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Mother wounded in gang shooting to be evicted from apartment [Updated]

A single mother wounded during a July 10 drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles is due to be evicted Thursday.

Rashaun Williams, 29, was a home health aide and crossing guard, but she has been out of work since she was shot in both legs, an innocent bystander caught in gang crossfire on Imperial Highway.

Williams has been surviving on $328 in monthly CalWorks welfare payments, but she said she can no longer afford the two-bedroom apartment in Lancaster that she shares with her 6-year-old daughter, Ky'mariy Redd.

Williams said Ky'mariy’s father had been helping with the bills until he was hospitalized last month with a heart attack. She said her only option now is to move in with relatives, probably her mother, who lives in a section of Torrance where Williams said gang violence has surged recently.

“In my condition, that’s the last place I would want to be,” she said, but “I really have no options.”

Williams said her application for federal disability assistance was denied. A doctor recently told her that she may needed additional surgeries on her right leg. She is on Medi-Cal and has been on a waiting list for rehabilitation since the shooting.

The attack “changed my life. It just changed everything completely,” she said. “I haven’t been able to provide for my daughter like I want to.”

[Updated, 9:45 p.m.: Community activists Earl Ofari Hutchinson and Eddie Jones announced late Wednesday evening that they plan to hold a meeting at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Lucy Florence Cultural Center, 3351 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, to demand that state officials approve Williams' application for disability assistance. In a statement, they called the denial "shameful and unconscionable."]

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Comments () | Archives (17)

I guess Haiti is more important then our own. Real American.

That's a really heart breaking story and I hope that woman gets the medical care she needs and recovers soon. It's shameful that she has been waiting over SIX MONTHS for rehabilitation for which she is entitled and qualified.

On the other hand, she is very, very lucky that she and her daughter have a family member who will take them in. It could be a LOT worse for her otherwise.

How come the victim of crimes has not stepped into help her? Federal disability denies people with MS, but gives money to drug users.

blacks shooting blacks, what a shame. Attention pres, obama, if your aunt could get federal aid, while being in the us ILLEGALLY, help this us citizen. NOW.

Ms. Hennessy-Fiske, if you're reading this, could you please post information about how readers can donate directly to Ms. Williams, and/or contact the appropriate state officials on her behalf regarding her disability application?

Does not make sense when one is recieving only 328 a month and only one small child to be renting a 2 bdrm apt.The amount she is getting will barely feed 2 poeple a day at 10 dollars a day times 31 days in a month.Why is she now afraid of gang violence,a little after the fact now.

Good News

its very sad that this has happend to her but being shot in the leg does not make you elig for State disability. I am a below knee amputee and was denied disability, you know what I did, I rehabed and got a job!!! I to have children to support! stop crying, get better, and literally get back on your feet!

This poor lady is a victim of crime and should be approved her federal benefits under her circumtance.

Let me get this straight. Although this a tragedy to Ms. Williams. You live in Lancaster, what were you doing in a known gang area on Imperial Hwy? If you want to do better for your child, you should not put yourself in peril by frequenting these areas. You moved away you should stay away! Too many times these tragedies can simply be avoided, the question is: Why does the taxpayer have to pay for this? What sense of entitlement does this person have? Why cannot the community activists foot the bill?

Perhaps you might be slightly less inflamatory by pointing out that she is being asked to leave a home that she is not paying for. I understand it is a sad situation when someone is asked to leave their home but if they do not pay the rent who should bear the brunt of the financial burden?

Your article seems to suggest that a person who is injured should receive free rent for her apartment in Lancaster.

David, up until recently she had a job. One stays where one is at because one cannot move without first, last and often a damage deposit as well. So moving to a smaller apartment is not exactly an option, since it still requires a large outlay of money that doesn't exist for her. I'm stunned anyone needs to point that out.

Adam, if you'd bothered reading about the original incident when she got shot, you would be aware she moved away from Torrance where she grew up to Lancaster to leave the violence behind, and that she was only back there visiting for her Aunt's 60th Birthday party. She was not the intended target of the shooters, but simply a victim of circumstance and other people's lack of humanity. It makes a person sound smugly ignorant to insinuate she somehow 'deserved' what happened, for attending a relative's Birthday. Bad things can happen to anyone, through no fault of their own, and regardless of their perceived status, station in life and habits. Shootings happen anywhere there are humans.

Does it really matter why she was on Imperial Hwy? Could it be that she was on her way to work, getting groceries or visiting a friend? Come on....I can't believe that we've become so callous about someone's tradedy.

Well, to put a more unbiased stamp on this matter, let me assure critics of this. the woman lives in Lancaster, with relatives in Los Angeles, so notably she will travel back and forth.

2. If our government is willing to support undocumented immigrants, at tax payer expense, surely they can support American citizens that have fallen on their luck?

3. The disability structure is a mess, I mean look at what our vets had to go through to get access. if you don't know someone on the inside that can push your papers through, your subject to be denied 2 or more times before you get it, many attorneys are taking cases to fight against unjust denials.

No one is going to do for you what you will do for yourself, so getting back up on your feet is your best bet, why it has taken so long to enter rehab to regain use of your legs, is simply tragic, but that is the way our social environment works, discouraging some, to benefit others.

The shame of it all is there were resources available for victims of serious crimes, only god knows with the state of the economy where that has gone.

Lancaster, is a recovering city, thanks to Mayor Perry, but some sections are no better than the gang infested streets of Los Angeles, the racially charged ignorance of the Hawaiian gardens, or city slums of skidrow.

You can't escape bias, you merely have to deal with it

i remember reading the story, when she first got shot last year. what does it matter why she was on imperial? If I recall correctly, she was in the neighborhood for her grandmothers bday or something like that. anywayz that not important. The issue is another innocent person gt shot.

I cannot believe so many of the insensitive comments posted on this site. This story was compelling to me, as I think that anyone, including me, can be in Ms. Williams' position. Our lives can change in a split second due to matters out of our hands, regardless of where we are and why we were there. It is clear that it has been difficult for Ms. Williams, who was recently able-bodied and working 2 jobs, to ask for help. This article does not suggest that Ms. Williams should not be evicted or receive special treatment due to her circumstances. It speaks of a personal struggle and community and individual action to respond to it. I am aware that there are many people in need, and that many are facing hard times at the present. We make choices daily, and I am making a choice to assist Ms. Williams and her 6-year old daughter. The type of assistance is endless and goes beyond a check (e.g., clothes/food drive or even a list of community resources for Ms. Williams).


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