Joel's housing fund
As you may have heard, Joel is being kicked out of his house for being a "hoarder." We cleaned up his house, and his land lord is still kicking him out. Unfortunatley the solution isn't as simple/ magical as "Oh, I'm sure the state will pay for that and quickly find him a new place." The $ you give will go to moving costs and to fight for Joel's space.
Ballard is now prime real estate and the landlord could obviously get a lot more for that spot. He wants him out at the end of this month. Joel's been in this spot for about 20 years.
Joel's house is perfect for him and connects him to his community, music stores, music venues, & friends. It is where he makes his art. He is a beloved fixture in Ballard, and he daily makes the rounds in his neighborhood. His light shines bigger than he is, bonding with many people in Ballard who view him as family, and who he sees as family. Ideally we'd like him to stay in Ballard, and ideally, his house. To up root him from his home will seriously derail him.
Joel's story has been a success story, he's been able to live autonomously and independent. But it is the culmination of many people along the way advocating for him. And this hasn't always been the case for him. Joel is autistic and mute, he could use our voice to stand up for him. Any help you do will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
He's currently living in a group home in Shoreline, it's better than living in a Hotel on 99 though it's still kinda far from Ballard. We're working on getting his new Ballard space ready, though it'll take some time.
He definitely loves to be independent but it gets tricky when people don't know him, that's why he got kicked out of those hotels; he should be in his community that he is most familiar with, that is familiar with him. He doesn't deserve to be bullied or jailed, simply from a lack of understanding by someone else.
Right now his old landlord wants to charge Joel $3,000 for damage on his old house. Because of cigarette smoke damage and to buy a new stove etc. so it sounds like he's trying to fix it up & charge Joel after kicking him out of the house. He lived in that lil bungalow since the 80's. If it comes down to it, we'll use the gofundme $, but wanted to use it to fix up & remodel Joel's new house.
Ridiculous Joel's old landlord wants to charge more money when he didn't want to make repairs when Joel lived there.
Thanks for all your support, you all have been great.
Which is ridiculous considering he is 5"2' 120 lbs. and missing several teeth. If he feels threatened sometimes he makes growling sounds, as he is mute and cannot speak like most people. If people don't know him, it lends to miscommunication and Joel being misunderstood.
A few years ago Joel was waiting for a friend that never showed up, Joel made some sounds out of frustration towards someone and they called the cops and threw him in jail simply because the cops were told he was on drugs and acting threatening and incoherent.
Joel having difficulty/ miscommunication outside of his community of Ballard is exactly why we want him to stay in Ballard where he has lived since the mid 80's. And the times I have seen him recently in Ballard (he took the bus here) he was in a good mood. He feels safe in Ballard and his presence is appreciated.
On a positive note, we are going to remodel a garage/ studio space in Ballard for him, plans are drawn up, it looks like it's going to go through after all! This will keep him within blocks of his old house. I have a trust drawn up already for him. It won't affect his benefits. He still needs a temporary spot in the mean time. He is currently staying in a hotel in Edmonds. We're working on a temp. spot for him; it may not work out, If anyone has more ideas for a temporary location let me know!
Currently Joel has some artwork hanging at the Hazlewood in Ballard up for just a few more days.
The support you all have given is awesome and inspiring. Have a great weekend! Thank You!
I was hopeful that Joel would get to stay in his old house perhaps day by day or through Oct. but nope, his landlord wanted him out of there. We have a couple of hopeful leads, and the spot on 60th is not a total lock yet (as I thought it was.) I'm looking forward to checking it out soon and have an appointment with a lawyer to draw up a trust soon.
Joel is staying in a temporary spot on Aurora and has figured out how to take a bus to Ballard to continue his lil route that he has done for years and years. He does seem stressed out/ mad at times, but focuses on his interests (art, rock n roll, records, cigs, feet, gummy worms etc.) too take his mind off things.
Ballard has become super competitive to find a place to live, and it is even more so for someone on a fixed income with disabilities. Again if anyone has any more leads on where Joel can find a home in Ballard it still would be appreciated. We want the best possible space for him.
It's inspiring to see how many people have rallied behind Joel and contributed. Thanks friends!
I have a son like Joel and we are raising money for a new service dog---Bowen's New Service Dog. Bowen is 18 and I'm 52, so some day he'll be cared for by others too. I wish I could give more to Joel, but he is now in my heart so I'll send him love. His story reminds me of one of Bowen's classmates who is totally into feet(great video BTW) and also has limited speech and is totally into Pavarotti!! He sings along with his iPad music and absolutely loves it!! My son is nonverbal as well and still learning daily needs skills....he's not yet able to do all of his self care, but like Joel he and his service dog Tyler melt people's heart. My biggest fear is Bowen being misunderstood by police and being tazed. You all are super cool and I can see why Joel has migrated into your world.
Joel is my favorite person I have ever played music for - whenever I play at the Ballard farmers market he gets a huge smile on his face and says "ee ee ee ee!", which is the only word I've ever heard him say. I didn't know his name or anything else about him until I saw this gofundme page; looks like he's being driven out of Seattle like every other good thing. If you can help him out, please do.
I want to disagree with the commenter who laid the blame for Joel's situation at the feet of Joel's community support provider, The Arc of King County. I was one of Joel's support staff there for 7 years. The condition of Joel's house is far from new. The Arc cannot simply force him to get rid of his stuff. As to folks he knows in the community, which of you has offered garage space, basement space, or an extra bedroom ti help him out? Joel has no legal guardian, and The Arc cannot act in this capacity. They do a hell of a lot for Joel with limited resources. Expecting them to prevent an eviction in this case is unrealistic. Look towards the landlord who has refused for years ti make needed repairs.
Joel - you INSPIRE me & fill me with hope. I have a 14 year old son - nonverbal on the spectrum & I hope one day he has an awesome community of friends willing to stand by him & with him through tough times . I also hope he finds his passion & is able to live independently with a little help from his friends when needed .. I am rooting for you to stay in your home Joel because I know change can be overwhelming & scary but I have a feeling that you will do great wherever you end up- especially with all the love sent your way & all the support from your " tribe" . May we all be so lucky to have friends as true as you do !! Much love❤️
I really hope Joel can find a home and Arc won't have troubles with his benefits. A trust should be the right route. It would be awesome if he can be gifted a home with all these efforts. Thanks so much for spearheading this. I hope if my own son runs into issues later in life that he will have a community that rallied behind him. Much love! Also, I hope to make it to an event soon, so please keep having them!
I moved to Ballard about a year ago and until a couple weeks ago I frequented the cafés on Market Street as a freelancer. I would run into Joel most days. I didn't know much about his story until reading these articles. This situation makes me so sad. As a fellow disabled person, I am all too familiar with both these restrictions and how difficult it is to find an accessible place to stay. While I understand the landlord's concerns, there must be something that can be done to keep his belongings until someone can help him work through that. The effort by this community to help him, clean up, move out, find space and keep him in the community is astonishing, thank you all! I can attest that even after living here for a short time, Ballard has some of the friendliest people I have ever met. I can't help right now but I will keep checking back. Joel, if you are reading this, I wish you all the best!
What is going on with this? Is there an update?