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Ashley’s Tragic Story: A Heartbreaking Example Of How The Economic Collapse Of America Is Destroying Lives

What you are about to read is perhaps the most heartbreaking story that I have ever come across. It is so tragic that I am not even quite sure how to introduce it. Some time ago, a reader named Ashley sent me an email that described the nightmare that she has been living through over the past year. Ashley's email was very different from the vast majority of emails I usually receive, and I wrote her back right away and asked her some questions. One of the most important questions I asked was whether or not she really wanted me to share her story with the public. Privacy is such a precious thing, and I wanted her to understand that if I shared her story that thousands upon thousands of people would end up seeing it. After considering what I had to say, Ashley said that she was 100% sure that I should share her story because she felt that it could really help some people.

Sometimes it can be really easy to get lost in the economic numbers and to forget that this economy is really and truly destroying lives. The truth is that there are millions of Americans out there today that are hurting just like Ashley is. Her story is more dramatic than most, but that doesn't mean that we all don't know someone that could use our help. We have lost our sense of community in America, and thousands upon thousands of people like Ashley are falling through the cracks.

I cannot even imagine going through the things that Ashley has had to go through over the past year.  If you think about it, please say a prayer for her.  Also, let this story be an inspiration to all of us to stop being so cold-hearted and to help out those in need that are all around us.

The following is Ashley's story as told in her own words....


Dear Michael,

My name is Ashley. I live in Upstate New York I have been reading your Economic Collapse blog for the past year. Everything that you have said is true. Our economy is dying, and the economic collapse has destroyed the lives of many, many people. I should know. I am one of them. I lost my house, my car, my feet and my father, all in just seven months.

My father and I had a great life together. He raised me as a single parent. My mother died while giving birth to me. So it was just him and me as I was growing up, and things were wonderful for us, but then everything changed.

In September of 2009, my father was laid off from his job after 26 years. He tried so hard to find another job, but he just couldn't get one. The economy was too horrible. As a result of the loss of income, he was unable to continue making the mortgage and car payments. Our car was repossessed, and not long after that, the bank foreclosed on us and we lost our house.

We moved into a low rent, hole in the wall apartment and lived off of his savings and his unemployment benefits for the next few months. Finally, in December of 2009, I was lucky enough to get a part time job at a pizza place. It was a really long walk from our apartment, but we needed the money badly. So I took the job.

By mid winter, my old snow boots, which had successfully lasted me through several terrible winters, were beginning to rapidly deteriorate. They had holes all over them and they were splitting at the seams. My feet were soaked and freezing all day long. At that point, we were lucky to have food on the table. We had to watch every penny. We couldn't afford to get me new boots. So I had to make do with the ones I had. My father worked feverishly to try and repair them. He spent hours supergluing them duct taping them. In addition to that, I doubled up on socks and wore plastic bags inside my boots, but nothing did any good. My feet still got drenched.

One morning, in mid February of 2010, I took the last walk I would ever take on my own two feet. There was a huge blizzard raging outside, but we couldn't afford to lose a day's worth of pay. So I ventured out into the blizzard and made the long trudge to work anyway. As usual, my feet were drenched and freezing within minutes of leaving my apartment, but there was no choice but to just stick it out. So I kept going. I finally arrived at work to find the place closed. Nobody had called to tell me. There was nothing to do but turn around and make the long trudge back home. By the time I got home, I knew that something was seriously wrong with my feet. They felt horrible. My father helped me out of my drenched boots and socks and we discovered that my feet were all purple and swollen. They were severely frostbitten.

My father was terrified to take me to the emergency room because that would have bankrupted us. So he did everything he could to try and rewarm my feet at home. He spent the next several days giving me hot chocolate, bundling my feet up in blankets, putting my feet on his stomach, etc. But nothing did any good. My feet didn't get any better. They just kept getting worse. They eventually turned black and began to ooze. At that point, my father broke down and called a car service to take us to the hospital. The doctors told us that, given the extent of the damage, they would not able to save my feet. The frostbite had progressed too far. I ended up having both of my feet amputated.

For the next whole month, my father didn't do anything but sob. He sobbed himself to sleep every night. He blamed himself for me losing my feet. I rolled myself into his room on my wheelchair every night and wrapped my arms around him as tight as I could. I told him that it wasn't his fault and that I didn't blame him for anything. I told him he was the best father any girl could ever have and that I wouldn't trade him for anything. I think it helped a little in the moment, but as time went on, he just fell further and further into depression.

On the morning of March 15th, 2010, I was awakened by a knock on the door from a police officer. He told me that my father was dead. I told the officer that was ridiculous and that there had been a mistake, but he insisted that my father was dead and that I should come with him. I went racing into my father's room as fast as my wheelchair could carry me, but he was gone. There was a note on his bed that he had left for me. In the note, he told me that he loved me dearly. He loved me more than anything, but that he had failed me. He told me that I would be better off without him. At that moment, my heart stopped as I began to realize what must have happened. Horrified, I made my way back to the police officer, and he told me that my father had jumped out the window of our apartment in the middle of the night. I went into shock and begged the police officer to let me see him, but he insisted that I wouldn't want to see him that way. I started sobbing so hard that the police ended up having to take me to the hospital.

I've cried myself to sleep every night since. I'll never understand how my father could have thought that I'd be better off without him. If only he had known how much I needed him. If it wasn't for my extremely kind hearted and caring neighbor, I don't know where I would be right now. She's such a sweet lady. After I lost my father, she took me in and took care of me as though I were her own family. She has gradually helped nurse me back to health, both physically and mentally.

This is probably going to sound really crazy, but throughout this past year, you have been one of my heroes, Michael. As devastating as the truth of your words may be, it is refreshing that somebody has the good sense and the good judgement to come forward and say them. All the government and the media do is lie to us, every single day. I only wish more people would listen to you and heed your warnings. Feel free to post my story on your blog if you would like. You have my permission to do so. I just ask that you not reveal my full name and my email address. Just use my first name. Perhaps my story will serve some purpose in the way of helping to wake some of these idiots up and getting them to realize that this nightmare is real.

Best Regards,


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  • michelle
  • DM

    I have problems with this article. Why wasn’t Ashley receiving food stamps? What about welfare? What about churches and other organizations which provide help for the poor? Why were unemployment checks so short? There have been a number extensions to unemployment benefits. How much does it cost to buy a pair of shoes even if they are used? Has the author of this blog verified this story?

  • rhea

    Awww, a heartbreaking story indeed… And of course, even in a perfectly equal socioeconomic system, some comrades are more equal than others.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit

  • Colin

    I find it fascinating and terrifying that when a group of individuals create an institution – be it a religion, a political party, or a corporation – that these creations act as an amplifier of everything that is the worst in human nature. These institutions suppress, persecute, and destroy both the human community and the natural world. We have been very lucky that there have been individuals and groups who are resisting these institutions, and that we still have a world. However, I feel that we are coming quickly upon a fork in the road – will we transform ourselves and our world, or will we destroy ourselves and our world?

  • Kevin

    The Unicon

    I read that when the draft was instituted just before WWII 20% of the inductees showed signs of malnutrition. That was in 1940.

  • SPECTRE of Deflation

    This poor girl would of been treated at any ER in the country, and if you don’t believe me just ask any illegal alien where they go for all their medical care. How can illegals know this but not an American? How exactly did things get so assed backwards that Americans do without while illegals are showered with gifts from the teet of the govt., and treated as if they are the victims?

  • Gary2

    Capitalism is NOT Democracy. Democracy enables capitalism but uncontrolled greed creates a plutocracy and that destroys a democracy.

    The Right spins a tale that we are developing socialism. We have socialism – it just socialism for the rich and top few percent which after they rape the economy, we bail them out so they can repeat the same action.

    If we are going to keep capitalism (and I hope we don’t) there needs to be heavy regulation to more equitably distribute the rewards of capitalism much more broadly. This means we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth.

  • Paul Fernhout

    Ever since my wife and I moved back to New York State a dozen years ago to help care for my elderly parents (ironically covered by four different insurance programs), we could not afford health insurance anymore for ourselves. Insurance rates in NY were double that of where we moved from, and went up from there for the self-employed. NYS did have a low cost plan that eventually covered our child (after we paid $12K or so for a C-section despite going to all our prenatal visits and following all the advice there; we paid about double what insurance companies pay, since we got charged list prices not having insurance and they get discounts).

    So I know all too well what it is like to have to guess about whether a health problem means you should go to a hospital or not. I slipped on some ice a few years ago and was not sure if I had broken something or not, but it made it painful to crawl around on the floor to play with my kid. I never went to a doctor for that, and the problem did not heal well for a long time, until I realized I was probably vitamin D deficient (regarding other health issues). So, I can easily believe Ashley’s story in that sense. Going to a doctor also means taking time off from work, which can cost you your job in today’s economy.

    The only good thing about not having ready access to sick care is that I’ve learned a lot more about how to take care of my own health — like following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s advice to eat more vegetables and fruits and to get enough vitamin D (that may help reduce C-section risk for women, too). Ultimately, prevention may be better that having access to sick care, if you have to choose only one.

    The comments are right though that NYS has things like Medicaid or Family Health Plus, although you only qualify for them if you are fairly poor. You also have to be knowledgeable enough and have the time and energy to do a bunch of paperwork or to get in touch with someone to help with that assuming you qualify.

    Still, NYS is much better than some other states in that regard. Our kid at least has benefited from a NYS program called Child Health Plus, although our kid may be about to lose that for a time due to the insurance company and NYS disagreeing about the paperwork rules. If you are self-employed, it can be just a mess in dealing with these institutions run procedurally — where employees are just desperate to follow the rules to the letter and keep their own jobs and their own health insurance and where any mistake you make in anything you say may mean you go to jail (every call to anyone announces it is recorded). Basically, NYS does a good job of making people feel like failures and fraudsters if you ask for help. :-(

    Meanwhile, decent insurance for a family in NYS if you are self-employed and not in one of these programs costs about $1500 a month or more, and then you still have to hope that insurance will actually pay if you have a problem.

    Ashley or others in similar circumstances might also want to look into some of the providers like “Hudson Headwaters Health Network” or similar community health centers depending where she lives, that has a sliding scale for medical care (even emergency care) for those without insurance.

    So, in theory, that tragedy might have been avoided, but the system is not set up to make that easy, especially for anyone with depression or working full-time. And that is the deeper part of the tragedy, especially in a country as materially prosperous as the USA (although maybe socially bankrupt in some other ways?).

    When you most need help, that is often the time you have the least energy to go out and get it and deal with an abstract dismissive rule-bound bureaucracy. But even for those with insurance, the same can apply with disallowed claims and so on. The lack of access to medical care for so many in the USA is a symptom of a much deeper mythological problem in US society. (I’ll post a second comment on that.)

  • Paul Fernhout

    I’m sorry all that suffering Ashley has gone through can not be undone, and all of us in the USA had some small part in it by how we have voted and participated politically and financially in the past. I could hope someday Ashley gets to tell her story before Congress or the panels investigating the banking crisis. But, until then, it is good she tells it to other people so we can all learn from it.

    As we learn from it, we can try to prevent similar things from happening to more people. Considering all the wealth in the USA, it is our collective mythology in this country that is making things so hard for so many in the USA to get by. Google on “The Mythology of Wealth” for an essay on that.

    I made a short youtube video related to this general issue about six months ago:
    “The Richest Man in the World: A parable about structural unemployment and a basic income”

    It was inspired in part by learning that homeless people in wintry climates sometimes break the law just so they can have a warm place to sleep, food, and access to medical care. What does that say about our society, when criminals are treated better than people trying to play by the rules like Ashley and her father?

    Although her story also shows how devastating untreated depression can be, as well — but we don’t have a good social safety net for that either, like universal health care or investing in our communities to create “Blue Zones” of wellness.

    As that video points out, even the rich suffer psychologically in various ways from a system that encourages financial obesity and disengagement from the broader community while letting others suffer. Google also on: “The Culture of Affluence: Psychological Costs of Material Wealth”

    Limited demand for stuff in an age of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is one reason mainstream economics in wrong to assume infinite demand for junk. Robotics and other automation, better design, the accumulation of infrastructure, and voluntary social networks are other reasons there is less demand for paid human labor. As Abraham Maslow suggested, people also tend to focus more on social needs, psychological needs, and spiritual needs when their basic material needs are met, and those don’t require much stuff and may even suffer from involving money in how they are satisfied. People may even be motivated to do a better job for some things as volunteers, not as paid laborers. So, most of the social picture mainstream economics is based on is wrong.

    There are some possible solutions to rethinking our economic system, like a mix of a basic income (social security for all), a gift economy (like blogging or Wikipedia or Freecycle), democratic resource based planning (using taxes, subsidies, and regulation to ensure the economy meets social needs), and local subsistence (like through 3D printing, organic gardening, and local currencies).

    To some extent, we have some of each of them already in the USA, and people are right to point out that in some cases, these form something of a social safety net. But ideally we’d improve in all those areas to prevent more such tragedies in a more systematic way. I put together a knol on these themes in more detail called “Beyond a Jobless Recovery”, linked from that page.

    The biggest problem is that in the USA, the value of most human labor has been dropping, and unlike in, say, Western Europe, it is not assumed culturally in the USA that people have a legitimate right of access to the fruits of industry unless they are working. In parts of Europe, there is a sense that “welfare” is something everyone gets some of (like good roads, free college, free health care, subsidized quality child care). But in the USA “welfare” is only for those who are labeled as having a problem or deficiency, and who wants a label like that? It’s understandable that someone with self-respect and pride, like Ashley and her father would want to avoid that.

    That US approach may have worked when the economy was growing a lot (or may have not), but it certainly does not work well when the economy is needing less and less workers. There was no net job growth for the last decade, while the GDP grew 40%. That is the elephant in the living room mainstream economists don’t want to talk about. That change has eroded the value of much human labor, and so wages and working conditions for new jobs decline, even for those who can find one or afford to keep one. With all the advances in modern technology, this social problem will only get worse. And it is ironic, because ideally all this improved efficiency and technology should mean everyone can work less and have more time for family, friends, hobbies, and volunteerism. Instead, some people work like crazy, others get frostbite for want of a pair of decent shoes, and even others spiral down into deep depression when they still have so much to give to the world.

    We need to move to more of an abundance model (see “The Four Freedoms” speech by Franklin Roosevelt) where everyone feels that as a right of being a citizen they have at least some small claim on all the abundance our ever more automated industries can produce. See also the short-story by Marshall Brain called “Manna” for two visions of the future relating to a basic income. But there are other options as well like a gift economy, mentioned above.

    Now, it may sound sci-fi or impossible to consider that we need to radically change our economic paradigm to deal with the collapse of mainstream economic mythology. But, the internet, cell phones, 3D printers, household robotics, and IBM supercomputers winning at Jeopardy would have sounded sci-fi fifty years ago, too. We have to deal with the socioenonomic consequences of advanced technology, one of which is there is less demand for most paid human labor because of rising efficiency and limited demand.

  • ch240

    I’m not so sure about this – she’s been reading the blog for a year. Obviously she has access to a computer and internet. They could afford internet access, but not new boots? It seems a case of misplaced priorities.

  • John

    Lots of things come to mind from Ashley’s account. You can blame Wall Street, government, or whoever you like, but we really do need to look after one another better. Little things we do for one another can make such a big difference. Plus, it’s too bad Ashley’s father didn’t get encouragement from someone regarding how much he was still needed.

  • mondobeyondo

    @ DownWithLibs

    The other two are God and Grub.

  • Roth E. Barrons


    1) A Harvard study revealed that half of all bankruptcies are born from medical bills and over 80% of these bankruptcies were filed by individuals who with medical insurance.

    2) What are the ways to turn Crisis to Profit? There are financially successful individuals amidst this widespread crisis, are there not?

    Thank you,


  • Stu

    Best Wishes Ashley…sorry you experienced such a horrendous set of circumstances!

    But I do have a question, I’m not an expert on our current medical profession. I hardly ever get anything other than a cold (knock on wood!) and I’ve never been admitted to a hospital. That said, I’ve read time and time again where “illegals” go to the Emergency Room and use it basically like it’s their very own Family Practice service. How are they able to go and receive aid and medicine and not be able to pay…but a US Citizen (I’m assuming you are Ashley) can’t be taken to receive REAL Emergency care without the fear of destitution and legal recourse?

    It doesn’t make sense to me!!!

    I’m very sorry you didn’t have a resource that could of given you assistance with clothes/shoes and such!

    It’s true that we as neighbors and friends and even associations NEED/Should be on the look out to situations and people that could use a hand and a little extra help.

    As we see here, a little help and effort can make a world of difference in another’s life!

    Regards to All


  • pan_for_gold

    There is certainly a world of horror stories out there, and we personally are aware of some of them, but I’d have to say that there are things about this one that don’t quite ring true. As at least one of the commentators pointed out, EVERY emergency room in the country is required to treat EVERY patient who shows up–those with insurance and those without. And those who cannot pay are eligible for Medicaid, even if the paperwork follows the treatment, or programs like Hill-Burton (sadly not publicized enough, since hospitals are after all corporations too…) which are required to cover hospital costs for those with no insurance who cannot afford it. Within our family this happened to one of our adult granddaughters; there was no doubt that she got her treatment and the bill written off. Another commentator pointed out how odd it is that Ashley had no problem accessing the Internet to read blogs and write her own story, even if it meant going to a public library to do so, when she could also have gone to a thrift store, as another commentator mentioned, to buy a pair of boots. But, even if this character was created to elicit a predictable response, there is truth to the reality of current economic times.

    The commentator who mentioned that we’ve been going in this direction for 26 years could not possibly be more correct! At least in U.S. policies (and as the so-called ‘leader of the free world’ in the forefront of establishing economic policy that absolutely and directly affects social policy), the move toward extraordinarily greater and greater greed began in the mid ’80s with a system labeled ‘voodoo economics’ by the first President Bush. Think of how much more money, as if there is never enough, can be made by exporting jobs to third-world countries where people work for slave wages (and maybe in some cases actually ARE slaves…). Then, when other third-world countries are found where the same thing can be done even a bit cheaper, the jobs are moved there. It is monstrous! Those responsible for this never look ahead at ultimate results; they want what they want, and they want it NOW, with no regard for the future. There has always been greed, but today it’s there to an extent like never before, IMHO, and world reality (technology, the Internet, instant communications) allow it to be so.

    I urge everyone to see a movie called ‘The Corporation,’ labeled a ‘comedy’ on the DVD label but is no comedy at all. It clearly details how our WORLD, not just one country, is governed by multinational corporations who, through their lobbying abilities, actually govern countries as well. This is not the easiest movie to find, and that alone might make it even more worthwhile to see. And even in the pretense of governing, here in the U.S. we are virtually ungovernable–another elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge the real implications of–in political intransigence that began with President Nixon resigning for alleged crimes to avoid being impeached and having the truth come out, followed by nearly four decades of ‘business as usual’ virtually solely along political party lines with nothing getting accomplished other than the lobbyists seeing that the corporations govern the country….

    We are in deep excrement! And those who do not recognize that WE are on our way to becoming a third-world are in denial of that elephant taking up the bulk of the room….

  • Patrick Faiola

    I do not understand the part about not affording a pair of boots, it just makes no sense to me with shoes selling so cheaply as they are in Walmarts and Target stores. I am not saying I doubt her story whether it is true or not, but 30 dollars first out of her paycheck should have been a priority. Why blame the Govt for this mess, the majority of the citizens wanted to vote themselves a living and now this is the out-come.

  • Ivan

    hi from russia.

    a really awful stuff friends innit? i never comment anything bout USA – it aint none of my biz, but
    this case is special
    yes indeen let us pray over that woman n her dad – but let us think over-

    we have lived in the such situation here in former ussr n warsaw bloc – since 1991 thanks to bloody Gorbie///
    u donno how many such stuff from russias hungaries latvians etc i have heard… thouthandns
    i was brough up by single mother in 1990s here in central russia – n remember similar stuff in my own life


    be prepared people- dont commit suicides ! it gonna last for long long time… we ll try set up socialism n freedom which we had in USSR… do the same over thre
    but -wait – fight – and be wise n pacient///

  • esclaura

    This made me cry when i read it, but the more i think about it, the less i believe it’s true. The dad was laid off in sept 09 and by dec 09 they were kicked out of their house? Foreclosures don’t happen that fast. And who doesn’t replace leaking boots? She could have bought some for $5 at goodwill. And why did he lose the house AND the car? If he couldn’t pay for the house, wouldn’t he have used his UE pmts to pay the car pmt? And why did he decline to use the ER for fear of being bankrupt? He had nothing else to lose at that point. So many things make no sense here. If this is a true story I feel very sorry for this girl.

  • Rohit

    i’m not from U.S. but i follow your blog sir..
    I will pray for Ashley and hope things get back to normal soon around the Globe.

  • Charles

    Very sad history, finally America is being touch by poverty as many many other countries have been there for centuries.

    America wont wake up until these kind of stories are in front of us every day.

    Thank the FED and the twisted politcks for 30 years of fraud to prop bubble after bubble.

  • eddyray

    The reason they were unable to get any assistance was because they were NOT illegal aliens, who get EVERYTHING for free at OUR EXPENSE!!!!!

  • Charlie

    This story made me sick to my stomach, honestly i vomited throughout the night. Just to think of all the selfish people in this USA. They think of their cars and their homes and their paychecks. Oh what am i gonna do this Friday i need tickets to the game to the concert, i need a new dress, a new pair of shoes!
    And Ashley what does she have to look forward to?
    NO FEET! how the hell can any of you selfish people think of another materialistic object again?

  • Ron Paul was right all along.

    Illegals cost the American tax payer 300 BILLION dollars a YEAR. Asi es. Es verdad! Si..Americans don’t even have enough jobs for Americans. The wars are a waste of time and bankrupting America, along with the government worker million dollar defined benefit pensions. The rest of us are tax slaves.

  • Stray Cat

    To SharonSJ;
    Bullshit. You do NOT have to be a member of a church in order for them to help you. If you have come across one that is that way, they should be ashamed of themselves.
    Having said that, Ashley herself and her dad do bear some responsibility for this mess. Shoulda called work to check if they were open and dad shoulda placed his own daughters welfare above his own fears. And if he thinks killing himself was the answer, well he’s dumber than a box of rocks.

  • laura

    I agree with eddy ray; they weren’t illegal immigrants. Salvation Army does give out clothes/shoes to the poor. Soup kitchens feed them. It didn’t give Ashley’s age, if under 18 she would have been better off in foster care, since her father couldn’t provide the basics. People need to relocate (like we had to 30 years ago) to get work. Many that can’t afford to raise kids should have any. That’s why we never raised any; that luxury is for the wealthy classes.

  • Jaque al Neoliberalismo

    Hi, Michael

    I linked this heartbreaking story in my blog
    I think everyone should know


  • Jaque al Neoliberalismo

    I’m Sorry,
    I forgot the link

    La trágica historia de Ashley

  • Sarah

    I don’t know, I’m just having some doubts about the truth of this story. I mean, days of trying to warm her feet without medical care, but then it was ok to go to the hospital to amputate them? No one to turn to..the Salvation Army gives free clothing and boots to poor people and there are many other charities who do that as well (Planet Aid, Big Brother/Big Sister). The story is just a little over the top to be real.

  • darla

    The collapse of the economy is caused by few greedy stupid selfish people in Wall Street. these People would rather see everyone suffering as long as they can maintain their unnecessary luxurious lifestyle and billions in the bank. Which off course will not be useful to them when they die. Ashley’s story is very tragic and I’m sorry for it. But there are a lot of people who are suffering in the world too, right now how about a
    a six years old orphan child in Africa whose parents died of Aids He has a to care for his younger sibling ages 12 months to four, how about an African mother who would sacrifice herself to be rape in order to save her children’s life but in the end have all of them killed in war torn Sudan. There are a lot of suffering in the world one more tragic than the other. There is no difference about it. Nothing can make it better, but with all this suffering we all are gifted with that inner strength which is our will to survive, it is raw and inherent it is within us if we cling to that instinct and with the kindness of our heart. We can overcome our tragedies and be able to help other. Maybe this crisis we are suffering will be reversible.

  • zach

    this story sounds made up. but if not, then it is an awful tragic story. sometimes the government needs to step in and help.

  • upstateNYprof

    I am a native of Upstate NY, and have been fortunate enough to be able to make my life here, in the midst of a community that has known my family for generations. This recession has taken the means to live a normal life from so many who have never had to ask for help before. I see it every day in friends, neighbors, family who are too proud to admit they need help… and probably have no idea what help is available to them if the did realize it. The tragedy of Ashley and her father might have been averted perhaps if they had remained in their former community… but in a cheap hole-in-the wall apartment, it is probable that their former friends and family might not want to come visit them, and their new neighbors too wrapped up in their own daily drudgery to notice the distress of the strangers dropped in their midst.
    Unfortunately, there is really nothing unbelievable in this story. But believing it does not make me any less sad that I (perhaps) live so close, and yet was unable to do anything to help.

  • Bill

    Made up story? If you can think that, then you should count your lucky stars that the wreck of this economy hasn’t affected you personally!

    My wife and I are still employed and helping our struggling adult kids. We are also helping a friend and former employer who was at one time a multi-millionaire commercial contractor/developer. He’s lost his business, his home, his wife divorced him and thanks to the stress he had a run in with the law. Now, he’s in the clutches of the legal system and is being ground down even more. In the meantime we take care of his animals, his car and provide a meal along with a place to stay when needed.

    People, look around you and find those in need. There’s scads of folks hurting today, and the only way America is going to rebuild is by neighbor helping neighbor. Give somebody a helping hand, you may need it yourself someday!

  • julius spencer

    I am wondering how she pays for email access and obviously is familiar with THIS website? If she uses the FREE computers at the library, then of course, I understand. How does she get there in the winter? If the story is 100% true, sadly neither of them had GOOD coping skills, especially the Father. Perhaps he had too much pride to ASK agencies, churches, anyone for HELP. Perhaps her pizza shop boss would have bought her NEW boots. This elderly person is somewhat skeptical of the veracity of the story. If true, I hope that she is NOW in a place where they care for her, provide job training, and help her get a job.

  • Rhonda

    Michael if this is the most heartbreaking story you have ever come across like you said it perhaps was then I can only say you dont get out much. Try reading the story of little Peter Connelly or the many other stories like his. I have no doubt the girl fell on hard times as we all have due to the economy but I suppose the old saying where there is a will there is a way is somewhat true. I could take my own situation and juice it up a tad bit and it would bring a tear to your eye but as bad as things are I know that a pity party is not what I need or want. Could go on for days about this but I will stop here. Its possible that we “Aint Seen Nothin Yet” compared to where we may all end up.

  • Hiei

    Just one question: Ashley can’t afford new boots and almost food but can afford an Internet connection to read your blog and exchange e-mails?

    I think I got something wrong.

    • black ghost

      I wss thinking the same thing.

  • Alexis

    I believe this story is true somewhat, but than agian i dont.
    She gets the Internet now, by that person that toke her to take care of her. if you read that story you would know that is.
    I heard New York is a touch place, but that person above said she lived in Uptown New York, you would think she could hear about that story?
    Im just saying.

  • Barney

    The story breaks my heart. Unfortunately this story isn’t unique. I thank God for people like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Mark Faber, Tom Woods, Gerald Celente and many others who are helping wake up the sleeping. I woke up in 2008 and have been plagued with fear my loved ones will suffer greatly in the years ahead. I have spent the last few years waking up other family members and friends. The globalist politicians and banker shills have robbed this country for everything it has.

  • Sarah

    I believe this story. My story was pretty insane also. I almost died twice, had 3 car accidents, weazled out of a bonus while my boss got a HUGE bonus, slept on a shut down freeway because they wouldn’t let anyone pass over and the hotels were too expensive, two layoffs, no bank account, the rise of the TSA and their sexual raping of people. Seems like the government really is sticking it to the Americans. Kill the American Citizens hope so they won’t have any energy to resist the NWO. Take all their property, their privacy, their jobs. They will submit by force.

  • Cool Dude

    I am sorry Ashley!!! We love You!!!!!! we are always with you

  • Fran

    Give me a break.

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