Wow! I am so overwhelmed by the support each of you has expressed. I wanted to update you and let you know that while we are just shy of $4,000 ($3,995 to be exact as of this writing at 2:39 am EST), that the numbers are actually a bit better. Joshua Moore at Detroit Legal Services, who has kindly agreed to donate his services to administer the accounts and money, reports an additional $800 in checks, and I know of another $100-$150 that is coming in, in checks as well. So we have essentially reached the goal in less than four days!
THANK YOU EACH FOR YOUR HELP SO FAR!
Just as a heads up, if we raise more than the goal, it will help offset the 7 percent fee here (right now $279) which comes out of the funds raised, but the more there is the more likely there will be left over money. If there is I will be donating the excess to either the Lansing Area AIDS Network, or to the Allen Neighborhood Center. In either place, the money (if enough) would be used to establish a fund to help low income home owners in the flood plain -- like me -- who do not qualify for the federal programs. So if you would be so kind to share this fundraiser with others, maybe we can all, together, make my misfortune something that can help the neighbors here in Lansing!
As the work gets underway, I will be posting photos and maybe videos to my blog ViralApartheid.com, and a running expense accounting will be posted there as well so you can see exactly where every penny is spent.
As many of you know, I've been struggling with significant health issues. As a person living with HIV, my immune system has been compromised, and as a result I am vulnerable to certain infections. Recently, my doctor has determined that one of the contributing factors to my ongoing health crisis is my house.
But in order to fix the problems here, it is going to take thousands of dollars. Some of my friends have volunteered their time to help do the work, but because of the significant issues, some of the work will have to be completed by professionals to make sure the problems are completely resolved.
Sadly, I have looked at available emergency funding programs, and there is nothing available; nor will the insurance I have paid for 12 years on this house cover this needed work. Some of the work that needs to be done includes sealing the basement from water, repainting of all interior walls, replacement of insulation in the attic and other issues.
As a result I am turning to the public for help. I am at a point where if these housing issues are not resolved I will have to make a decision: loss my home and face possible homelessness or stay in the house and face mounting health concerns and disabilities. I am humbled by whatever you can spare to help.
By the way, the folks at Detroit Legal Services have agreed to run this fund through one of their client accounts. This will mean that any issues which may arise with the money will be addressed through that and will not add any stress to my life.
PS: Some of you might not know me. So here's a little getting to know me:
I work fulltime as an investigative reporter for the American Independent News Network. (Although I am currently on a medical leave to address my health crisis). My current policy arena is HIV policy in the US. But my previous areas have been focusing on white nationalism (my reporting has lead to the listing of two groups as newly identified white nationalist organizations by the Southern Poverty Law Center), as well as a ton of investigative on the ground reporting during the 2010 Enbridge Energy Oil Spill (I was the reporter who got Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel to admit the oil spilled was tar sands oil, and I also uncovered dozens of undocumented workers being exploited on the river and subjected to unsafe work conditions in the process. That led to the federal indictment of a spill clean up contractor). I live in Lansing, MI with my three beloved dogs Lancelot Gobbo, Gypsianna Rose and Virgil Joshua. In my spare time I do theater work. I also do some media training and consulting on the side to help folks connect with the media and get their stories out.