Help Needed to Fund Services for Baby Zar’ie

We are raising money for memorial and funeral services for Baby Naszar’ie, which will be held on Friday, August 2, starting at 10am at The First Congregational Church (Big Red Church, 2131 North Van Ness Avenue). Your help is needed and welcome to meet our goal.

We are asking for you help to give Baby Zar’ie a proper burial. Her mother and father went through so much to try to keep their children safe, only to lose a precious Angel that they only got to be with for three months.

The community has been gracious and kind, so we are almost halfway to our goal.

To donate, go to our Go Fund Me page here or donate directly to Fresno Funeral Home.

Akifa and Denny, her parents, became homeless in October 2018 in Fresno, CA. She looked for help from a local shelter for youth (18-24). At this time she was three months pregnant with her second child. Her first daughter at the time was one year-old. Mother, father (disabled), and daughter were place in the shelter in the end of October 2018. In November 2018, she was asked to leave the shelter with her child. With no where to go she was sleeping on the streets of Fresno, on a waiting list for available housing.

During a storm, We Are Not Invisible found Akifa and child in the rain,  tucked into a sleeping bag trying to stay warm. We immediately took action and contacted the shelter that kicked her out and raised funds for a Motel room for her family until the shelter would have availability again. When she found out it might be a couple weeks, Akifa and her family was sent out of state to a friends in order to keep her daughter safe.  Akifa and family returned  back to Fresno when they received a voucher for an apartment. With the lack of low income housing in Fresno, the battle to find a place was very difficult. Meanwhile, Akifa had to be back on the streets while still waiting for an opening at the shelter. This went on for months, with many agencies and organizations trying to find shelter or permanent place for Akifa and family went unfound.

In March 2019, Akifa and family were taken to Fresno Rescue Mission for shelter. Here, the father was put in one shelter and mother and child in another.

April 3, 2019 Akifa had a C-section with her second child. Five days after birth, Akifa was sent back to the shelter with both babies. 
During their stay, they were asked to leave at 8 am and not return until 7 pm. This left Akifa once again in the streets with now two children.
We Are Not Invisible asked for Akifa to be able to rest due to a high risk surgery as the doctor’s orders stated that she required six to eight weeks bed rest. 
This request was not accepted and Akifa had to continuously leave everyday to struggle with the pain of surgery, feed and keep warm two children as she would walk the streets of Fresno waiting for 7 p.m. to come.
April 24, 2019  Akifa was walking downtown Fresno, after being told to leave the shelter for the day, when she collapsed. The ambulance was called and Akifa was rushed to the hospital. The hospital found that Akifa had blood clots in her lungs and was close to dying. This was found to be the result of her walking everyday with a one year-old and a three week-old (by this time), a car seat, stroller and two bags with clothes and food for the kids. 
May 1, 2019, Akifa was released from the hospital. The shelter where she had been staying stated she could return, but she was only allowed one child. Akifa reached out to friends for help again. One shelter had given a week voucher at a motel. She made a choice to let friends take care of the children until she was allowed back into the shelter or found an apartment.
June 18, 2019, the youth shelter called and had the family room open. Akifa and family went to the shelter. During her stay at the shelter, she became concerned about the unsanitary situation and having to leave the shelter in this heat; 100  degrees plus. She was told these concerns would be addressed. No one returned calls or allowed her to stay indoors with the children. 
July 13, 2019,  11 a.m. Akifa was finally transported to a motel.
July 14, 2019, 8:30 a.m. Akifa woke to her baby cold. She immediately called 911 and preformed CPR until the Ambulance arrived.
The EMT & Hospital tried to bring Baby Zar’ie back.
8:45 a.m. Baby Zar’ie was pronounced deceased.

I am asking for you help to give Baby Zar’ie a proper burial. This mother and father went through so much to try to keep their children safe, only to lose a precious Angel that they only got to be with for three months.

Naszar’ie Maray Butler
Sunrise – April 3 2019
Sunset – July 14 2019

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