daughter was born, and he found a job and he found us a place to stay, and at the time I was still living with my mom,” Lameman said.
The goal is to raise $20,000 for the family’s down payment on the Grand Oasis home.
“We’re hope for a little bit more toward the down payment,” Medina said. “We set our goal at $20,000 because we think that that would really give her a payment that we know that she can sustain. If we don’t get quite to $20,000, she’s still going to be able to get in there, but we just want to send her off as best as possible.”
“I’ll make it work — I have, ever since my husband passed, to this day, and I’m still here,” Lameman said.
When asked what her three teenagers think of their home at Grand Oasis, Lameman said, “This house is going to make a big change for us because it’s huge. As soon as we walked in, my girls were like, ‘Oh my God! We should get this. This is huge, there is more space.’ The trailer we had was small, even for the four of us, but I’m willing to pay whatever it is to get my girls and just move on and live freely again. It’s a lot of work, but I’ve learned a lot ... all the good and bads.”
Melnicoff, at Moab Solutions, said she was invited to participate in the group to assist the Lameman family and has been helping to coordinate ever since.
“My biggest hope is that this woman, who has suffered more in one lifetime than any one person should, can start out in this new home a little bit ahead of the game,” Melnicoff said.
Melnicoff said people interested in making monetary donations for the remainder of the down payment
may make a contribution through Moab Solutions or the MVMC.