Raul Acosta, eighteen, became a father to his seven younger siblings after their mother died unexpectedly in 2014. With no father figure in the picture, Acosta was forced to play the part himself. Acosta, now twenty-six, has managed to keep his family together; however, the financial strain of the COVD-19 pandemic threatened to tear them apart once more—until complete strangers stepped in to help fund the family.
Initially, Acosta had no intention of becoming a father. “I was hoping someone in the family would take over and handle the responsibilities,” he told reporters. “I had my own plans.”
Acosta, on the other hand, felt a sense of obligation to his family. “But you gotta do what you gotta do,” he continued, “and I took on the responsibility.” “I wasn’t going to let them go into foster care and be separated,” Acosta said. So I did what I could to keep them together.”
His family, which included infants and teenagers, lived in Glendale, California, in their childhood home. Acosta stated that he intends to remain at that address. “I’d rather keep them all together, know they’re good, know they’re safe, keep them all under one roof,” he said. Do you know what I mean? This house belongs to all of them. It helps me sleep at night knowing we’re all safe under the same roof.”
Those plans were nearly derailed when Acosta fell behind on mortgage payments and the bank threatened foreclosure if he didn’t pay nearly $14,000 by May 2022.
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Acosta had been represented by attorney Sandra Creta for several years. Creta was the one who initially assisted Acosta in obtaining legal guardianship of his siblings. “I was so impressed by his maturity and the fact that he had already been packing lunches, braiding hair, changing diapers, and using his money from his job at Burger King to fix up the house for years,” Creta said of first witnessing Acosta’s strength. He was already a father.”
Acosta struggled to pay his bills despite working multiple jobs. “When COVID hit, I ended up falling behind on payments,” Acosta told reporters. I have to pay for the electricity, the water, and the insurance on the cars and the house; it all adds up.” Furthermore, they had not received state assistance since December.
Their financial difficulties culminated in the family nearly losing their home in Spring 2022. Creta said she “reached out to the legal community and said I have this client who is one of the best people I know, and he needs help…there was no way I was letting this family lose their home.” They started a GoFundMe campaign together in April, just days before Acosta’s payment was due.
With many people only contributing $20, the $14,000 goal was met in less than a week. Many donors also left notes of encouragement for Acosta and his siblings. Jennifer, one of the donors, wrote, “Raul is a true hero, and we can all learn something from his dedication to his family. He demonstrates what true love is all about!” Acosta was able to stop the foreclosure with over $130,000 raised, and his family will be able to stay in their home for many years to come.