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Garnerville Widow Starts GoFundMe After Husband's Untimely Death

Lorraine Smash with her deceased husband, William.
Lorraine Smash with her deceased husband, William. Photo Credit: Submitted

GARNERVILLE, N.Y. -- A Garnerville woman is facing eviction after the sudden death of her husband and has started a GoFundMe page to help with her situation.

Lorraine Smash, who grew up in Westchester's Sleepy Hollow, said she's been forced to reach out to strangers because of a painful and difficult situation.

"This is something I never would have believed I’d have to do," she writes. "I've had to swallow my pride while I still have a roof over my head."

Smash's husband of 33 years became ill in early September 2016 and, after four days in the hospital, died unexpectedly. She is presently consulting an attorney and can only say so much but believes William's death was due to the hospital’s failure to recognize the seriousness of his medical condition.

Those delays ended up costing him his life and in her opinion, he died unnecessarily.

Unfortunately, his job offered no benefits. His life insurance policy was just enough to pay for the funeral expenses.

The two have lived in Garnerville's Tor View Village for the past 16 years and were always prompt in their payments. But because William was the sole financial support -- and the two were living paycheck to paycheck -- Smash is now three months behind in her rent.

She said she begged the Department of Social Services for one-time assistance but was denied. She also reached out to her husband's employer of 16 years and was also denied.

"My husband and I were tax paying citizens," she writes on her GoFundMe page. "According to the Department of Social Services, I am not eligible for help because I do not have a child less than 18 years of age, which they call a safety net.

"The thought of eviction is frightening and overwhelming as I am already very emotional mourning the sudden death of my husband.

"With extreme reluctance, I am pleading for help to stop this eviction."

Smash, whose friend Cynthia Settles, the founder of Angels of Sickle Cell Foundation, started the page on her behalf two weeks ago, has about 20 days left before she will be forced out of her home. She is hoping to raise $6,000 for delinquent rent and late fees and said she truly appreciates everyone’s help of any kind. So far, she has $1,570.

Go HERE to access her page.

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