A Home Again

I lost my home three years ago to illness/disability and divorce. I have been boarding with a friend and trying to save money but I still cannot afford a home. My name is Laura Ruplinger Skaggs. I am 55 years old and sick. I need this money to help with a down payment so I can afford a home in Louisville where  my friends and family live and where I have always had a home. All I need is a one bedroom condominium in a safe neighborhood. I thought I had enough money but today I found out I am nowhere near. The simplest condo I found in a safe neighborhood was unaffordable and I am close to $10000 short of getting one. My income is $1600 a month and will fall to $1200 in four years when I lose my monthly maintenance from my ex-husband. I will need a mortgage payment $400 or less to be able to keep it.  I am a sick person with lots of medical bills. I will gladly take help finding a condo also.
I am not considering a house because I would have to pay people to do simple maintenance, plus I could not afford the cost of upkeep.  I have found that it is more costly up front to get a condo because the maintenance fee is added to the mortgage. Any house in my price range would be an hour out of Louisville where I am far from doctors, family and friends. I would be more isolated than I am now.
Though I am disabled I have tried to work and am looking for employment now. I have worked a few jobs since I have been disabled but lost them due to either cognitive disability or physical disability. I would  appreciate any job leads. I cannot work more than 15 hours a week and it has to be simple on the mind and easy on the body. Due to the fact that Multiple Sclerosis is progressive I cannot count on a regular income from employment. Therefore, it would be irresponsible to buy based on an earned income, though it would be a bonus.
This would mean so much to me. I was a homeowner for 29 years. I board with a dear friend whom has helped me save money but I want a home again where my three children can bring over future grandbabies. One of my children also has an autoimmune disease and I feel awful that I cannot help.
You may wonder why I do not rent. If I rent, what money I have could disappear in no time. The hospitals and doctors cannot take a home from me but they will take every penny to my name. If my money is not invested in a home I will lose it and have to get on the 4-5 year waiting list for affordable housing. This is why it is so important to me to get a place. Please think about my circumstances whenever you vote.
In 2007 I became unable to work due to chronic acute pain as the result of congenital defects in my cervical spine plus damage due to repetitive labor and unsuccessful cervical fusion surgery that was supposed to fix it. I also suffered weakness and debilitating fatigue. A year later I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis https://multiplesclerosis.net/ 
This was not a surprise as I had been suffering undiagnosed symptoms for eight years prior. The symptoms were both cognitive and physical. l had been a Dairy Scientist, Lab Technician and Science Teacher. My mind and body disabilities combined will only allow me to do the lightest tasks. I have a BS in Biology from Murray State and just about finished my Masters in Teaching from Bellarmine before I became disabled. I stayed mostly bedridden for three years while waiting for diagnosis and medical care.
When my family lost my income we ended up using credit cards to pay for groceries for two years before I was granted disability. We also had medical bills and debt. We never filed for bankruptcy but because of paying off all the debt I ended up with very little money after the house sold.
I was finally diagnosed with Central Pain Syndrome https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Central-Pain-Syndrome-Information-Page 
 in 2013.  Approximately 20% of people with Multiple Sclerosis and 20% of people with spinal trauma are susceptible to it. I have a double whammyIt is difficult to live with. All of the proceeding movements cause me pain: turning and tilting my head, bending, lifting, reaching, pushing, pulling, chewing, sitting in hard chairs, loud or sudden noise, touch, dressing, showering, driving, cooking, cleaning and wearing a bra. Movement hurts, especially lifting my arms. Not moving is my best treatment.
Upon meeting me you probably would not guess I am ill because my symptoms are invisible. I rarely leave the house or socialize. After all the schooling and work I put in I never dreamed I would end up in this position, but things happen. You can contact me if you want to ask specific questions. I won't say I never made a mistake with money. 
I need these funds as soon as possible because one disaster, MS exacerbation or hospitalization could deplete me of the down payment I have.  I need a place with everything on the first floor and canbe situated for my needs should I become handicap.  Even though I cannot put a Thanksgiving meal together by myself, at least I would have a place where my family could come and help put it together.
 I spent years giving to the community as a volunteer in many capacities and I am hoping some of that will come back, though when I was volunteering I never knew I would have to ask for anything.

I would be so grateful to everyone. I feel as though I have lost everything but I know I haven't. I have three children (too young to help me and I cannot help them with higher education) whom I cherish and a host of wonderful friends who have helped me through the years. I feel as though I have lost myself as my body and mind are not what they used to be. I would really appreciate a place of my own for this new Laura to live out her life and maybe you all can make my dream possible.


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Laura Ruplinger Skaggs 
Louisville, KY
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