Thanks for Giving: Mother of eight who moved family to Lincoln yearns for adequate housing

DENNIS BUCKLEY For the Journal Star – Nov 16, 2022 Updated 1 hr ago

Shaneeka Fondal said Lincoln was the safe community she hoped for when she relocated her family from New Orleans. Catholic Social Services nominated the family to receive help from Journal Star readers in its annual Thanks for Giving program. Front row from left: Adoree Ross, 7; Myracle Ross, 9; Darryl Ross Jr., 12; Darryl Ross III, 10; back row from left, Kameron Ross, 8; Elijah Ross, 4; Darryl Ross Sr.; Shaneeka Fondal, Shamara Fondal, 16; Dakota Ross, 5. JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star

My cmnt: Better hope that Pat Condon holds on to beat Adam Morfeld in heated race for Lancaster County attorney. People flee democrat-run cities and states for safer, better, less expensive places to live. As Lincoln goes blue with our Leftist mayor and City Council and career politicians and democrats like Morfeld continue to be placed into positions of power they will turn Lincoln into New Orleans.

My cmnt: These democrat-run cities never get any better. In the early 1960s my two best friends (twin brothers) moved with their newly divorced mother (the only kids I knew the entire time I was growing up who had divorced parents) to Norleans (that’s how locals say New Orleans) for reasons they never could explain. They moved back (couldn’t stand the crime, schools, poverty, corruption, etc.) in high school and told me that Norleans was four years behind them in education and left them so educationally deficient that it took a monumental effort for them to catch up to grade level.

Shaneeka Fondal looked at the growing homicide rate in New Orleans and knew there had to be a safer place to raise her growing family.

A stepson had recommended Lincoln, where he had lived a few years back before moving to Mississippi. And in 2019, the Louisiana native and mother of eight (children ages 3 to 16) packed up the family’s belongings and prepared for a new life and a fresh start in Nebraska’s capital city.

She said she found Lincoln to be the “nice, safe community” she had envisioned. The family was able to cobble together $1,800 to rent a three-bedroom home with a large basement. Her children fared well in their new schools, and she was especially pleased by the caliber of Lincoln’s medical community.

“Doctors here have good advice, and they actually listen to you.”

But life soon began to unravel. Many of the family’s existing medical issues soon began to create greater challenges, and the family finances were squeezed by medical bills, rising rent and the absence of a support system.

1 In 4 Americans skipping Thanksgiving this year to save money – Let’s go Brandon

Facing another spike in rent, Fondal couldn’t justify paying $2,000 a month in order to remain in a home that offered safety and ample space. The family settled on squeezing into a mobile home in northwest Lincoln, where it’s currently paying $1,400 for a trailer whose lack of adequate insulation offers little protection from the frigid weather that began to grip the Midwest last weekend.

“It’s not homey, and it’s cold,” Fondal said Monday. “Kids need their space, and in a trailer, that’s hard.” In addition, the drafty conditions have made life miserable for one of the children who has severe breathing issues.

Another child has an abnormal gait, she said, and a third is a diabetic whose insulin is covered by Medicaid. The diabetic is a 12-year-old boy who also has autism and does not adapt well to change, which added to the challenges during the family’s move to the Midwest.

Despite the disruptions in their lives, Fondal is proud to report that all seven of her school-age children are honor roll students. They attend West Lincoln Elementary, Goodrich Middle School and North Star High School.

The family relies primarily on bus passes to get around town. The family car is a 2002 Toyota that needs transmission work.

Catholic Social Services, which nominated the Fondal family for help through the Journal Star’s annual Thanks for Giving program, has come to its aid in the form of rent assistance and support through its food pantry.

The annual Thanks for Giving drive invites Journal Star readers to donate to those who need a little help around the holidays. This year, 17 agencies and nonprofits submitted more than 60 requests.

Fondal said the father of all but her oldest child lives with the family and “helps a lot” wherever he can. Fondal said she has “severe PTSD” (post-traumatic stress disorder), which went untreated for years after she was molested at the age of 12. The condition makes it virtually impossible for her to be employed.

For the upcoming holidays, Fondal would benefit from grocery gift cards or a Visa card to buy clothing and toys for the children. To help, contact Marilu of Catholic Social Services at 402-327-6222 or

Her long-term goal is to find adequate housing in a safe neighborhood, similar to the situation they enjoyed as Lincoln newcomers several years ago.

“When I need a positive outlook, I look no farther than my kids’ faces,” she said. “It helps to have faith that things will change for us someday.

“I just want a home and a yard for my kids.”

My cmnt: And don’t we all. Ah, the American dream; killed by democrat policies, values and corruption.

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