Help on way for woman with nine children

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2001

[06/14/01] Sometimes the worst situations can bring out the best in others, one city woman has been noticing.

Denise Fisher, 31, has been single-handedly raising her five children and her sister’s four children since 1999 when her sister and her mother died.

The 10-member family has been living in a one-room utility trailer for several months as they await housing large enough to accommodate them more comfortably.

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Fisher has asked every service and charity agency she could think of for help. She has talked to the local housing authority, city officials and charity organizations, yet little has been available to her.

But adequate housing may soon be within her grasp, thanks to several concerned citizens.

Since her story was made public nearly a month ago, many people in the community have come to her aid and made it their mission to help out the family.

Sunshine Lodge No. 99 AF&AM has scheduled a benefit for Saturday. A trust fund has been set up in her name at Trustmark National Bank. Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, has intervened by asking the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity for help in building her a home.

But Petesy Smith, a businessman, attorney and former Warren County supervisor who volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, said a shortage of volunteers and lack of donations by businesses have kept the non-profit organization from building as many houses as it would like. The building rate is about one house per year, she said, and the waiting list has three people on it before Fisher.

Although a lot has already been done, Charlotte Bramlett said much more still needs to be done.

Bramlett has been working on Fisher’s behalf to help her find a suitable place to live and said she is just a concerned citizen who was impressed with Fisher’s perseverance and the job she has done with the children despite the obstacles.

Fisher is working full time at a fast-food restaurant to provide for the family and said she is grateful for all of the help she has received.

“I just want to thank everyone for stepping in,” Fisher said. “First I want to thank God, then I want to thank everyone for what they did. Even if it was just a phone call.”