Ushma was a 65-year-old grandmother who was caring for her 9-year-old grandson, Alm. They had been living in Chicago & came to Decatur because Ushma had been promised a job at a hotel. She was given an office and a mattress and was put to work for 16 hours a day.
Thankfully, the school that Alm began attending contacted God's Shelter of Love and asked if we could
help. Of course, we took them into our shelter. Communicating was a challenge because Ushma & Alm were from India and spoke Hindi. One of our board members happened to have a neighbor that spoke Hindi. He generously spent many hours helping to translate Ushma's story.
We found out that Ushma had custody of Alm because Alm's mother had been killed in India and his father had shaken him as an infant, to the point of causing brain damage. Alm had the mentality of a 4-year-old because of this. We worked with them to better understand their culture, their needs, and their goals. We provided shelter, resources, stability, and worked with Decatur Public Schools to address Alm's learning disability. Ushma & Alm stayed in our shelter for about three months as they found their footing and prepared for their big move to New Jersey.