2019 Rich Mahan Best Student Portfolio
Story Description: On July 24, 2019, the Cruz family are evicted from their home. The three bedroom house they called home the past three years became unaffordable for siblings Adrian Cruz, 12, Kimberly Cruz, 16, and Jose Cruz, 21. Their mother Adriana Cruz had been detained on a sunny summer day on July 11th, 2019, in Las Vegas while the siblings were at home. Adriana was headed to the bank when ICE pulled her over, the same bank she planned on depositing her check to pay the split payment of rent, which was due the same day. The Cruz children couldn't afford to pay the rent for their house without the help of their single parent mother, so the landlord evicted them within a week of Adriana's detainment. The day prior to moving, the siblings were forced to sleep in a hotel after the landlord locked the door to their house, and woke up early to say goodbye to their home and pack. While moving into their new apartment, the only hope they could look forward to after eviction was the glimmer of hope that their mother would come home. First caption: The siblings spend hours packing clothes and belongings into their U-Haul van, from 8 am until 2 o'clock, with the sibling receiving assistance from the Latino outreach nonprofit Mi Familia Vota, with moving heavier items into the van. Adrian, Kimberly, and Omar took a break to rest on their mothers bed still with unpacked clothes, and think what they should leave behind. "Mom has so many things. I don't think everything will be able to fit in these boxes," Adrian said while packing with his siblings their mother's belongs.
Michael Blackshire / Western Kentucky University