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Bronzeville, Near South Side

South Side’s Beloved Dancing Crossing Guard Is Facing Eviction. Here’s How You Can Help

The single mom hopes to raise $5,000 by June 1 to stay in her home. "She takes care of so many people, despite everything that has happened in her life."

Tammy Anderson, a crossing guard at Beasley Academic Center in Washington Park, dances, waves at and guides passing cars outside the school Apr. 28, 2022.
Enrique Reyes/Block Club Chicago
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WASHINGTON PARK — Tammy Anderson, the beloved crossing guard who has brought smiles to hundreds of faces for years, is reaching out for help as she faces potentially losing her home.

Anderson has until Wednesday to pay $2,400 in back rent or she and her 16-year-old daughter will be forced to leave the apartment they’ve lived in since June 2020, according to a letter from her landlord. With her daughter entering her junior year at Kenwood Academy in the fall, the single mom is doing what she can to stay in the neighborhood.

Anderson launched a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $5,000. The immediate need is her rent, but any remaining money will go toward legal fees so she can obtain back child support, which has contributed to her financial woes, she said.

The family fell on hard times when COVID-19 hit and has struggled since, Anderson said.

“When schools were shut down, I was out of work. I didn’t qualify for help, and what little money we had went to other bills and debt. It’s been hard,” Anderson said.

Credit: Enrique Reyes/Block Club Chicago
Tammy Anderson, a crossing guard at Beasley Academic Center in Washington Park, dances in the street, waves at and guides passing cars outside the school Apr. 28, 2022.

Anderson’s financial difficulties were compounded when her mother died three months ago. But you wouldn’t know it, said longtime friend Vonnie Staples.

Staples met Anderson through her daughter, a Beasley student, five years ago, and they’ve been close ever since. It was Anderson who made sure Staples’ daughter was fed on days when money was tight and who sat with her when Staples was running late from work. That type of love and compassion is rare, Staples said.

“I’ve seen her spend her last dollar to make sure every student in that school had a candy bag. She couldn’t just give them to one or two students. Every child had to have a bag. That’s the type of person she is,” Staples said.

When some students didn’t have bus fare to get home, Anderson would use hers to get them on the bus, often going out of her way to make sure they made it home. If a student is need of a hug, a wipe or meal, Anderson will make it happen, Staples said.

“For her, if she had it, you had it, too. No questions asked,” Staples said.

Staples credits Anderson with giving her the push she needed to start her own day care center and nonprofit, Moms In Motion, to help other mothers in need. As far as she’s concerned, she and Anderson are bonded for life.

“She takes care of so many people, despite everything that has happened in her life. It’s time to take care of her,” Staples said.

You can donate to Anderson’s fundraiser here.

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