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Family of five taking it day by day to get life back on track

Dale and Breana Kircher of Long Prairie were high school sweethearts.

Dale graduating in 2009 and Breana in 2010 from Long Prairie High School, the two married and have three daughters — Sophia, 3, Kayleigh, 2 and Averi, 6 months. Life was good.

The Kirchers were making ends meet, but complications arrived and they were homeless. The family traveled Nov. 21 to Brainerd, seeking help from New Pathways, an organization that serves homeless families with children. Since that November day, the family has been taking life one day at a time.

“It was very hard,” Breana said on asking New Pathways for help. But, she said, they had to do it for their girls. “We’re very grateful for programs like these. We’re lucky to get in the program.”

Breana said life was going well. During her senior year, she gave birth to their oldest daughter, found an apartment and got married.

“We’re both working at Burger King and I finished school,” said Breana. “It all started with a series of unfortunate events in January of 2011, when my grandpa died.”

Four months later, Breana’s brother died. Two weeks later her brother’s girlfriend died. Then her aunt died. Breana said she took a month off to deal with all the deaths. Then in March of 2011, Breana got sick while pregnant with their third daughter. She said Averi was born in June and she went back to work in July, but quit her job in September to go to college. It was at that time that the family had to move out of their apartment and they went to live with her parents because they couldn’t afford the apartment.

Breana said Averi became ill and the next few months were tough. Averi had to go down to the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. Averi had serious acid reflux — so severe that she had several episodes where she’d stop breathing. Breana said she laid awake most nights with her daughter, afraid that she’d stop breathing.

“Averi is doing OK now,” said Breana.

The family tried to save money, but it all went to Averi’s medical bills, gas to get to the Minneapolis hospital and to day care costs.

Breana said they came to their breaking point the day the family moved out of her parent’s home. She said they couldn’t stay there any longer. She said they had other family in town, but “they didn’t have room for us,” she said.

With no home, Dale quit his job, so the family could travel to Brainerd to get help through New Pathways. Dale, who worked at Burger King for seven years, is waiting to hear if he will get a job in Long Prairie and he also had some interviews in the lakes area. Breana said she could have a job at an assisted living facility in Long Prairie but she can’t take it until the family has a home that they can afford.

Angie Kingbird, New Pathways program manager, said the Kircher family has been working hard since they came to the program.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at