"Home," Crystal says, drawing one hand to her chest as the other catches a welling tear before it spills down her face. "Just speaking that word now is enough to make my heart flutter." After four months sleeping on fold-out cots and air mattresses at a succession of different churches, Crystal, husband Robert, and four children--aged four through thirteen--have finally found their way "home." Of course this story holds elements of heartbreak, exploitation, and outrage, though their own indelible recession memories will more likely recall fires of adversity forging familial bonds as strong as steel, and the boundless endurance and faith these times compelled them to discover within themselves.
Crystal and Robert Daneri could be considered refugees who fled the fall of Reno. As renters, they escaped the foreclosure epidemic claiming 28 of 30 houses on their street, but after layoffs hit their household, the skyrocketing cost of living reached unaffordable heights. Who can afford to pay $6 for a gallon for milk?
Robert is an independent software programmer and full-time dad, who was working to launch his own small business when he wasn't caring for their six children (four from Crystal's first marriage). For the past year-and-a-half he has been developing Dungeons and Dragons character management software, often doing his programming work between midnight and 4 am, the only quiet hours available in a full house of children. He and his two business partners tried to secure a loan for HeroForge Software LLC just as the national credit crunch dried up potential sources for financing, which means Robert will not earn income from his efforts until the product begins to sell.