A Hand Up | Beyond the Report

Nov 18, 2019

On this episode of Beyond the Report we meet Linda Mogilnicki a former stay-at-home mother who found herself homeless after her husband left her and kicked her out of their home. Although she’s starting over from scratch, she’s starting over with the help of a fellow mother.

“I always used to joke that I wasn’t going to have a Lifetime movie life,” Linda says. “The woman would find the man who was amazing and then they would move away. And she was slowly pulled away from her friends and family and then he took control of her life. And then usually things went south. And I always joked, I’m not going to have that life.” But that’s how it turned out.

In spite of warnings from Linda’s friends, she didn’t take note of her husband’s controlling behavior until it was too late. He eventually left her for another woman, taking the children and leaving her with no money, no car, no home.

“I didn’t know what I was getting myself in too. And when I did i knew it was wrong but I thought I love him so much and he loves me…He wants this, I will give it to him,” Linda says.

Linda found help from her friend Danielle Ratliff, a woman we met in a previous episode. She’s a single mother of three and despite her own struggles to support her family, she brought Linda in to live with her until she could find a job and place of her own.

Danielle recalls, “When we were trying to find her a place to stay, not only do you have to have credit, which is not a problem, but you have to have a job for at least six months. Her situation is very different, but it’s not like one that isn’t common.”

Linda, like other women we’ve met throughout our series, was left with nothing. “Everything was in his name. I had credit based on having a car that my grandmother bought me that we sold. So I was left with no car, everything was in his name and little did I know being a stay at home mom is a full-time job and you don’t get paid for it.”

While Linda lives with Danielle, the two have utilized their time together as opportunities for friendship and mentorship. Danielle has talked her through the break up. She’s given her work advice. And even holds mini cooking lessons, like the one we were invited in for. On this night, they made tacos together.

The two laughed as Danielle dares Linda to eat a spicy pepper. They sit down together and eat before Linda heads to work and Danielle picks up the kids.

Danielle is proud of her friend for the accomplishments she’s already made. But she sees her situation as a much larger problem. “In the meantime, between the breakup and the six months of unemployment, where is she supposed to go,” she asks. “And that’s no different from our vets who are on the street. That’s no different from homeless individuals who are on the street. Who’s going to finally say, this is a problem? Where’s the hand up in the community?”

Danielle continues, “Does she have a full time job now? Yes. Is she faithful to that job? absolutely. Because her job right now is to make sure she has a place and can be self sufficient enough to where she can go back and fight for her children.”

Since this interview was recorded, Linda has maintained her job and moved into an apartment of her own. She still talks with Danielle regularly at the church they both attend.