Click this link to donate to help Tee and her kids!
Tee is a single Black mom with two beautiful girls ages 7 and 9. Tee’s story is one of hardship, homelessness, and systemic racism, as well as incredible resiliency, strength, and a mother’s love. Racism, childhood abuse, and a lack of support led Tee to struggle both emotionally and financially as a young adult. After a devastating break up that left Tee to raise her daughters alone, she fell into using drugs as a coping mechanism.
Tee’s love for her daughters led her to call Child Protective Services for help. That’s right Tee called the state of Washington for help to go to treatment and get stable housing for herself and her daughters and in return the state of Washington literally kidnapped her children.
Even though there has never been any allegation of abuse or neglect toward her daughters the state has used the fact that Tee admitted she had used drugs to remove them from Tee’s care for almost two years. Although the state never helped Tee to get treatment nor housing and have actively worked against her every step of the way, Tee has struggled through homelessness and heartbreak to get herself into treatment, get a part time job, and transitional housing.
Tee came to Aileen’s over a year ago now. She started as a peer who attended our hospitality space and soon joined our Peer Leadership program and became a key peer leader. Tee showed up on the regular and worked hard helping to run Aileen’s including outreach, distributing food to the community, and hosting our space. Most importantly Tee brought herself. Tee has a way of making things fun and the other women look up to her.
Tee loves to sing and dance and joke around but she also has a serious side when advocating for her women of color, LGBT, and recovery communities. As a mother Tee is amazing. She has kept up any and all contact she has been allowed with her daughters including daily phone calls and supervised visits. Tee is open and honest with her daughters and takes the time to really listen to them.
Recently, Tee has been hired as paid staff at Aileen’s. We are so lucky to have her as our case manager and office assistant and she has been branching out into community education, giving presentations, and working one on one with peers on their goals. In addition, Tee joined with some of the other peer leaders to found an independent, collective recovery house where women can stay for up to one year. This is where Tee currently resides and where her kids could stay with her in a safe, supportive environment.
Unbelievably, this still isn’t good enough for the state of Washington! They are still erecting barriers and refusing to return custody to Tee. At this point Tee desperately needs an attorney who can expose what the state has been doing and get her daughters returned to her ASAP. Time is running out as the state could soon permanently terminate Tee’s parental rights with no chance of ever getting them back.
Tee needs money to pay a retainer for a good attorney and to get permanent housing for her and her daughters. Please help in this battle against the racist New Jim Crow drug war policies that are continuing to be used to tear apart Black families.