My papa is desperate to move home and to be home with his family so he is no longer alone. In the last 3 years, my papa has lost his wife, has battled bladder cancer and has had heart surgery. He is a Vietnam-era Vet who is desperately wanting to spend the rest of his years next to his daughter, grandkids and great granddaughter. If 180 people gave $10, my papa would make it home. Thank you for taking the time to view this! Anything helps (:
Let me introduce myself and --as briefly as I can-- explain my desperate situation which resulted in my inability to pay my rent which was due on July 1st then August 1st!
I am Edwin Denny Jankowski, a 70 yr-old widower and Vietnam-era Veteran who, up until January 2017, was nominally able to afford to continue to live in my present apartment here in Oceanside based on my monthly Social Security Retirement benefit and employment through 2016 at the GOODWILL Community Employment Center here in Oceanside, CA.
Please bear with me as I digress to provide some background information:
In November 2013, my wife and I returned to San Diego County, after a 10-year relocation in Texas, to hopefully restart our lives here again. We moved into Sunterra Apartments in January of 2014. Shockingly and most sadly, not long thereafter, i.e., May 19th, my wife died of ovarian cancer.
After living in an emotional-fog for more than a year, I came to realize that I needed to get on with my life and attain employment again. A few months later, December 2015, I discovered the Goodwill Oceanside Community Employment Center and began actively searching for a job. As it turned out, in February of 2016, they offered me a position to be their Administrative Assistant/Receptionist! I gladly accepted it and found it to be a job with very diverse activities and responsibilities which I really loved.
Unfortunately, their business model changed as of November 1, 2016; consequently, they ceased offering a Document Destruction Service in all of Goodwill Industries San Diego County. Coordination of that activity for the Oceanside Center was a major portion of my duties.
Accordingly, they advised me that my position would be eliminated as of December 30, 2016.
So I was in pursuit of new job opportunities in January- February… updating and polishing my Resume’ and cover-letter… searching job sites…checking out job fairs, etc…
Then, as I turned-up the burner to ‘High’ in March, I got a “big surprise” out of the blue….
In the early morning of March 9th, as I was languishing in bed upon awakening, I suddenly got a big-time pain right under my sternum. It wouldn’t go away no matter how I tossed or turned. Thought I maybe had a muscle-cramp or something…but it didn’t change no matter what I did, e.g., walk around, sit, etc. I put-up with this for over an hour… then finally gave up fearing it was a heart attack and called 911. Went to the Tri-City Hospital’s ER…they did an EKG then sent me in for X-rays, CT Scan etc. Wound up spending 4-days in the hospital.
Told me the good news was: a) I wasn’t having a heart attack ---BUT, b) it was serious. I “…have an Aortic Dissection”. That’s a longitudinal tear in the lining of my aorta…would get worse --and possibly fatal-- if not remedied… encouraging news: Best remedy is to install a stent in the aorta.
So as directed by my Primary Care Physician, I was going to the San Diego VA Medical Center Hospital about once a week for various pre-op tests in March through mid-April.
Then I had the vascular surgery on Thursday the 27th of April… they also did a small bypass at the top-end of the tear (under my collarbone) so as not risk damage to a smaller aorta that taps-off to feed my left brain and left arm; all went well… released on the 30th.
Follow-up tests and evaluation through May & into June.
Got the VA Medical Center’s “good-to-go for normal life” --on June 20th !
o Thank God; Truly !
o Now get a job!
o Go back to the VA Medical Center for a CT Scan check in December.
However, being unable to work for the prior 15-weeks, I couldn’t make my July rent; along with the associated Late Fee, I was $1,759 in arrears ---and then August 1st arrived with its $1,599 rent and $100 Utilities bill due!
I barely had enough cash for utilities, groceries, phone, vehicle insurance & gas, etc., until my next Social Security check on August 9th. Yet then, the avalanche continued!
For well over a month, I had been hitting-up ALL the agencies I could find, making contact by office, phone, email and/or internet, and in person seeking short-term rental assistance to avoid the imminent eviction an get back to job pursuits. To date –nothing. It seems that all the various government (fed and state) programs go by the same basic income-qualifying rules, i.e., if a household of one (1) --and that’s my case-- has a total income of no more than $1592, then that individual qualifies for full rental assistance (and some programs include utilities) for several months.
Yes, being a 70+ yr-old, Viet Nam-Era Vet, Honorably Discharged, is necessary as well, but it’s that pesky $112 over the income ceiling that prevents me from qualifying. (I never thought my Social Security Retirement Benefit was too high !)
My apartment’s site-manager has had County Court filing papers prepared by the Property Management firm’s lawyers (Unlawful Detainer). She has been very empathetic and considerate but has said her “hands are tied” which I fully understood. The Property Management company doesn’t make rule exceptions.
Subsequently, I filed my response to the UD and there’s an Eviction Hearing on August 28th.
I probably have only a few days (weeks, at most) to deal with the challenges of ‘being homeless’.
Amongst other resources, the VA has been helping me in my job-search efforts as well. I am confident that I would have otherwise been employed again, in the August/September time-frame and been back on the path to ‘self-sufficiency’ by September/October --but I could not avoid the imminent eviction or financially deal with impact thereof ! And this does not address the $2,100 medical bills NOT paid by Medicare for the 15-weeks of varioys treatments nor, of course, the late rent payments for July &August.
Since I will have to vacate my apartment by mid-September, I must find an affordable truck rental and a short-term storage solution to hopefully avoiding abandoning all my personal stuff and --MOST Importantly--- find some short-term, affordable housing so I can save for and effect a relocation back to Texas to be with my daughter, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter!!
I believe that once resettled back there, I can find employment and support myself for however many more years God will provide to this ‘Grandpa’.
I surely am facing an imminent risk of being evicted and, as of yet, haven’t any “safe harbor” solutions but there are a few organizations, e.g., Veterans Village of San Diego and Supportive Services for Veteran Families but I need two weeks to enable their laborious processes work through.
If you could please help keep me off the streets and one my way to my Texas Family, I and my family will be eternally grateful. In any case, if you could pass this on to anyone who might help [ including PRAYERS! ] would be great.
E, Denny Jankowski
- Joel Blackford
- Michael Smith
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