Albuquerque family helped by community after losing apartment to fire

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Chavaleyet Young and her 10-year-old daughter lost their home in an Albuquerque apartment fire at the end of October.

“It was hard to stay in the hotel, pay for the hotel, try to save up for an apartment, try to buy everything that you need,” Young said. “It was like, ‘What am I going to do? This is so much.'”

With little more than the clothes on their backs, Young tried to start over.

“I’m overwhelmed, I’m mentally like, overwhelmed, it’s taking a toll on me,” she said.

Bills piled up, and it seemed like it was one thing after another.

Then, her saving grace came from her community at Hawthorne Elementary School.

“I couldn’t have done it without you guys, like, because you’re family. I mean, that’s what Hawthorne is about – it’s about family,” she said.

Crystal Carmichael works with Young at the school. She said teachers know how to get stuff done.

“We are about each other, we take care of each other, we take care of our kids,” Carmichael said. “We take care of not just them, but their families.”

Young had been living with a coworker, and now she is moving into a place of her own.

“Every time I turned around, I had a gift card for something,” Young said. “‘Hey, what do you need?’ And the next day I literally had it.”

From food to furniture, donations from friends and strangers alike started pouring in.

“Things like this remind me, that it’s still, there’s a lot of good,” Carmichael said.

Young is thankful for her home, and the people that have helped her make it. They are moving more furniture into her apartment over the next couple days.

Young does still need some work on her car – they have created a GoFundMe to raise some money to help her with getting herself, and her daughter, to school.