Friday, June 12, 2020

O’Hare couple have a home—until June 23

     Life is looking up for Linda and Manny Benavides.
     They are no longer sleeping on chairs at O’Hare International Airport, late in the evening, or on a Blue Line train early in the morning, after police make their sweeps and throw them out.
     Now they are in a clean if bare one bedroom ground floor apartment in Norwood Park, temporarily.
     “It’s beautiful in here,” said Linda. “We love it.”
     “Thank you,” added her husband.
     After the Sun-Times featured the couple on its front page May 22, there was an outpouring of support. The couple was put up for a few days in a motel in Des Plaines, where people kept arriving with clothes, gift cards, money.
     “A beautiful Chinese lady, she knocked at the door, gave us an envelope,” said Linda. “She said, ‘This is for you,’ and she brought two masks. I said, ‘What is your name?’ and she said, ‘God’s blessing you.’ She left right away. I gave my husband the envelope. He started counting. It was a thousand dollars. So we opened a bank account right away. We didn’t want to keep it on us.”
     Linda estimates they’ve received $2,600 total.
     Plus the apartment, offered by a stranger.
     “She’s been so good,” said Linda. “I’m afraid for her, because she’s a cop.” 
     That seems noteworthy, especially now. I don’t get many emails from cops, but this one stood out.
     “I am a Chicago police officer,” she began. “I saw the article about the homeless couple that have been sleeping at O’Hare since April 16th. I would like to offer them a place to stay and try to help them to get into a place where they can stay together. I think it’s heartbreaking not to have a place to stay during these difficult times.
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  1. If you wish to help anyone in the Benavides' situation, have them check with Social Security for benefits eligibility. A person needs to work and pay into Social Security for at least 40 calendar quarters, to be eligible for the minimum retirement income. Also make sure they register with Social Security within 3 months before, or 3 months after their 65th birthday, to avoid medicare penalties. If they are a few quarters short, the best thing to do is try to help the person get a job earning at least $1,500.00 in a calendar quarter, until the minimum is met.

  2. It is very tempting to focus on the dark around us. Thanks for sharing some light.

    And that skeleton mask! I thought I was the only smart ass wearing one of those!

  3. Both heartening and disheartening at the same time.



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