MUSKEGON, Mich. – Ricky and Jennifer Chambers are looking for help and said they don’t know where to turn.
The Chambers said they’re both Army veterans. Ricky left the army in 1988, and Jennifer’s service ended in 2000.
Their Muskegon home is paid off, and on the outside it looks pretty normal. The inside is a different story, though, and they refuse to sleep there.
Just after Ricky made a down payment, something went horribly wrong before he could buy insurance.
“He had already put the paperwork in (the house), then it caught on fire as his paperwork was going through. And it was arson was what they said, ” Jennifer said.
FOX 17 News took a tour inside. Six years after the fire, the smell of smoke still lingers throughout. Insulation is still exposed, and there’s a winter chill in the air.
The Chambers said there are serious electric and plumbing repairs that they can’t afford to pay. That means no running water and no heat.
“The project has just been bigger than what we can handle,” Jennifer said.
“There hasn’t been any running water or any gas in the house in six years almost,” she added. “So we kind of felt like we’ve been living in a third world country.”
Neighbors let the Chambers take showers and wash dishes in their house. “Ya know, [we] have to go to Wesco to go to the bathroom. It’s really hard.”
Without cash, the Chambers just can’t seem to get ahead. With little work, they’re routinely behind on their bills, Jennifer said.
Jennifer he makes $600 a month by working part-time with social media management. Husband Ricky was laid off in recent years. He even went out of state to look for work, but he couldn’t find it.
“My husband actually volunteers for the American Red Cross and disaster relief, of all things. And he drives the blood to hospitals and stuff, so we try to help out where we can with other people.”
“We don`t really like asking for help, but we’d like to at least have heat and running water,” Jennifer added.
The family now lives in an RV in their backyard. It’s cramped quarters without the basic necessities to live. Both are still hoping for help, not a handout.
“If somebody can help us get started, at least get us in the right direction that’s all we really want,” she said.
If you would have any resources that might help the Chambers email firstname.lastname@example.org