Help me save my rolling house

Hi. My name is Dana. I'm forty-nine and living in my car.

For more than a decade, until 2021, I was living and co-parenting with my daughter's father. In 2021 he decided to have a mid-life crisis ten years late. Other stressors were happening in the household as well, and when he decided to resume bad behaviors that had already broken up our relationship years before, I hit my breaking point. My daughter was almost grown at that time anyway (close to 17; she is now an adult) and I reasoned she'd be safer staying with him because I didn't know how things would go. I thought I'd be living with my father. That didn't work out either.

I came back to Ohio and made a go of it for a while, though I've had an extraordinary amount of trouble getting back into the workplace, and particularly to find something that would enable me to pay for decent housing. I've been in an extended-stay suite instead. Until they found out I had bed bugs in my room.

I thought I would be able to earn enough to get into a new room or, failing that, find a job within a few weeks since I didn't have to worry about paying for a room anymore, so could be more flexible in what work I accepted. So far, that's not panning out, because I am supporting myself with gig food-delivery driving, and... I lost the room in January.

What do people do in January?

Right. Go on diets.


Sometimes my daughter's father helps and sometimes not. For instance, I needed to get my brake pads replaced and he was helpful with that. But when I got the fronts done this week (end of January/ beginning of February), they uncovered another problem: I need to replace the right outer tie rod end.

The catch is I need to drive to earn the money to replace that tie rod end. But driving makes it more likely the tie rod end will break. If it does, the car will not be driveable.

Daughter's dad had an unexpected expense and can't help. I will drive to try to earn the money anyway, but I'm taking a big risk. I would be taking a big risk even if I got lucky and landed a good job tomorrow, because I have to drive to get to the job every day.

There's a local organization that sometimes helps with car repair costs, but showing them proof of income would be daunting and for all I know, I earn too much, this despite so much of my income being eaten up in gasoline costs and takeout (I can't store perishable food right now) and expenses (I have to pay for car insurance and my phone, without which I cannot work, among other things). I also have to get statements from three different mechanics, and some mechanics charge to look at your car. I also have to drive around all over the place to get all of this together. So I've been disinclined to inquire about that.

Modest Needs also wants a whole lot of documentation. Understandably, but I have kind of an unusual situation, and that's if they even help in the first place, which would take time I frankly, probably don't have.

So, never thought I'd do this, but I'm asking for help here.

The tie rod end replacement will probably cost around $150 to $200, from what I saw on the mechanic's computer screen. They also want to do an alignment which is around $80 and is necessary. They will probably also suggest I get an oil change, and it is definitely time. Plus I have to think about GoFundMe fees. Thus the amount I am asking.

I can't make any promises but if GFM tells me the email addresses of people who help out with this, I may be able to pay you back. I would like to do that. That is my preference. My life can't be messed up like this forever.

Whatever happens, thank you for reading, at least. And yep, that's my car in the photo.



Dana Seilhan
Columbus, OH

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