Very hectic times since the last update. What a rollercoaster ride things have been, especially emotionally. Due to the incredible generosity of a few amazing people, we have been able to keep going a while longer.
Phone charges through mid November, post office box renewal through the end of December, doctor and prescription co-pays and some school fees/expenses (we were able to secure some partial scholarships to help with those as well) have all been taken care of, as well as a start on the fees we owe the shelter (we are charged $5 a day for me, and $2.50 a day for my son). I am working daily at finding resources to help pay for the rest of what we owe now, and although I have not had any luck yet, I am hopeful that something will turn up in the next week or so.
Our exit date from the shelter is October 19th; it is possible we might get a short extension, especially if I can find a way to pay up what we owe through that date (currently our balance is $500). It's a bit hard to believe we have already been there 11 weeks.
I am still waiting to hear about disability/SSI, and in between doctor appointments and bouts with arthritis/fibromyalgia flares I have been searching for other telecommuting opportunities, but have not found much in the areas I am qualified for. Meanwhile I am exploring opportunites for retraining so that I am a bit more "marketable" in terms of employment.
I have also applied for as many housing programs as are available to us now (if approved for any of the income assistance programs I've applied for, those options increase dramatically; at this point it's just a matter of waiting on responses).
Medically, I am scheduled for a biopsy on lymph nodes to rule out lymphoma so I can begin treatment for the ankylosing spondylitis; I am hopeful that once that treatment begins I'll begin to function better and more opportunites will open up as my limitations hopefully decrease a bit.
Overall, compared to our last update, I am much more hopeful that we will be back in a home of our own and I will have a secure income in the not-so-distant future. We are especially grateful to those who reached out and offered support, whether financial or emotional/spiritual...those who took the time to offer kind words or financial assistance helped to renew our faith that there are amazingly good people in our lives and give us hope for our future.
Many thanks to all who are rooting for us, in whatever form...I can find no words great enough to express our appreciation for the peace of mind your generosity and thoughtfulness has brought us. So, until next time...peace, love and heartfelt thanks to all!
It's becoming quite disheartening to watch the barriers to becoming self-sufficient grow exponentially instead of deminish as I struggle every day to secure an income of some sort. I have 5 days until my cell phone is shut off, my post office renewal is due by the end of the month, and I am having to start cancelling doctor appointments and go without medication because I do not have even the minimal co-pays required.
Going without these simple things will ensure that becoming self-sufficient again will not happen at all, which means I will have no other choice but to send my son to live with his abusive father while I try to fend for myself on the street - just in time for winter. Knowing what I'll have to do to my son, combined with having to endure the elements and the scorn of those more fortunate, will absolutely do me in, and that thought is terrifying.
My greatest nightmare is coming true, despite all the help we've received so far; despite my pushing through the pain and exhaustion, against doctors' orders, enduring the miles of walking and hours of bone-jarring bus rides only to find that there is absolutely nothing available in the way of work or assistance for me. I had hope that finally being able to get medical treatment would open doors that had been locked for me, but it's turning out those doors will be forever closed, I was just teased with the hope. Every day it's all I can do to not give up, but I've kept going, and despite my determination and hard work it's looking like it's been all for nothing.
I am ashamed to be still asking for help, but despite all my efforts I find myself still in the position to have to beg on this virtual street corner.
I am losing my faith in humanity; my faith in myself; my faith that I'd be able to provide at least a safe and secure future for my son; my faith, period. Every day that goes by with absolutely no results from any of my efforts drags me down just that much more.
I am becoming living proof that hard work and determination mean absolutely nothing, and that is beyond devastating...everything I have ever believed in is falling apart, becoming a lie, and I can't describe what this is doing to my spirit.
If there is anything at all anyone can do, it would mean so much to my son and I...please don't let all the hard work, all the support, all the assistance received so far be for nothing. Thank you.
As our basic needs of room and board are being met during our stay at the shelter, there are crucial expenses we still need help with, including: doctor and prescription co-pays, cell phone bill, post office box renewal, school fees, and personal items such as soap, shampoo, and the like.
Not being able to continue my doctor appointments and get the prescriptions I need to start managing my fibromyalgia and arthritis will negate any progress towards becoming self-sufficient; if my 12-year old cell phone isn't operational and if I lose my post office box, I'll not have contact ability for all the job, financial, housing and medical assistance I've applied for.
As much as I hate to keep asking, we still do need help getting back on our feet. The clock is ticking, we have just under six weeks left at the shelter, and without the ability to continue going to the doctor and keeping up with all the assistance programs I've applied for, our progress so far will be for nothing.
In the meantime, I'm really trying to keep some form of normalcy in my son's life, and not being able to participate in the advanced classes and programs he's more than qualified for - none of which are "included" in merely going to school anymore; there are fees for everything from using the computers in his class to going on the "required" Outdoor Education trip scheduled for the first week of October ($150 for the trip, plus a long list of supplies to bring along) - is really making school a drag for him. I've applied for all possible scholarships for him, but they all rely on the donations of other parents, and have yet to secure the funding for any of it. His father has not helped one bit, with supplies or school clothes or any fees, and has completely ignored any requests to pitch in even the slightest amount. My son had to quit the band the first week of school, as there was not a full scholarship available for his instrument, and for him to have to withdraw from the gifted/talented program simply because we can't afford the fees would be more than devestating.
So, as much as I regret having to do so, I must continue to ask for help; both of us need your support in order to continue our efforts towards self-sufficiency and a better future. Please pitch in what you can, or spread the word. Anything at all helps and is appreciated more than words can express. Heartfelt thanks go to all who have helped so far, and to all who can help us continue on the road to recovery from this unfortunate situation.
I've revised our goal and page message, to better explain our current situation. I'm finding that with no income at all, keeping contact availability, ensuring my son can take part in the gifted/talented programs at school, and making sure I have the funds for co-pays for doctors visits and prescriptions is becoming quite difficult. Please check out the new page message, and donate if at all possible. I am positive that we are on a path to a stable home and sustainable income as long as I can maintain the expenses I mentioned...thanks all for the support and comfort offered thus far!
Wow, thanks all for helping us reach our goal. Although things didn't work out the way we planned, we are thankful for the opportunities and options that being in the shelter has enabled for us. I do have internet access now, thanks to an amazingly generous donation, so work opportunities are more within reach again.
The transcription job did not work out, which was very disappointing - I invested almost three months of testing and training only to be eliminated at the very last stage. While I am frustrated at failing to secure the job, it is a small consolation that only 2 - 5% of the applicants for this position make it all the way through the intensive training required (the training supervisor suggested my main issue was most likely my equipment, as I did not have the appropriate headphones to correctly hear what was being said). I am treating the disappointment as a learning experience and will continue to pursue similar options based on what I've learned.
In the meantime, I have started the process for receiving SS disability and supplemental income, as I have recently (finally) received an answer from the doctors regarding the specifics of my medical issues (for instance, the particular type of arthritis I have I now know is ankylosing spondylitis, an advanced case that has gone untreated for at least six years, meaning it will be very debilitating and as a result extremely limits what I can do now and in the future). While it looks promising that I'll be approved, it will be some time before I receive any income, so we appreciate any further donations to help with school fees, cell phone charges and the like until I either find a job that considers my disability or the SS comes through.
We can't say "thank you" enough to all who have helped, either by contributing or spreading the word, and will be extremely grateful to any further help to keep us afloat while I continue the process of securing a steady income. Thanks, all!
Still not over the hurdle of trying to secure an income before we have to be out of the shelter...any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, all!
Greetings, all. As we get settled in, acquainting ourselves with communal living at the shelter, I'm hoping to keep the forward momentum going...which means I find myself needing to request just a bit more help to get over the last hurdle. If we can meet the original goal, sustainable income will be more likely and our transition back into our own home later in the fall will become a reality. I'm currently trying to get wireless internet for my laptop so that I can keep the transcription job (I'm currently in the middle of unpaid training, the company's billing cycle means it will be the middle of September before I receive payment for any work) and maximize my availability for assignments. In the meantime, I have started the process for disability, just in case, but that obviously will be a long one and can't be counted on to get us back on our feet in the very near future. Please pitch in or spread the word, anything at all helps. I'm feeling pretty positive about how things are working out so far, and greatly appreciate all the support we've received so far...thank you!!
Apologies all for the delay in updates. Things have taken an interesting turn in the past week or so, and I have been so very busy and have not had much in the way of internet access lately. Here's the scoop:
1) I finally started training for the transcription job, but found out that the earliest I can begin to receive payment for work is mid-September. So...
2) In order to not accumulate more debt by the time I do start getting paid, we have taken advantage of an opportunity to stay in an extended-stay shelter associated with the domestic violence support group I've been working with the past year (I had gotten us on the wait list last month, as a "just in case" option, and am now very glad for that).
3) I managed to use the help received thus far to pay July rent, a portion of the late fees owing, getting some of our stuff into storage, and bus fare for dozens of trips to get everything moved and us settled in the shelter.
4) Now, my goal has changed a bit, as I am in dire need of wireless internet for my laptop so that I can continue my training and begin working billable hours by next week. The shelter does not have internet access that I can use for my work, so it is crucial that I find a way to continue my progress with the transcription position.
5) At the same time, I am getting help with starting a disability claim, have doctor's appointments scheduled, etc., aimed at making sure that, between telecommuting and disability I'll have a consistent, sustainable income that will keep us stable and secure in the not-so-distant future.
I'm incredibly grateful for all the help received so far, and even though things didn't work out exactly as I had hoped, am feeling better about our situation. It's the help and support of all the good people in our lives that kept us off the street just long enough to be able to get into the shelter, and I can't help but think that things are happening this way for a good reason. Having the advocates to help explore new options is definitely a good thing!
So, we're very close to not having to ask for any more help...there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Please pass along or pitch in if you can, I am very much hoping to continue with the transcription position and need just a little bit more help to make that happen. Any support means so much, and there's just one more small hurdle to clear...Thanks all!!
Another day, another update....
We're still plugging along, getting closer to our goal every day, and while nothing is yet definite, I'm hoping to have some good news to share in the near future. As always, thanks so much for the support...I can't say enough how much it means that we have good people in our lives to help us through these tough times!
It gets harder each day to post updates...trying to stay positive in light of everything that's happening is taking more energy than I have to spare. Today, "PLEASE HELP US!" is about all I can say; that enough compassionate people hear my plea is all I have left to hope for right now. As always, tremendous thanks to those that have helped so far...
No news on the job today; hopefully I'll hear something tomorrow. Meanwhile, the stress and non-stop search for resources and additional work is causing health issues that are slowing me down drastically...at a time when I can least afford to be out of commission. I realize times are tough for so many these days, but am hoping enough people can pitch in just a little to help keep us in our home long enough for me to start generating income again. Please do what you can, your help is very much appreciated!
No real update here, still waiting to start my job (should be tomorrow or the next day, fingers crossed)...the reality is still that I won't be able to generate any income at all in time to make my next payment to avoid eviction. Any help at all to keep us off the street is greatly appreciated. If you can't pitch in, spread the word. Thanks, all!
Thanks to all for the support, I'm still hopeful this will work out for the best in light of all the positive response! I received word this morning that I'll be starting my contract transcription job "within seven days," and am excited there is a more definite time frame for earning an income. However, my starting back to work is not going to happen in time for me to earn anything to meet our end-of-July goal...so we're not out of the woods yet. If we can just get over this last hurdle, I'm confident we'll be able to make it on our own. Anything at all will help - if a contribution isn't possible, help by spreading the word! Many thanks and peace to all!
Many thanks to all who have pitched in and spread the word so far - your help has enabled another month in our home! We still need to come up with the back rent and late fees, the next step in our agreement with the management company; I have still not received any information about when I can start working. Please help any way you can, we appreciate anything you can do!
Great news, we are now able to make the July payment on time! Thanks so much for the help and awesome words of support, all!! This gives us the month to work on the rest, a little breathing room, just a little less urgency. Any assistance, including spreading the word, is so appreciated, thanks all!!
Let me start by saying "Thank you, thank you!" for the contributions so far. Our first milestone, getting July rent in by 5pm on Monday, is within sight, just another 50 or so will give us a little breathing room for another 30 days...thank you! Updates have been hard to manage the past couple of days, I'm struggling a bit after all the heat on top of the stress. I'm hoping to hear good news about the job sometime next week as well, the "few weeks" I was told I'd have to wait to get started should over soon. As always, any help at all, including spreading the word, is so appreciated! Thanks all!
Another adjustment to the goal to reflect "snail mail" contributions...thank you! Two days left in the month, still need almost $200 to meet the first installment that will keep us in our home for another month. I am still waiting to be set up on my transcription job, each day gets me closer to being able to start working again. In the meantime, we appreciate anything you can do to help...please pass it on!
Trying very hard not to get discouraged...but even this has proven to be full of false hope. I appreciate the input, but I wish it was understood that yes, I have tried x,y and z; otherwise I wouldn't have wound up here, this was the last resort. I still beg for and appreciate any help, and ask that you please spread the word.
Due to donations being sent via "snail mail," I've adjusted our goal here...thanks so much for helping! We're close to having July rent, but the first is closing in and our first step in staying in our home is making that payment on time. Any amount is greatly appreciated, as is helping spread the word. Thanks, all!
Please spread the word, still trying to figure out a way to keep us in our home. We've got little more time to come up with July rent for starters. Thanks all for what you can do.
Good news, I have a little more time, the apartment managers are willing to work with me a little while longer. Need to come up with July rent on time, then catch up on June by the first of August. Spread the word, we're still appreciative of any help we can get in making sure we get caught up! Thanks, all!
There's still hope, apartment managment company might be willing to work with me if I can come up with a little more in the next few days. I'll have another update this afternoon, but it's still very possible that we'll have to be out by the end of day Sunday. Thanks all for considering, for contributing, and for spreading the word!
Off to a promising start...thanks everyone! Pass along if you can.
Revised Page Message and goal, as of 1 September 2012:
For quite some time pride has kept me from revealing to a great number of my friends the struggle to just survive, but have reached a point where I have no choice but to humbly request assistance in keeping us afloat while we cope with being officially homeless.
Several years ago I started having health issues, keeping me from finding or keeping jobs in my field of expertise (I have a bachelor's degree in management, specializing in process improvement). I have also been dealing with the family court system, as a result of my son's father's abusive behavior.
Having lost my insurance in 2007, getting a disability claim started was not possible until recently, although we now have Medicaid, which as led to the long-overdue discovery that I have a debilitating form of inflammatory arthrits called ankylosing spondilytis, in addition to the fibromyalgia that was diagnosed in 2006. Through it all, I've managed somehow to keep things afloat, until now, as we are in a shelter for the time being.
Since last year I have been working freelance or telecommuting jobs, but have hit a dry spell since February. I haven't had a car in over two years:I've cut expenses to the bare minimum to make survival more realistic, but today I find that just isn't enough. I am humbled, embarrassed, and scared about having to reach out to you all in this way, but for my son I will do anything I can to keep struggling to make things better.
I have checked every possible source of charitable assistance, but find that the demand is so overwhelming there's little or no funds left by the time I manage to get through to any of the help lines:I absolutely realize I'm not the only one struggling, these are desperate times for many. I am finding that being in a shelter provides a few more opportunities for help in getting back on our feet, but the processes take time that I'm worried we don't really have.
I appreciate everyone's understanding, and hope that if enough people pitch in just a little, to help with school expenses so my son can benefit from the gifted/talented programs he is in, cell phone charges and post office box fees so I can continue to have contact availability for housing assistance programs, SSI disability claims and potential work-at-home jobs, and the steadily incresing co-pays for doctors visits and prescriptions.
Thanks for listening and for helping if you are able. We are greatly appreciative of all the help we've received so far, and hope that we can maintain the bare minimum in survival until a sustainable income and stable housing is finally a reality. Much love and peace to all...