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Family transforms trauma into help for the community

Even with the pain still fresh from their mother's murder, Lewiee and his siblings are setting out to help the community with Tina's Healing Home.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Only 18 days after Tina Marie McCombs was stabbed to death in her own home in St. Paul by a stranger, her son, Lewis 'Lewiee Blaze' McCaleb says he felt ready to say something.

"I would say it's what my mom would want," McCaleb said. "My mother always lived her truth, walked her truth, she raised courageous individuals. We've never shied away from being vulnerable."

On January 9th, 2022, Tina Marie McCombs' murder was the first recorded homicide in the city of St. Paul.

"I was actually driving to see my mom and I had a call from a guy she was dealing with," McCaleb said. "[He] called me and told me and someone came in and stabbed your mom. I damn near crashed my car, literally. I had to stop, cry, shout, break down. I drove to my grandmother's house, she was breaking down, and I went over to the apartment just to see if it was real. See it for my own perspective, and the entire situation has a lot of question marks and a lot of confusion around it."

The biggest question still remains: "Why?" 

"We don't know why, just completely random. I'm so proud of her because she was making a transition in her life. I've seen her overcome so many life obstacles, and she was in a very peaceful place."

So in her honor, even with the pain still fresh, Lewiee and his siblings are setting out to transform their trauma into a helpful force in the community.

They're working to establish Tina's Healing Home, resources especially geared toward uplifting Black women.

"To really honor our mother and to help provide a community of resources that can support Black women who walk in the same shoes our mother walked with," McCaleb said. "Survivors of domestic assault, struggles with mental health, substance abuse, even stability in the house and we want to open up Tina's Healing Home to provide that space and opportunity to honor her name and make her proud."

McCaleb also said he wants to focus on providing mental health resources.

"At the root of a lot of these issues is the reality that we haven't been able to heal from our trauma, it would be an extreme focus in our space to provide that healing and transformation," he said. "Because trauma that's not transformed is transferred."

Tina Marie leaves behind six children and three grandchildren. The family is hosting a gofundme, to help with their living expenses but also as the seed money to start Tina's Healing Home.

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