Jesse and Jess are being "voluntarily" evicted.
I made an agreement with my father to purchase a home for Jesse and I two years ago. Now, my father has developed dementia and that agreement is not valid to the courts and we need to relocate by the end of October - or we'll be evicted involuntarily.
Jesse and I started dating over 20 years ago, on and off, and have now been married for four and a half years.
Over the years, my father developed dementia. I suppose the signs had been there, but it felt like overnight, he went from a little forgetful to volatile, aggressive, and abusive.
I barely weathered the storm of 11 months it took to stagger through the bureaucratic hoops involved in dealing with someone with this sort of dementia. I took him to his doctor's appointments and got the referrals and saw the specialists. I took him to locksmiths when he lost his keys again and again, I tried to help him around the house when he couldn't find what he needed or focus on what he was doing. We went to his primary care, to the cardiologists, for MRIs, Neurology, Psychiatry, pulmonary ultrasounds, evaluations, and tests.
It took six months to get a diagnosis of "possible" dementia, and another five months to finally gain guardianship over my father to allow us to get him proper care.
We finally got a break; he went into assisted living and was doing well there, aside from getting himself into trouble by jumping fences and taking long trips back to his house. But it was okay. He was getting fed and taking his medications regularly.
My father was good to us when we were small and was very loved. It was heartbreaking to see him change.
When the pandemic hit, everyone's world was turned upside down, ours included. My income halted, my health care halted, my father... Could not be contained and constantly left the assisted living facility, disregarding all safety concerns. They kicked him out and he was put into a secure memory care facility.
His primary residence was cleaned and sold last month. Now his conservator is coming for this home. She wants to sell immediately and, honestly, I don't blame her. The market is hot, the value has gone up, houses are selling in days for well over asking. With the cost of my father's care, a house in the early years of a mortgage is a money sink.
The conservator is evicting us.
Yes, I know, there's a moratorium on evictions. Well, she's offered us a small lump sum to vacate by the end of October. If we don't take the offer, she will just be legally evicting us when the moratorium expires.
The thing is, we're in a rock and hard place situation. The sum offered is almost reasonable, but not quite. It doesn't cover all the costs of moving, and I am scared. We are already facing a housing gap between Halloween and when we can start our new home.
We need to rent a room or sublet during our housing gap.
We need to store our things.
We need to rent a moving truck to cross the country and a tow dolly for our car, as well as pay for the fuel to do so.
We need to find somewhere to house our cats and chickens while we wait for our new home.
Our Barbu d'Uccle, Peeps, won "Official Work From Home Mascot" at Jesse's business park. Such a pretty girl! She has special needs and cannot be kept with other chickens.
Avocado and Meowy love each other dearly. They are inseparable from each other and from us.
We will be moving across the country, as housing costs here on the west coast have become frighteningly high - and completely unsustainable with only Jesse's income covering both of us. I am unable to perform gainful employment due to my disabilities (Narcolepsy, Chronic Daily Migraines, and a nerve issue in my leg). The wildfires have displaced so many people as well; the already tight competition for housing resources has become tense with all of us left homeless.
I just want to feel safe. I just want a safe place to be between here and there. I'd like a cushion, no matter how small, in case the unthinkable happens. I want to know that if our tent breaks, we can get shelter on a cross country drive. I want to know that if we blow a tire, we can get back on the road.
If you've already donated all you could to those affected by the West Coast's wildfires - thank you for helping my friends and neighbors. They need you, too.
Thank you. I love you all.
- Erik Hagerth
- Carolyn Carter
- Jane Wolf
- Josanna Lynn Biddle-Croco