Family struggles after move to Eagle County
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” It was a bleak Christmas for the Treadway family.
The holiday was spent in an Eagle motel room, and there were no presents or much of a Christmas dinner.
“It wasn’t a normal Christmas,” said Lacy Treadway, 17. “We just ended up watching some movies with a neighbor who didn’t have anywhere to go.”
The Castle Rock family of four has been living week-to-week in the Eagle Grand Motel since coming to the valley a month ago with a few belongings, including a truck with a broken heater, a laptop and their black dog, Rumpus.
When John Treadway got a construction job working on June Creek Elementary in Edwards, the family thought it might be a good opportunity, said his wife, Michelle Treadway.
She had heard about the high costs of living in the valley, but she was surprised by how scarce and expensive housing it actually was.
“We came up here to try and get a better life,” she said. “I didn’t expect costs to be this high, and it’s really hit us.”
The family’s troubles began several years ago when John Treadway fell two stories from a building, injuring his back.
“I was working part-time jobs trying to keep us afloat, but it just wasn’t enough,” Michelle Treadway said.
Then followed a string of problems ” Michelle was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment, Lacy got pregnant and miscarried, and finally they lost their New Castle home due to foreclosure.
“It’s been really hard,” Michelle Treadway said, the tone of her voice bordering frustration and tears. “It was hard knocks, and then we couldn’t pay all the bills.”
From John Treadway’s weekly $570 paycheck, $500 goes to the motel bill and the rest goes to food, she said, pointing to the meager pantry and the few cans in given to them by the fire department.
Finding work has been more difficult than she thought it would be, since the family does not know how long they will stay in the area, she said. She’s applied to convenience stores, the airport and a cleaning service and hopes someone will hire after New Year’s.
Her son is plagued with health problems, including diabetes, she said, so it is hard for him to work, too.
“It’s been frustrating for me,” said Dustin Treadway, 23.
He wants to work and go back to school, he said, but right now he feels like he is hindering the family’s efforts to get help and move on.
One of the hardest things has been the isolation of a new place and being away from friends, said Lacy Treadway.
“You have to try and stay busy (to get your mind off it),” she said, “Or else you get into a depressing stupor.”
She said she feels she has learned from her mistakes and is ready to move on. She had to drop out of school after her miscarriage, but she wants to get her GED and eventually study nursing.
The family has hopes of settling down and finding a home once John Treadway completes his job. They have applied for affordable housing in Rifle and have considered going down to Denver, Michelle Treadway said.
“A lot of families are down right now,” she said. “I hope soon we can get something going.”
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or email@example.com.