Help Homeless Person With Car/Move

$8,928 of $9,980 goal

Raised by 271 people in 10 months
I've put up a 4/10 update, I'm nearly done with all the details of a relocation to the Midwest in two weeks! Please help, I'm very excited about it, and hope it's the final step out of homelessness.

Update 3/12: Looks like another problem with the car, this time a gas leak. I had been wondering why my gas mileage had become so bad, 30 dollars in gas in one week, but I guess the leak hadn't deteriorated till then...I had checked before weeks ago and didn't see a leak, but my car is not high enough high off the ground to see the undercarriage very well. I know the car had problems with the really bad roads up in the Sierra Foothills near Fresno and bottoming out suddenly wasn't unusual on those roads.

To simply patch the leak at a service center would probably cost labor, between 50.00 and 75.00 by the estimates I've heard. I may go into Gilroy and see if I can track down any old timers still around and find out where their "chewing gum mechanic" is, but it would be a temporary fix, I'd have to replace whatever had gone bad or was damaged in the fuel line or tank. Judging by the gas loss, it looks like it's become a leak that loses a gallon or two a day, that's something I can't ignore and could get me in trouble. I've seen the YouTube videos on the various cheap ways to do it yourself, but none would be a long term fix and frankly seem beyond on my ability.

I'm also going to look into the offer I got for the use of a car, and see if the offer would extend out to temporarily switching to that car for at least a couple of months, and if so, it'd be the cheapest fix even if it means the end of the Cadillac...the constant repairs have made it difficult to do more than just get by on the help I've received.

I currently have enough for food and basic expenses, but will have to spend on travel and a possible cheap as possible repair but I might lose as much in gas expenses traveling about to find help as the repair.

If any of you can donate some to help me with the logistics of traveling from Salinas to Gilroy and Carmel Valley, it'd be appreciated.

I'll have to hold off on heavy activity on the internet for a couple of days, I'm going to go to Gilroy today and search the usual haunts for info on the homeless mechanics that are usually around. I'll head for Carmel Valley later or Monday if the backup car is available and decide on what to do with the car after I have a full picture. I hope it'll be simple.

Al






I I started the preliminary steps to self employment, by monetizing my social network and blog accounts. It's a promo business and the test promos have done well, and I have three clients already for my "Boogie Underground Entertainment-Media" project. The official start will be February 1st, and I think this will be good for at least a part time in one and an important step towards self sufficiency...there is an urgency as my car is beginning to smoke badly and looks like a gasket/top end problem...I can minimize the problem by driving only when necessary but I'm figuring 2 to 4 months and I'd better start thinking about moving on to a used van, which would improve things considerably.

The new business, is it goes well, will make a targeted job search possible for a high tech job, which a type that would give me the kind of income.

Looking for gas money and enough for food and expenses for the job search particularly in the silicon valley region where the pay is better, and for a January project I hope will turn into a part time job to begin self sufficiency.

My main priority is to survive and meet expenses till my new venture begins to really get going, I think I'm on to something here and found a possible business niche...also, it's been a good feeling to be back to work that is producing some money. It's a good step upwards.

My priority in the short term is to save up a reserve of money that can cover the two main emergencies I worry about the most: the car developing a problem running (repairable type), or a vet emergency with Ivy, my dear little friend.

I'd be grateful for any help in this move. This can all be derailed by even minor emergencies, as it would turn my focus onto raw survival or crisis.

I'm not looking for a living via donations, but to be able to survive until I can get or develop a break.

I'm afraid that a fix it ticket might cost me the car I live in, between registration and repairs, before I can find a job to raise enough to take care of it. Losing the car to repeated tickets for registration will not only build up cost but will probably result in the car being impounded and a setback in losing my shelter and ability to work. I would be grateful for any help you can give.

I'd like to bring the car up to code, and either upgrade some parts that are showing signs of failing (transmission, etc) or perhaps get a cheap used van (as the cost seems about equal either way).

I don't think getting a new vehicle is within the scope of a gofundme campaign but help surviving homelessness till I find a job that can pay for an upgrade is appreciated.
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Update 78
Posted by Al Handa
6 days ago
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Update 4/19: Arrived in the Midwest on Friday after an eventful 24 hours. The standby pass, provided by a third party, turned out to be invalid due to expiration and was confiscated by the airline 40 minutes before takeoff. I couldn't buy a ticket on the spot as most of my donation funds were still in transit and wouldn't arrive till the following Tuesday, and it wasn't clear if another standby pass could be obtained. After a quick round of phone calls, the Wisconsin benefactor fronted me the ticket money, and I was able to board the flight a few minutes before takeoff, which was a relief as I'd have had to live at the airport until Tuesday :-) I had gone in early on Thursday evening so had already waited 12 hours, so the thrill of anticipation was gone and the prospect of spending five days in the airport filled me with more dread than the idea of living on the streets of Fresno :-)

One other surprise was the cost of shipping :-) I've been told since that more than a few people while moving had found that it was very expensive, almost as expensive as airport food, though probably cheaper than eating at a baseball game.

If all goes well, I'll be in Wisconsin for the week, will be in Illinois for about six weeks, then permanently in Wisconsin...I can't be more specific than that at this time, but I'm very happy with the arrangements and enjoying the normalcy of being under a roof and safe.

My main activities this week, besides getting over a couple days of jet lag and the shock I subjected my body to by eating a lot of Wisconsin cheese, is mainly adjusting to a more normal life, ramping up my promo venture to the scale made possible by not having to run it from a car, and getting deep into the second revision pass of my book. When I get back up to Wisconsin in June, it looks like a nice job market here and things will go smoothly.

I'm going to phase out the gofundme campaign, I'm mainly going to keep it semi active for a while longer because I want to record the donor list (so I can send individual thanks) and transfer the updates to a file for reference...looking those updates over, I realized that the updates were an important documentation of my state of mind at various times that'll be valuable in my current revision stage of my book manuscript.

I'm going to write out a detailed thank you in my next blog entry. The help and support I received in the year I was homeless was vital and I'd like it documented...with the exception of Ali Campbell's UB40 group, all the the help was from regular people who gave time and money to keep Ivy and me alive and in the safety of a car. That car was a key to survival and kept me from dropping down to a level where it'd have been incredibly difficult to rise from homelessness. The help was given even when there were setbacks, and without judgement.

I wasn't trolled, ridiculed, or marginalized by my friends on the internet who formed a village to help me, and I'm in awe of the generosity and love that helped me on this path. It's not over yet, but I'm in a position now where my effort and work can result in real steps towards my goals...to be freed from the struggle of simple survival was a profound gift. I saw a lot of people out there who are trapped in that cycle; eating out of garbage cans, begging for change, being noble and helping each other and others preying on each other to survive.

I was very lucky to have gone 14 months out there without starving, having to live out in the open with just a backpack, or becoming a victim of crime. Having common sense, street smarts, toughness, or any other such quality doesn't change the fact that over time, luck has everything to do with how safe people are out there in the open.

It's not an exaggeration to say that you all rescued me. Without going into detail, I was looking at a tough summer out there. My gratitude runs deeper than you all will ever know, and when I'm in a position do so, I'll pay it all back and try to extend your good efforts back into the world you all helped me escape.
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Update 77
Posted by Al Handa
13 days ago
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Update 4/12: Next to last update. My belongings shipped yesterday in two boxes and are enroute to the Midwest. I'll be there before those arrive hopefully :-)

I concentrated the prep into a two day period to minimize use of the car and avoid commuting between Gilroy and Silicon Valley, and have already moved to a location north of the valley to be nearer to the airport. Which is good as it looks like rain is coming very soon.

It's been decades since I took a trip of this magnitude, and the cost of things like shipping have been higher, but thanks to so many people's help, it's gone smoothly. The guy at the shipping place remarked that my main box was pretty heavy, and I replied that I had made a lot of choices, some tough ones, about what to send out, and that what was in the box was pretty much what I'd own at first in my new life :-)

After some last errands this afternoon, it'll all be done except for waiting and making sure I don't do anything dumb, and I'll be at the airport tomorrow evening. Once there it might be more waiting, but I'll no longer be homeless but simply in transit, which is a wonderful feeling.

Although the last update next week will be a final goodbye to the gofundme phase, I'd like to stress that that's not some final goodbye and ride off into the sunset...I've got a lot of wonderful friends and intend to stay in touch and continue my activities, the only difference is that it'll just originate from the Midwest. In the case of my promo venture, I'll be able to scale it's scope to the 24/7 level I originally wanted it to be, as opposed to running it from a car :-)

I'm asking for one more round of donations, to cover final expenses here, and costs that will or can come up during travel and for when I get to the destination. I'm not sure of all the expenses, as I'm going to be helped there to settle in and get situated, but as much as possible I'd like to not be a burden.

I've been given a lot of help and support, and this relocation is part of that. The more I look back, the more I'm in awe of how so many people kept me and Ivy alive and well, and in a position to have better luck, and to have understood when the luck was bad. That tolerance and understanding was probably the greatest gift of all.
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Update 76
Posted by Al Handa
15 days ago
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Update 4/10: Preparations for relocation to the Midwest are going well. I'm packing stuff into two sets to be shipped off Wednesday. I started with the knickknack stuff first as my experience is that'll be what'll be the most time consuming if done at the last minute. I concentrated the prep into a two day period to minimize use of the car and avoid commuting between Gilroy and Silicon Valley. I'll move tomorrow to a location north of the valley to be nearer to the airport and places convenient for doing the last things to take care of before leaving the state.

The April 14th date is firm, and the standby pass has arrived, and I've been "listed" on a flight. i plan to go in very early; that should minimize any effect of Murphy's law with my car and elsewhere.

I'm asking for one more round of donations, to cover final expenses here, and costs that will or can come up during travel and for when I get to the destination. I'm not sure of all the expenses, as I'm going to be helped there to settle in and get situated, but as much as possible I'd like to not be a burden.

After settling into this stable situation, it will be appropriate to shut down the gofundme account and think in terms of going to the next level. I'll keep it long enough to put out one more update to confirm my arrival and make my thank you's. Whatever comes in before the relocation is what I'll have and budget accordingly for the month or two transition. In a stable situation I can also think in terms of ramping up my promo business to the level I'd planned during my ill fated trip to the Fresno area.

I've been given a lot of help and support, and this relocation is part of that. The more I look back, the more I'm in awe of how so many people kept me and Ivy alive and well, and in a position to have better luck, and to have understood when the luck was bad. That tolerance and understanding was probably the greatest gift of all.

It'll be a bittersweet thing to land in the Midwest without Ivy, but she'll be there in spirit, and in many ways she's not gone away :-) as it still feels like she's still around.
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Update 75
Posted by Al Handa
17 days ago
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Update 4/8: Preparations for relocation to the Midwest should be all done by Wednesday. I'll ship off both sets of belongings on Wednesday to minimize commuting from Gilroy, where I'll move to to Tuesday (standby passengers are urged to travel light), and hopefully take care of refills like my high blood pressure meds by next week. I'm restricting my driving and mainly eating from my canned food stock to conserve cash and avoid overworking the car, which is still leaking gas and getting crankier, but should last another 5 days :-) I'm afraid the final backup laptop gave up the ghost this week, but there's a possible replacement in the works.

The April 14th date is firm, and the standby pass is enroute, and I've been "listed" on a flight. i plan to go in very early; that should minimize any effect of Murphy's law with my car and elsewhere.

I'm asking for one more round of donations, to cover final expenses here, and costs that will or can come up during travel and for when I get to the destination. I'm not sure of all the expenses, as I'm going to be helped there to settle in and get situated, but as much as possible I'd like to not be a burden.

After settling into this kind of stable situation, it will be appropriate to shut down the gofundme account and think in terms of going to the next level. I'll keep it long enough to put out one more update to confirm my arrival and make my thank you's. Whatever comes in before the relocation is what I'll have and budget accordingly for the month or two transition. In a stable situation I can also think in terms of ramping up my promo business to the level I'd planned during my ill fated trip to the Fresno area.

I've been given a lot of help and support, and this relocation is part of that. The more I look back, the more I'm in awe of how so many people kept me and Ivy alive and well, and in a position to have better luck, and to have understood when the luck was bad.

As each day passes, I get more excited about this new start, and it's helped my mood a lot in the car...both to make me feel so much more normal again, and normal enough to be able to look outward and realize how exposed I've been out here and glad to be getting out :-)

There's still things to do, and then I'll be on that plane on the 14th, but a grateful thanks in advance to all of you for a life with hope in it. Believe me, I look around every day here, and see people without it, it's no small thing.
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Read a Previous Update
Lisa Wojcik
1 month ago
1
1

Al, I am so very sorry to hear about losing Ivy. She brought you so much joy and you love her so much. Best companion you could ever have. I know she loved you. She will never be replaced in your heart. I think Ivy would be happy for you if you adopted a dog who needs your love. Don't be alone.

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Eric Wilder
8 months ago
1
1

Al, you are a scholar. You should be teaching a college course instead of being homeless and on the road. P.S. Love your blog. Please keep it coming.

+ Read More
Catherine Mesick
1 month ago

Al, I am so sorry! My heart goes out to you and your dear, sweet friend. I am praying for you!

+ Read More
Kaye Menner
1 month ago

Al, I am so so sorry to hear this very sad news. My thoughts and sympathy are with you....

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Andrea Flory
1 month ago

I'm so sorry, Al. I wish our little friends could stay with us forever. -massive hugs-

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Belinda Metcalfe
2 months ago

Keep safe and hope the storm clears soon AL

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Marianne Naughton
3 months ago

Please get professional help from Salvation Army, church, or government organization in and around your town you are staying at. I hope you have a list of food pantries (keep your nutrition & immune system up). We had hard times and were almost homeless, even after my husband had major back surgery he had nerve damage which caused him to be disabled, lost our house ...

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Chuck Bluestein
3 months ago

It shows up here but not on the donations.

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Chuck Bluestein
3 months ago

It is great that you thought of this. Maybe it will make you rich. Why does my picture not show up?

+ Read More
Angela Durrell
3 months ago

This is WONDERFUL news!!! Go go go!! I'm rooting for you, Al, and you have a lot of support behind you. Never forget that. I'm getting a chunk of pay myself in a few days, so I'll plop a few bucks in here for you. I'm so thrilled and pleased for you, and am sending hugs and hopes for more work coming your way soon. xox

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Belinda Metcalfe
4 months ago

Good luck in all that you do AL. I'm sure soon something good will come up for you and Ivy

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Melodie Ramone
5 months ago

Bless your heart, Al. It will take awhile to snap out of survival mode, and you will forever be changed, but one day you will break through and find a new "normal." And if you ever need me, you know where to look. Do not hesitate, my friend. All the love and blessings to you and Ivy both. Keep your chin up and your eyes on the goal. xXx

+ Read More
Joanne Cone
5 months ago

Wishing you the best❤️

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Kaye Menner
6 months ago

Great news, Al :)

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Eric Wilder
6 months ago

Wonderful news, Al. Please take some pics and post them on your blog.

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Angela Durrell
6 months ago

This is great news, Al -- and who knows, it might lead to a longer gig later. But you and Ivy now have some breathing room. I'm SO happy for you! Keep this GoFundMe active, though. You have a lot of friends who want to help if needed.

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Pletcha PJ Webb
8 months ago

I'm so happy for you, Al. That's wonderful news, and it's also wonderful to know that you're using this experience in a positive way. I wish you and Ivy the very best always.

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Angela B. Mortimer
8 months ago

leave it open Al until you sort things our - as you can see you have a lot of freinds

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Kaye Menner
9 months ago

So great to hear your news, Al. Would love it if you'd leave this open for a while so we can see how you go from here. Thinking of work, do you have many veterinary clinics nearby. My daughter is a veterinary nurse, and here in Australia staff are always needed. Perhaps you could approach some with the thought in mind of part-time work doing any required maintenance/cleaning, etc. Just a thought, as they may very well allow Ivy to be present too! :)

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Joanne Cone
9 months ago

Would love to continue hearing how you're doing.

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$8,928 of $9,980 goal

Raised by 271 people in 10 months
Created June 4, 2016
$10
Eric Wilder
4 months ago
1
1

Your life reads like a novel, Al. Keep turning the pages. Eric

DC
$20
Dominique Couffignal
11 days ago

Wishing you all the best on your journey Al! Lots of love x

$150
Mary Kirk
12 days ago

Al - I wish you all the luck in the world with your move. Please keep us posted! Little Ivy will always be watching and sharing with you.

GH
$100
George Hernandez
15 days ago

Good luck Al,keep in touch.

VF
$25
Valerie Fields
17 days ago

Whishing you a safe journey, may you find some happiness.

$20
Lynn Lamb
19 days ago

Safe travels, my friend!

$20
Robin Smetana
19 days ago

Much love to you my friend

$25
Christy Birmingham
20 days ago

Wishing you all the best in this next phase of your life, Al!

CM
$20
Catherine Mesick
22 days ago

Wonderful news, Al! Best of luck in the Midwest!

$15
Eric Wilder
23 days ago

Good luck, Al. Hope you find happiness in the Midwest and maybe even a new pup.

Lisa Wojcik
1 month ago
1
1

Al, I am so very sorry to hear about losing Ivy. She brought you so much joy and you love her so much. Best companion you could ever have. I know she loved you. She will never be replaced in your heart. I think Ivy would be happy for you if you adopted a dog who needs your love. Don't be alone.

+ Read More
Eric Wilder
8 months ago
1
1

Al, you are a scholar. You should be teaching a college course instead of being homeless and on the road. P.S. Love your blog. Please keep it coming.

+ Read More
Catherine Mesick
1 month ago

Al, I am so sorry! My heart goes out to you and your dear, sweet friend. I am praying for you!

+ Read More
Kaye Menner
1 month ago

Al, I am so so sorry to hear this very sad news. My thoughts and sympathy are with you....

+ Read More
Andrea Flory
1 month ago

I'm so sorry, Al. I wish our little friends could stay with us forever. -massive hugs-

+ Read More
Belinda Metcalfe
2 months ago

Keep safe and hope the storm clears soon AL

+ Read More
Marianne Naughton
3 months ago

Please get professional help from Salvation Army, church, or government organization in and around your town you are staying at. I hope you have a list of food pantries (keep your nutrition & immune system up). We had hard times and were almost homeless, even after my husband had major back surgery he had nerve damage which caused him to be disabled, lost our house ...

+ Read More
Chuck Bluestein
3 months ago

It shows up here but not on the donations.

+ Read More
Chuck Bluestein
3 months ago

It is great that you thought of this. Maybe it will make you rich. Why does my picture not show up?

+ Read More
Angela Durrell
3 months ago

This is WONDERFUL news!!! Go go go!! I'm rooting for you, Al, and you have a lot of support behind you. Never forget that. I'm getting a chunk of pay myself in a few days, so I'll plop a few bucks in here for you. I'm so thrilled and pleased for you, and am sending hugs and hopes for more work coming your way soon. xox

+ Read More
Belinda Metcalfe
4 months ago

Good luck in all that you do AL. I'm sure soon something good will come up for you and Ivy

+ Read More
Melodie Ramone
5 months ago

Bless your heart, Al. It will take awhile to snap out of survival mode, and you will forever be changed, but one day you will break through and find a new "normal." And if you ever need me, you know where to look. Do not hesitate, my friend. All the love and blessings to you and Ivy both. Keep your chin up and your eyes on the goal. xXx

+ Read More
Joanne Cone
5 months ago

Wishing you the best❤️

+ Read More
Kaye Menner
6 months ago

Great news, Al :)

+ Read More
Eric Wilder
6 months ago

Wonderful news, Al. Please take some pics and post them on your blog.

+ Read More
Angela Durrell
6 months ago

This is great news, Al -- and who knows, it might lead to a longer gig later. But you and Ivy now have some breathing room. I'm SO happy for you! Keep this GoFundMe active, though. You have a lot of friends who want to help if needed.

+ Read More
Pletcha PJ Webb
8 months ago

I'm so happy for you, Al. That's wonderful news, and it's also wonderful to know that you're using this experience in a positive way. I wish you and Ivy the very best always.

+ Read More
Angela B. Mortimer
8 months ago

leave it open Al until you sort things our - as you can see you have a lot of freinds

+ Read More
Kaye Menner
9 months ago

So great to hear your news, Al. Would love it if you'd leave this open for a while so we can see how you go from here. Thinking of work, do you have many veterinary clinics nearby. My daughter is a veterinary nurse, and here in Australia staff are always needed. Perhaps you could approach some with the thought in mind of part-time work doing any required maintenance/cleaning, etc. Just a thought, as they may very well allow Ivy to be present too! :)

+ Read More
Joanne Cone
9 months ago

Would love to continue hearing how you're doing.

+ Read More
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