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Empower Vagrant's Fight Against Homelessness

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Hi there, you can call me Vagrant.

I need your help because I lost my home a year ago when the person I loved and trusted most scammed me out of my life savings.

I've been a software engineer for 13 years, and I've worked freelance for enterprise firms like Eurofins Genomics and General Electric, but without any safety net I was forced to move into my car.

I probably don't need to tell you how bad the job market is right now.

I consider myself lucky because my first programming job 13 years ago was working in AI, and I've worked as an AI evaluator since then, but I still haven't been able to get hired despite getting several interviews and having very relevant skills and experience.

I first moved into my car in May 2023, and every single day since then, except when sick, I've gone to the nearest free WiFi point and either applied to jobs, interviewed, or worked on ever more complex and sophisticated projects for my programming portfolio.

I've worked myself sick every single day, even weekends, yet I'm still stuck in my car over a year later.

One day I sent out 100 résumés, and never heard back from a single one.

I spent days, literally days, on the phone with local not-for-profit organizations to find housing, only to be told that my "earning potential is too high" to qualify for anything available because I don't have children.

I'm 35, and I feel fortunate to be as well as I am, but I haven't had insurance in a few years now and I'm starting to show signs of some potentially serious health problems.

For example, I have a family history of Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinsonian type disease, and, while I try to think the best, some of the symptoms I've started to develop over the last year are worryingly close to those conditions.

Being forced to sleep in my car keeps me in constant joint pain and severely limits my mobility throughout the day, so every week I sleep in my car makes me feel like I've aged a year.

My eyes are the worst though because I almost never stop seeing stars, especially when looking at a screen, and dark veins have suddenly started to bulge beneath them.

My car is almost in as bad of shape as I am though: my tires are deflating from so many small gashes and punctures, and my power steering pump is broken, as is my air conditioning.

I also haven't been able to afford more than a half-tank of gas in a year.

Despite everything, I've still engineered some really cool new projects while living in my car over the last year, including:
  • An accessibility tool to help designers more easily create readable color palettes for the web: theme-generator-eight.vercel.app
  • An "Excel for lists" that lets you process things like TODOs with arbitrary JavaScript: wispe.vercel.app
  • A novel AI recommendation/sorting algorithm that uses iterated Jaccard similarity: content-recommendation.vercel.app
  • And an "enhanced" web implementation of the Camille Utterback artwork Text Rain, complete with simulated gravity: text-rain.vercel.app

Like my name says, I'm an engineer, not a designer, so these are primarily *engineering* demos to showcase functional completeness over aesthetics, but I want to try to bring the first three to market because I think they could be viable business ideas.

Hopefully my web hosting won't get shut down before you get a chance to check them out.

My goal is to raise enough money that I can get some kind of cheap accommodation for a couple of months, rebuild my strength, fix my car, make those engineering demos into marketable Software-as-a-Service products, and build a competitive presence on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

If you can help me do that then I know that I will at least have a track out of this situation.

Right now, with my car threatening to die any day, I'm at serious risk of becoming more and more entrenched in this situation, so anything is guaranteed to be better than me getting permanently stuck somewhere on the side of the road.

Thank you, and I appreciate you for taking the time to read this far.

Please help if you can, and be well.

~ Vagrant
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Illustration of helping hands

Give $20 and be one of the first to donate

Your donation is the start of Vagrant's journey to success. Your early support inspires others to donate.

Make a donation
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Organiser

Vagrant Engineer
Organiser
Seattle, WA

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