(And to the critics who don't believe me) Here's an Imgur image photo collection of all the Priceline transaction charges of how long I've been paying and extending my hotel reservation: https://imgur.com/a/BHbE7ZR
Official Facebook Fan Page / Instagram:
I've created this FB fan page as an alternative way to promote this fundraiser while posting any further status updates. Although, I won't be able to update as much due to me being so busy from my full-time job. So I'll try to at least check it around every now and then.
Hello, my name is Christian Willis. I am 26 years old. Let me give you a background story on what drove me to create my first ever fundraiser. As well as the motivation to why and the main reasons it personally matters to me so much. Now before I start on this long story, I don't mean to sound like a beggar or anything. I'm actually very determined in trying to improve my life financially, but despite all odds, I will need support one way or another in order to achieve this due to the huge obstacles that's currently in my way.
But let me start off by saying that I'm currently staying at a hotel called Comfort Inn & Suites with my mom. We currently don't have a real home or apartment to stay in. This was after her ex-neighbor friend kicked us out of her home over some big argument fight they had about 11 months back before we first started staying into this hotel since last April. Both of us have bad credit and no car. Neither of us had a job at the time. I was still being paid via unemployment benefits with the PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) until TX governor, Greg Abbot ended it back in June 26th, 2021. Consequently, I had to use my last stimulus check before my brother had to help aid with paying the hotel rent for a few months until then while we were still trying to look for jobs after getting our first Covid-19 vaccine shots.
Main Story / Financial Deprivation:
It’s been months later, and I still couldn’t find any jobs. By then, my brother called my mom one night telling her that he had run out of his own savings money. So I was under a lot of pressure to get a job soon. Desperately, I've found a warehouse job around late August and worked from temporary for $13 an hour to now permanent in a few months. I was grateful at the time, but soon realized it wasn’t enough and was only the beginning.
- Fast-forward to now, I am currently still working at the full-time warehouse job. It pays $14 per hour, but even with me working 40 hours a week, I only get $500 per week. Unfortunately, almost all of that money goes down to drain to the hotel rent. The booking site I use to pay for and extend the hotel is through Priceline. I've been extending for so much through many months (about 10 months and going) that I'm now even a platinum VIP member. But regardless of all that, since each night costs $48 per night, I would still have to pay an average of $400 - $430 per week!
Strict Dead-End Jobs / Costly Ride-sharing Transportation:
Under these circumstances (as you can already tell), no matter how hard I try, I can't get out of this rock and a hard place situation. Meanwhile, my mom is still struggling trying to find a job and keep it. Maybe the pandemic is to blame (like most uses as an excuse of these days), but honestly most jobs are dead-end workplaces anyway. Employers don't seem to care or value their employees yet wonder why they're so short-staffed after they've treated them like dirt. So she keeps getting fired or laid off over each new job she gets.
- And as each week goes, every payday I only have $50 - $100 left in my bank account after extending the hotel reservation. So since my mom doesn't have a car either, I would have to take Uber to work. Therefore, that would cost me $8 - $10 to and back. Which would mean an average of $16 - $20 per day. That's a whopping $80 to $100 per week!
Temporary Transportation Solution:
Now I had found a solution to this which thankfully I found a nearby Dart train station / bus that can take me to work for cheap. So luckily I can save some money since a one way trip around mornings & evenings is $3 and for a day pass it's $6. Which means I would only have to pay $30 per week. While this tremendously helps, it's still not enough alone to get me out of this hotel. Because now my boss has recently changed warehouse building locations to some other area that's no longer nearby the train station. Plus, I still have to worry about bringing food into the hotel room.
Food & Delivery Costs Are Still A Problem:
But it’s bad as it is considering how the room is very small, with a mini fridge, no kitchen, and no free breakfast (despite advertised online) due to the pandemic. That's why, even with me trying to strictly save every last bit of my money, it's nearly impossible to without having to rely on DoorDash or Instacart grocery delivery daily due to no kitchen to prepare my foods. My mom's EBT card does help though with getting groceries delivered online via Amazon though. However, I've never thought it'd occur to this where I'd have to come into realization for almost all the things taken for granted that everyday people with real homes have. Basic things needed that makes living essential and less hectic like as if I'm living in the jungle or a deserted island.
More Financial Struggles & Conflicts:
I don't even have any savings money. I used up all of my stimulus checks, and then other checks I had for other things I was going to save up, but couldn't since I was about to be homeless. Furthermore, I was anxious in desperately getting and keeping a job especially due to knowing how there's no homeless support programs we'd qualify here in TX. Ultimately, now it's my own full responsibility over trying to keep afloat to prevent being homeless while my mom is still finding a permanent job. But it's just so hard because this warehouse job still pays little pocket change money over the situation we're in.
Don't get me wrong, while I'm grateful that I have a job and that the minimum wage went up, I almost can't even tell the difference due to the economic inflation and hotel rent. So I sometimes work overtime on Saturdays since my boss let me which helps at times. But I don't want to work so hard like a slave just for $500 weekly when I still need time throughout the day to look for me an apartment. So now I'm constantly trying to use loans (despite bad credit) and the Earnin app just to borrow funds until next payday since the hotel rent eats a huge chunk of my wallet each week. Every day is a constant daily struggle and reminder of simply trying to survive and get through each month as the days go by and pass.
My Main Motivational Goal & Fundraiser Ambitions:
Therefore, my main goal here (and what drove me to create this fundraiser) is trying to accumulate enough money and time to look into another nearby cheap 1 / 2-bedroom apartment and get out of this cheap, poor-quality hotel. Because time and money goes hand in hand. Which is another problem and obstacle. Because my boss expects me to show up to work every day as a strict requirement of full-time. As a result:
- I can't work part-time and neither do I have any PTO. Because of this, I'm stuck not being able to schedule a tour to visit apartments I wanted to discover and look around before reserving. The last option I tried checking was seeing if there were any nearby cheaper hotel / motels near me or any free move in specials for even just 1 month into an apartment where I didn't have to worry about a deposit until next month's rent. Sadly, there's none I could find even for that.
Any donation amount helps and is highly appreciated:
That's why I felt more compelled than ever before to make this fundraiser because my hands are all tied. I feel like I have used up and exhausted all of my available options. All I'm asking for is just a little financial help and some generosity from anyone. Again, I'm not trying to sound like a hobo begging, but hey at least I'm not homeless... yet. So if you want to help ensure we have shelter and soon a real home to live in then please support this fundraiser. Better yet, let me give you other reasons why donating would really benefit.
- You'd help me back up my future dreams of trying to pursue gaining my independence (ex. getting a car to drive, going back to college or starting my own business one day, etc.) and getting my life back in order.
- And better yet, if you believe in second chances, then you'd also be helping my mom eventually get back on her feet as well through future support after she lost her social security benefits, her last apartment home from eviction, and her car while still having debt. Then please pledge your support by donating to this fundraiser.
Any amount helps, even $5 goes a long way in your support. I just need some sort of financial help to eventually break free from staying at this ridiculous costing hotel in transit into a real apartment home. I just want a normal life back again!
How much your donations would make a difference:
So if you help donate, your impact would mean a lot.
- For just $5 - $60 daily I would be able to relieve my wallet and bring more food delivered to the hotel room. I'd then have more money for Dart bus / train or Uber transportation to work and other places, as well as help my mom with the same necessities needed to get through.
- For just $200 - $400 weekly, it would help me to pay off 1 week or half of this expensive hotel rent. This would also help ensure we don't go homeless just in case since there's no hotel vouchers or homeless shelter programs around.
- For anything more than $400 then WOW! You've definitely gone above and beyond my donation expectations! If so, then I would be able to pay for food, transportation, rent, and possibly deposit into my own piggy bank savings for the apartment search. It would also help in case loan / phone bills slip up or better yet would still help aid the costs for a 1-week hotel stay.
What would happen once the fundraiser hits the max donation goal?
If it goes all as planned, then we will soon be able to soon get out of this expensive hotel and into a cheap 1 or 2-bedroom apartment. I tried searching all around, although most 1-bedroom apartment unit costs are around a minimum $950 - $1,200. And most 2 bedroom costs $1,500 - $1,700. However, sometimes they go up higher costs thanks to the inflation and high demand. This is why I had originally set the donation goal to $2,000 just in case there's a shortage of 1 bedrooms or if the cost goes up (including the deposit fee). This would also help with the moving costs as well.
Conclusion / My Outlook:
So with all of that being said, I just want to conclude with this last final message and outlook that I hope this fundraiser will go successfully as planned. I am barely active on social media (especially over privacy reasons). But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get out of this hotel and into a real home and I'm hoping that this fundraiser goal will be reached (or close to) so it'll at least help me get out of this horrific situation I'm in. Even if it means promoting it on a fan page. Because despite all of the failures and hardships in my life, there's one thing I'm not giving up on and it's my fulfillment.
Besides, we had already lost a lot of stuff in the past after our first apartment eviction a few years back. Since my mom couldn't help pay for the public storage, they went and sold all of our family stuff. Then my childhood stuff, including toys, game consoles, and even school yearbooks. I'm not gonna let it happen again as it was totally undeserved. I still believe in destiny and purpose. I have big hopes and dreams one day for independence and a new career so I can pursue into a better future. And I also believe everyone else should have second chances too if they're as determined like I am towards finding the light at the end of the tunnel from the big boulder rock & obstacles that's endlessly blocking their path in life to success.