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I feel like the best thing I can do is to keep going with certain things, regardless of how challenging even basic daily activites have become.
I started to work on a bunch of writing projects that I'm really proud of, and I want to keep going with that. I may now be a homeless woman, but I also own a little netbook and canpick up wi-fi from a lot of places. My intuition tells me that my writing might be able to really take me somewhere, if I just let it flow.
So much, I have been guilty of holding it back- I might say something wrong....or inapropriate...offend someone I like....ailinate myself from yet another person I love....and become just a tiny bit more alone in a world where we all need love. I should noot be ashamed to admit that I want to be loved, respected, admired, cared about, and thought highly of. These things should nnot make me feel desolate and unworthy.
So what if I have very strong emotions about a lot of things. I manage to hold them back, hold them in, hold them down so much of the time..... but the fact that I feel makes me human. If these things didn't make me feel anything what would I be?
Most of my writing projects don't display these things going on in my life that I'm talking about here. I have a blog of music theory notes, another about Seattle, one about New Orleans, a website of resourses people may find useful.... and quite a bit more. Some of it is a way to put my reaserch and studies together in a format that I can look back on and also share with others. Some of it is an attempt to more towards more professional writing, but in a down to earth way. It is a thing that is evolving on it's own.
The difficult circumstances of the last few months have made it a little harder to keep up with it, but I actually feel really good about what I'm doing with some of that.
Last night being homeless was actually fun, I wound up overnight at a girlfriends place, and got to do and see other things than I might normally. The Electronic Music Project in Seattle has a free all acess night once a month, and I got to go. It was a nice way to spend an evening, particularly since I write and play music and had never been to the museum.
I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.
Sometimes it's really hard. I got to talk to a relative the other day, he called tofind out how I was doing.... and when I told him he told me I should get rid of my pets and get a job. That's really easy for someone else to say, particularly an employed person who has a really nice house, car, job, and few medical problems.
I explained that I almost died last week, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance bacause I couldn't breathe and was choking. I told him about all the mold in the place, and the flood, and all the work I've been doing to get good documentation and prepare for a case. Instead of seeing how intellegent I must be to actually get the city to come in and discover that there was never a permit for this converted office/apartment; all he could do was tell me to get a haircut and get a real job.
I didn't ask him for anything, I have too much dignity to ask for something someone doesn't want to give. It hurt me though. If his son had called me and said that he was having a real problem and was on the street, even now, homeless, I'd be trying to do something.
What makes me more sad is that if I was laying still in a box, they'd all cry and say what a nice young woman I was, how smart and creative, how sad.... and they'd lie to themelves and pretend that there was nothing they could have done.
Wow. Night 3.
Back to that story of how my place flooded with sewage, I had to clean it up because the landlord is a shady bastard, and my pets and I got sick.
Really sick. I almost choked to death in my apartment last week and had to call 911-- the place always had a problem with mold, but after the flood it got so bad that it became difficult to breathe in there-- for me, and almost every other person that visited.
On the up side, I finally got my cats free vet care from the Downey Memorial clinic in Seattle, which operated out of a mission downtown twice a month. It was a real ordeal, but I really got them over $400 of life-saving vetrinary care. Both cats had an allergic reaction, but one lost more than half of his fur and became very ill.
So, in any case, I'm glad to be alive. I also really need a lawyer in Seattle to take my case on contingency or pro bono. I've gotten a lot of advice on this, have lots of pictures and documentation, and have been advised that I really do have a VERY good case....particularly because I had Seattle city code compliance come in and discover that it was never meant to be an apartment. It was an office that was illegally converted.
That, and I almost died in it. They actually rented this place to me, and to my best friend, who has an immune disorder. I am so glad he wasn't here when this happened. They rented this place knowing that it had flooded in excess of ten times for the previous tenant, and after he moved did not properly install new carpeting, or gut the walls. What happened was swept under the rug, and they passed it onto the next tennents.
They acted like they were trying to find a reason to kick me out after the flood, and I was sick, and decided that my only option would be to move- even though I cannot afford it. It's not safe to be there. I went to the hospital three times over related problems.
Now I am -homeless-, and my cats are stuck in a friends bathroom. I have never been in a situation like this before.
I really could use some help- legal help, financial help, help with housing, transportation, a vehicle, and/or a way to get back to New Orleans for a while (where I have a better support network ) .
If anyone has some advice, I'm listening...
This sucks, even if they're not children, they're my babies.... and this is making me feel like a bad mother. One of my poor kitties is having an allergic reaction, I think to some of the molds in the house, and has lost half of his fur! Poor kitty. I posted on Wish Upon a Hero about it, but I don't know what to do. This sucks. I'm sick. They're sick. I have no car and no place to go just yet.... I'm loosing my mind.
It's 5:30 in the morning, and I still can't sleep. It was like this last night, too.
Tomgight I had a meltdown when the property manager, who is being replaced, called to ask me about the date a check cleared and let me know that the owner was mysteriously thinking he hadn't gotten paid at all. The Manager reassured me that he remembers depositing 3 money orders and one check including a late fee, and I sent him a copy of the canceled check and told him I had the recipts if necessary. I know they can't do that to me--but I also am perceptive enough to get that the owner would only want to say that because he could then try to get me out of here before I make any noise about the mold and the swage.... and get to keep my last months rent and secrity deposit in the process.
I'm nervous about even talking about any of this anywhere; they keep using tactics that make me feel intimidated and upset. The property manager also said something aboout the owner saying he "couldn't find" my security deposit. Dude, what, does he think I'm the stupidest woman alive? What did they put it in a shoebox under the bed and accidently give it to Goodwill?
37 days till I'm homeless, not that I should stay in a place where I'm now discovering mold in all kinds of weird places.
I don't know how much more of this I can handle. I had an appointmnt with a free lawyer today and couldn't make it. I was still feeling ill and my toothahe is just awful, but I was goingo go anyway--- until ride A fell through, possible ride b and c didn't work, and I didn't have enough money for the three busses it would have taken to get there. At east I was responsible enough to call and reschedule.
The lack of transportation is horrible in a city that is spread out. I was lucky enough to be given a bus pass by a friend last year, which sved me more than a thousnd dollars in bus fair after my car broke don beyond what one should repair. I tried to have a good attitude about it, and take itas an opportunity to learn a new way to get around. Now I have now way to get around, and no way to get out of hee now that it's really time to move.
I don't want to be one of those sad stories; one of those brilliant people that just get lost in the world somehow. I'm scared that something will happen to me, and years later someone will find all my writing and wonder what I could have done if things had been different.
39 days until I'm homeless.
and it seems so futile now. It's not right to think this way, but where are all of the people I really stuck my neck out for over the years now that I am in a desperate situation. On $339 a month, with little rentall history in this town, I won't be able to get another place here. Still, I can't stay her after the sewage flood. I'm still sick, but getting better. My cats are sick, I need to take them to a vet and have no way to do so. This isn't supposed to be how my story ends.
I know, it's the biggest longshot ever.... but I found out about that free charity car site through here, and boy, it would b nice to have car again. It would solve LOT of poblems for me. Whnever I move...weather it's at the end of next month or sooner.... I'm going to have to somehow get me and my pets and my stuffsomewhere. In only two days I have a bunch of friends and 75 votes, so I'm smiling about it.
I'm still up, this toothache is maddning, but I'm going to have to somehow live with it for a few days. I have an appointment with a free lawyer on wedesdy, and I don't think I want to have an extraction or a root canal or something on the same day!
So much to pack, even in a tiny place, and so much to throw away that got damaged in the flood.
I wrote this in the blog on my website of useful resources for folks who need them, and it made sense to post here too. Mostly, I'm focused on how very quickly I have to figure out moving out, but I'm also sick from all the yucky stuff in that flood, and having a dental emergency on top of it. I start to rant a bit mor than is usually ladylike, but please understand, I have this awful toothache.... though somehow, I see the humor in some of this.
* * *
For anyone veiwing this page for reasearch, or for people who maybe haven't had this experience- do you have any idea what the "urban poor" have to go through to get any kind of dental care if they can't afford to pay for it out of pocket?
Six months I have had state insurance thaat will cover some emergencies.... but you have to basically wait until your gums are about to exploede and you have a real good fever. Seriously. I -finally had a dentist who was willing to give me an actul appointmnt ttoday, and then, hopelink ( an organiation that provides transportation to and from medical appointments for those who qualify ) refused service. You see, they have to now in advance that it's going to be an etraction- but the dentist can't setermine that without seeing th patient.
I am however perfctly ellegible to get ride to the hospital, where they will shoot me up with novacane, give me pain killers, and send me home. I've done that twice already; and they referr you to -immediately- see an oral surgeon. Of couse, in this partcularl loop you can't get one, until you've seen a dentist, who then evaluates the proper course of action. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I've had an on again off again fever that randomly spikes to HIGH temperatures. For months.
Have these people heard of brain damage and the dangers of persistant fever?
Like, I'm not a rocket scientist, or a Doctor, or a Dentist, or a Social Worker-- but as an adult citizen with the ability to type out my thoughts, I gotta say there is something really wrong with the system. A person could die from complications due to a situation like this, which could be entirely avoided by adressing the actual problem.
Thank God, if it gets really bad tonight, I can hail a cab and go have an er doctor temporarily put me out of my misery, -- at a high cost the state will happily pay. Why won't they just as happily let me go get a root canal and a couple of fillings where proper medical care can be given for dental issues, at a -much- lower cost?
Maybe I'm somehow going about all of this all wrong, and should call my social worker. Oh, wait, I did that twice last week. A clerk on a third line explained that they're not taking calls at all, as they have ONE person doing what FOUR used to do. You'd think maybe laying off social workers at a time when a greater portion of the population is under ecconomic stress would seem like a bad idea, wouldn't you?
So, a friend of mine filled out an application for a different local service called Donated Dental Care. Technically, it has a 12 month wait....and I sure can't wait another 12 months. However, I added a little note, and who knows, maybe there's a way to expidite things.
Thank the Gods I'm a very stubborn and mildly crazy redhead. Any sane person would have probably jumed of a bridge by now.
I on the other hand have resolved myself to somehow ignore it entirely until tomorrow, in whatever fashion works. I have to continue packing my stuff and figuring out exactly how I'm approaching several other things.
WALK IT OFF.
You can see the rest of that reated blog here:
You know, one thing that I' really enjoying about the resourses site I' building is that I'm doing it while I' kind of in the middle of needing a lot of those things. It'll take a long time before the site gets much notice, I'm sure-- but it makes e feel better on strange level, to know that one day someone else will find the information I'm gathering useful to their situation. It's also some bizarre little way to prove that even if I have nothing in my pocket I still have soething of value to give.
Being poor or stuck in a bad situation of any kind can be a very dehuanizing experience, and it can also be an enriching one. Occasionally, one random act of kindness or a pleasant word makes someone's day.
Today was a long day, but maybe productive. I found some comentary here about people who have gotten free cars from freecharitycars.org . I created a profile there and told my story about how much having a car again would really help. I'd have moved a long time ago if I could have found a way to get my pets and I across the country, but keeping this apartment has pretty much zapped every little bit I could make here and there. Thee are a lot of other factors to consider, but after the sewage flood, I know my apartment can't be a medically healthy enviornment. I already have health problems to be concerned about, and this has made me really sick. Certainly, I'm also going to have to figure out how to find a new place and pay for it, other than getting there--- but if I could come up with a viable vehicle I'd really be halway Home. Please check out my profile some of the neat pictures I'm starting to add, and vote for me if you will. :-) If you're in need of a car too, sign up and create a membership and be sure to message me so I can vote for you too. I know it's a long shot- but it's worth trying.
I'm also totally new to this idea. I mean, I run some websites and blogs that have dontation buttons- so that if someone is really getting something out of my writing and wants to help me keep doing these projects they can....but that's a little different. I'm not so into begging anyone for anything, it can lead to so many crashed hopes and strain in relationships... but then again, there are lot' of times I've helped others just for the joy of being able to do that. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the wold who has done that. Sometimes it just embarasses me to admit that I'm on the other side of the wheel of fortune right now, and don't know wher to come up with the resourrces I really need.
It's also hard for me, because I'm not a very money oriented person- but it's usually necssary to accomplish any goal; unless you luck into a serindipitious miracle. For instance, to effectively get out of here and move back to New Orleans, I'm going to need a vehicle- and on that will run will enough to drive 3,015 miles. Now, I have gotten a car free from a friends a cuple of times in my life, and have done the same- but that rarely happens. Usually you need a wad of cash and a newspaper...especially it you don't have credit.
So, while reaserching for my resource exchange network site ( http://www.poor-folks-helping-poor-folks.webs.com ) I read an article that mentioned cyber begging, and thought I'd look into it. I mean, I've tried everything else, why not?
The first service I signed up for required a fee, and I don't have the fiften bucks...though it may be totally legit. I found a differet one called beglist, which I posted on. You can check out my post and their site here:
I'm new to this site. I found it when I was doing some research for a website I'm building, and partially to try to to find some kind of help to get me through a period of personal crisis.
The website, many people who use this network might find useful. I's called “The Broke Hippie” Resource exchange network. Th title is kind of tongue in cheek, to sort of represent the humor and the degradation that can come along with poverty. The site is filled with forums for people to exchange useful ideas and resources. Anything from how to set up your own road side flower vending business on very little money, to where to find free food, telephone assistance, help with landlord tenant issues, and how to be able to laugh and still have good time when you're poor and in a bad situation. It's link list is comprehensive and growing daily- resources for students, online resources, health care resources, and relent helpful information for specific locations. ( Currently there is a Seattle section and a New Orleans section, and I'm working on Detroit. I'd love to add resources for other major cities- please join and help m fill it out! It's free, and I'm checking through all the posts and resources to try to avoid scams being added.
Check it out here, and please join the forums and make some comments or add your own topics. :-)
“The Broke Hippie”
PAY IT FORWARD
The broke Hippie is my little example of pay it forward, and it took very little money to create. Just lot's of research and the work of Love. I figure that all the resources I've been able to find could also be useful to others, and if things start going, peopl may post things I don't know about tht would be helpful to me. It's just in the beginning stages, but there's already a lot there....I think some of the people here will really like what I'm trying to do.
In a way, I wanted to do it now, when I'm so broke that it's s struggle to procure tings like cat food and toilet paper-- because it shows that whatever level of financial stability or lack there of, it is still possible to make a difference in the lives of other people.
I feel like I'm going to loose my mind. I got sick from having to clean up raw sewage in my apatment, and had to go to the hospital. That was more than ten days ago, and I'm still having trouble holding food down and digesting properly. This really sucks. I never should have touched that stuff, but I had no place else to go, and I couldn't just leave it like that. If I'm lucky, it's a stomach bug that will go away...but now that I've done a bunch of research I realize that I may have exposed myself to all kinds of horrible stuff. On top of it, even though the place looks clean, it could still be full of bacteria...and is starting to get this dank moldy scent.
I have to throw out my couch and sleep on the floor as soon as I can get a neighbor to help me move it. Would you believe, if I just put it out under the circumstances, the landlord would fine me anyway? I also have to throw out a chair, a dresser, and a bookcase...that all took water dammage from a kind of water you don't want to mess with.
When I lived in Nw Orleans I hled rebuild Katrina houses, and never cleaned up anything that was as gross as this. I'm embarassed to admit it, but this is actually traumatic.
Things were already pretty tough in my life. I'm very poor right now and have been struggling month after month to even pay the rent on this place. Now I feel forced to move because of the circumstances, and having put notice in, I'll have to move by the end of next month weather I have a plan or not.
I don't have a car to get my pets and things to a new place. I don't have money for a uhaul or gas. One and probably both of my cats really need to be checked out by a vet after all of this. I don't have any money at all. On top of my rent for this appartment that I'm not sure can be considered habitable, they charged me a late fee.
That was kind of the final straw, before I even got sick. I currently get state benifits due to medical problems, which amount to only $330 a month. I'm grateful to have it, but it's less than my rent. I had a little gigs lined up the weekend of New Years, to make the balance of the rent. The flood happened then, and I had to cancel and stay home for the plumbers and carpet cleaners on 3 different nights.
The carpet wasn't even dry, the furntature wasn't back in place yet, and I wound up having to clean up the yuckiest part of the mess. They threatened to evict me when I was late under those circumstances. Given that, how could I want to fo buisness with these people? I'm still tired, even thinking of it- and really it's still not "done" even now.
Still, the room itself has become home, and I'm as sick at heart as I am physically. I wanted to move back home to New Orleans at some point, but didn't plan on it like this! No one in my life seems to be able to help.... I don't know how to manage this.
It's funny to me, how sad I will be to leave this place. Really it's just a one room studio- but it's the only place I have in the world right now that's "mine". The reality however, is that anytime you rent anything, it's not really yours. Someday I'd like to have a little house of my own, so I don't have to feel like my enviornment is so contoled by an outside organization that is more likely to have their interests at heart.
Now that the place appears to be clean, it's hard to keep to a difficult decision. I can't stay in a place that has a high propensity to flood, both from a creek that runs by the door and from the septtic tank. My landlord did get me a carpet cleaner...but 24 hours after the place had flooded with sewage.... so I cleaned most of it up myself because I didn't want my kitties getting into it.
I'm laying down on a tiny couch in the one room apartment I have to move out to move out of as soon as I can find a way. There was a big plumbing problem in the building, and my place flooded. I had to clan a lot of it up myself, and got sick. Now, with no money, I'm trying to figure out how to move me and my cats to a safer, better enviornment.
I'm exhausted, but I can't sleep. On top of the situation at hand I have a horrible toothache. Finally I have gotten some state benifits, but they will only cover dental stuff if it's an emergency- so I've had to wait till now to even be able to get an appointment. Someone will see me Monday... I'm so relieved...but in a lot of pain. I don't know how to get throug till then...but I will.
Somehow, regardless, I have to pack, and figure something out. I have no car. I only moved to the state I'm in a little while ago, and have few resources here. I need somehow to come up with the resources to travel with my pets and my stuff, and go back to New Orleans whre my heart is.