Winner of our Thanksgiving giveaway dinner is Reba Shahan (center), here surrounded by Martin City Brewery staff Jeremy Fiscus and Sammie Logan.

Scammed out of money and homeless for three weeks, winner of our Thanksgiving dinner is thankful for new home

We received many entries for our free Thanksgiving dinner for eight from the chefs at Martin City Brewery in the last issue. Many south KC residents are thankful for family. Some were even thankful for the Telegraph (thank you!). But some entries were very moving, such as those who had overcome cancer or a life-altering stroke. We especially wish we had more than one prize for those individuals.

Our decision came down to one person who was cheated out of money and left homeless for a few weeks along with her brother. When she discovered our Thanksgiving dinner contest, she was about to receive a key to a mobile home rental.

“I am thankful that tomorrow, I get keys to my new home after living in various hotels since November 2nd. Praise the Lord. This would literally help my Thanksgiving.” wrote Reba Shahan on our Twitter post.

We soon found a Go Fund Me page that Reba posted on behalf of her brother and learned the full story.

Since 2005, Reba has taken care of her brother Roy who has disabilities. Reba worked for the former Tapanam Associates in Martin City and lived in Grandview.

Here is what her sister Barbara writes on the Go Fund Me page:

“From 2006 to 2016, Reba would find herself unemployed for approximately 7 of those 10 years.  During this time, as you might imagine, when things in the home would break, they would remain so.

Fast forward to now.  In November of 2018, Betty, also being disabled, moved in for extra help due to her ongoing issues related to unhealed wounds, hospital stays for infection, low iron, and dehydration.  In January of this year, the siblings decided to sell the family home.  In late September, they earnestly sought a buyer.  To their great joy and surprise (despite the condition of the house), they did so in 3 days.  The sale closed on October 24th.  After satisfying loans, and taxes, their net was approximately $7,300.00 from a $37,500.00 sale.  All while preparing to physically vacate the family home lived in for 50+ years, they looked for a new place, and believed they found a house to rent in their budget, in a good area.  They pursued the rental and had zero misgivings about the person claiming to be in the military, and how we were to handle the transaction to rent the home.  They were emailed ownership papers and a copy of the “owner”/landlord’s passport after all parties electronically signed a lease agreement to rent the home.  Reba verified everything as diligently as possible.  He assured them that he was very trustworthy.  In transacting the business, payment was requested by Cashier’s Check, but in the interest of time, Reba queried about a quicker payment method to expedite the process.  She was told a bitcoin transaction could achieve this, and $1,550.00 (sent via BitCoin) would satisfy the rental deposit.  Being unfamiliar with BitCoin’s nuances, $1,640.00 was actually sent, but email messages assured a refund of the overpayment.  An additional $1,800.00 was sent subsequently because his CO needed proof  that he legitimately required the time to come back to “give us the key”, and this with the previous amount they sent would pay the first three month’s rent.  Their last communication with the prospective landlord stated he would fly out of Jacksonville and arrive by noon on the 29th of October.  The writing on the wall was obvious when the deadline passed and communications ceased. “

We wish the Shahan family the best. And congratulations!

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