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Egg Harbor City pregnant woman and boyfriend still seeking a stable place to live
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Egg Harbor City pregnant woman and boyfriend still seeking a stable place to live

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Tahliyah Gaskins, who is due to give birth Feb. 11, and her boyfriend, Rahsaan Anderson, have to focus again on finding a more permanent place to live after spending the past week at Caesars Atlantic City, thanks to a good Samaritan.

Gaskins, 21, formerly of Egg Harbor City, and Anderson, 35, formerly of Philadelphia, checked out of the casino hotel Friday, and a woman trying to help them found a motel room until Saturday.

The couple had been at the Hi-Ho Motel in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township until Sept. 7, but since the motel is scheduled to be demolished later this year, they had to leave.

A series of unfortunate events left the couple, who don’t have a car, with no job, no money and no place to live. The couple has been assisted by Volunteers of America, the Eastern Service Workers Association, Jewish Family Services, Catholic Charities and 211, but their plight also has moved individuals to try to help them.

Anderson was downsized out of his job at the Discount City Liquor store in Egg Harbor City. He has earned unemployment benefits, but in between living in three different places, including Egg Harbor City, he lost his wallet and his social security card, which is his identification to receive unemployment.

Egg Harbor Township police contacted Volunteers of America, which provided them with the couples’ contact information to assist them during this difficult time, said Peter J. Miller, the township administrator.

Gaskins, who is having her first child, said Thursday she last saw a doctor Oct. 5. At that time, Gaskins was told she and her baby were in good health.

Anderson said a married couple, who he did not know, reached out to help him and his girlfriend and put them up in Caesars for a week. Prior to that for the past month, the couple had been staying at motels, crashing at friends’ homes or spending all night on the Atlantic City streets.

“I’m appreciative,” said Anderson about the married couple who put them up at Caesars for a week. “I met the husband in person. ... I talked to the wife on the phone.”

Anderson has no relatives in the area. Gaskins’ South Jersey family and relatives do not have room in their households for her, she said Thursday. Gaskins is one of seven children. Her mother lives in Galloway Township with her six siblings, she said.

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People, who have had some hardship in their lives, have been particularly touched by their story.

Melissa Clements, 39, of Runnemede, Camden County, found out about the couple through her Google news feed. She has been saving her money to buy herself a hot tub for a year, but now, she wants to help the couple.

Clements’ 26-year-old fiancé died of a second heart attack before her son was born.

“If I didn’t have my parents and family, I could have been in the same spot,” said Clements, comparing herself to Gaskins.

Because Clements’ fiancé died, she lost the house she was living in with him and moved in with her parents when she was seven months pregnant. She eventually gave birth to her son, Craig Dains Jr., who is now 8.

“I always try to set a good example for my son. And, I feel there’s just so much hate going on right now that we just have to be kind to each other. It takes so much energy to be hateful, and it’s such a simple act to be nice,” said Clements, who has given money to Gaskins.

Carol Suarez, 59, of Middletown Township, Monmouth County, also read about the couple.

Suarez, a Christian, says she remembers growing up in Staten Island, New York. She said she did not have much, but she was happy.

“There were some nights I didn’t have much to eat, maybe a grilled cheese,” Suarez said.

Now, with four children and three grandchildren, Suarez feels blessed.

Suarez and her husband are working. She survived a bout with the new coronavirus. She received prescribed medicine in March and avoided hospitalization, but still has lingering effects from COVID-19.

The Blessing Bag Brigade NJ received donations from Suarez previously. She thought of the couple as she was writing out a check to her church.

“Whatever I give her (Gaskins) will not hurt me in anyway,” Suarez said.

Contact: 609-272-7202

VJackson@pressofac.com

Twitter@ACPressJackson

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