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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- An Adams County family with eight children, all with special needs, is living in a motel after their house was deemed unsafe for the children to live in.
The Gines family has eight children, aged 3 to 18, including a daughter who is on dialysis every day.
During a welfare check last week, Adams County Sheriff's deputies determined the family home was not safe for children, as it needed major repairs.
Since then, the children have been split up, some living with a relative and some living with their parents, Bernadette and Kenyon, in a Northglenn motel.
"I don't think any mother should be separated from their kids," said Bernadette, who works full-time on a graveyard shift as a caregiver. "We are really trying, we are."
Her husband, Kenyon, is a taxi driver, who lost his job last year after a knee surgery and now spends whatever spare time he can find trying to work on the home.
"It's overwhelming," he said. "I need manpower. I need supplies. It's too much work for one person."
Two years ago, Bernadette's mother died and left her the home, which had years of deferred maintenance.
"You try to do the best you can with what you have, and that's what the Gines family is trying to do," said Dawn Stuart, a special education advocate with Spectrum Advocacy, who has been working with the Gines family for years.
Stuart said that between speech and occupational therapy and mental health services for all eight children, there was little time or money for home repairs and maintenance.
"To judge them would be wrong because they're excellent people," said Stuart. "Bernadette is a go-getter. Once you show them how to get it done they do it."
But Stuart has not been able to find resources or help, and while launching a GoFundMe has raised money, it is not enough for the major repairs needed.
"I will work with the family and other resources on how to keep the house in good condition, but they need the help and they need someone to come in and show them first," she said.
They reached out to Contact Denver7 and showed us the extensive repairs needed, from the flooring to the drywall to the garage and the plumbing.
"I can't do it by myself, and I realize that I cannot to it by myself. I need the help," said Bernadette Gines, who said she is especially fighting for her children. "This is hard for them. I have a three-year-old who doesn't know he needs to be quiet. We don't have a washer or dryer or stove. We are eating TV dinners on couches and beds instead of dinner together around the table."
For now, the motel may be the safer place for the children to be, but it is not where they want to be.
"I want my bed. I don't like the hotel," said Selena, who has had two kidney transplants and is worried about getting COVID-19 while staying away from the house. "I want to go home."
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