Friend, community raise money to help Charlotte family keep their home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A friend and the community came together to raise money for a Charlotte family that was on the verge of being homeless.

“Those kids and this mom have just been trampled on and trampled on, and just need somebody to stand up for them," said friend Derek Whitmire.

A lot of people depend on mother Venus Brown who has 11 children, eight of whom live with her, along with five grandchildren.

Seven years ago, Whitmire became the reading buddy to Brown’s 5-year-old son.

Whitmire began to learn more about the young student’s large family and their life living in shelters and hotels.

“I just kind of weaved my family’s life into this family’s life when we realized how many kids that this woman has without (a) father supporting," Whitmire said.

About three years ago, Whitmire learned the hotel where they were staying was being demolished.

The family was able, with his help, to secure a grant to get subsidized housing.

“I just fell in love with her son and then another son and then some of her girls, and my wife and I have all pitched in to just be there for this family," Whitmire said.

The lease and grant money will be up soon, so Whitmire is raising money to help keep them in that home or any home.

“That’s why I work, to try to make it better for me and my kids but it’s hard,” Brown said.

Whitmire hopes with the community’s help, they can keep the family moving up.

He said Brown’s family has never asked him for a dime.

“Derek is ... he’s just an angel. Without Derek, I don’t know where we’d be. My kids love him to death,” Brown said.

Whitmire has also created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Brown’s family.

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