Through burdensome regulations and heavy fees, authorities in Holland, Mich., have made it nearly impossible for 13-year-old entrepreneur Nathan Duszynski to operate a hot dog stand, TheBlaze’s Erica Ritz reported last month. And now there is another twist in the story: His family, with its only hope of reliable income on the brink, has been forced to move into a homeless shelter.
(By the way, the whole reason Nathan started his business was to raise cash for his disabled parents.)
When Nathan’s story broke last month, he found sympathy among many of Holland’s residents. In fact, one local businessman even bought the stand from Nathan, allowing him to operate it at no cost.
But then things got tougher for Nathan’s family — and Holland authorities aren’t helping anything.
The 13-year-old businessman and his mother are currently living in the Holland Rescue Mission and, right now, the hot dog stand is their only source of reliable income.
“We don’t have the money to move out,” Lynette Johnson told MLive.com, “It’s embarrassing, but it’s the truth.”
Luckily, ever since the kindhearted businessman bought the stand and let the young entrepreneur operate it for free, Nathan has been busy booking private events in West Michigan — one step closer to getting out of the shelter and one step closer to economic independence.
But do you really think it’s going to be that easy? Guess again.
“We’re trying to keep [the business] going for Nate, but it’s costing more money at this point when he’s not set up every day,” said Lynette.
The reason? Every event they book requires a new health department permit and the price can vary from municipality to municipality.
“The last event, a private wedding reception on Friday, cost about $200 for the permit,” MLive.com reports.
Nathan barely broke even.
Adding to the strain on the family’s finances is the health of both Nathan’s mother (she suffers from epilepsy as a result of childbirth complications) and his stepfather Doug (who has multiple sclerosis). And Doug cannot regularly visit Nathan and his mother at the shelter because he “requires medications that are not allowed per the shelter rules.”
Needless to say, things are a little tough right now.
“So far, the family is doing the best to keep the cell phone bill paid, get food stamps squared away, and stay nourished at the shelter,” MLive.com reports.
“Nathan’s alright, but he hates it here,” said Lynette.
UPDATE: Numerous readers have contacted us inquiring about different ways in which we can help Nathan and his family. As of this writing, there doesn’t appear to be any verified or official fund set up (we did find one site but, again, it’s unverified).
TheBlaze is working on contacting the family for more details. The Holland Rescue Mission claims they are no longer at the shelter and we are collaborating with local media outlets to locate them.
Stay tuned for further updates. Thanks!
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All photos courtesy MLive.com