I don't know how good I am at writing stories (or even at setting up this GoFundMe page), but I will do my best to try.
If you would rather have the short version of my story, it is this - my house is in dire need of repairs, and the pictures you see above show just a few examples of those needed repairs. In addition, due to being disabled, I need to have some accessibility modifications installed, neither of which I can afford. But, just like anyone else in their own living space, I want to be able to not only feel safe, but also BE safe!
And now for the longer version...
I purchased the house that I currently live in about seven years ago. At that time, I had just started a new job and had only been living in this town for a little over a year before I moved into my home. After developing a severe infection in my foot about three and a half years ago, which, despite all efforts by the doctors, would not heal, as well as finding out that I not only have MRSA in my foot but also have something called Charcot arthropathy, it became necessary to have one of my toes amputated.
Around that time, I also found out that I have very advanced osteoarthritis in both knees as well as severe multi-level degenerative joint disease in my lumbar spine and spinal nerve root compression in both my thoracic and cervical spine, likely being caused by my diabetes, which I was diagnosed with back in 2002. Since moving back to this area, I also found out I have coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and other issues stemming from the diabetes. I really don't want to go on and on about the medical issues I have here. Let's just say that I applied for and eventually got on SSI. It is a form of disability benefit, which isn't as much as the other type of disability benefit, SSDI, and gives you just enough money to cover monthly expenses but not unexpected ones.
Needless to say, with the amount of the monthly SSI benefit I get, I simply cannot afford to pay for the repairs, which are emergency repairs, the house needs or the disability modifications I need to have installed. There is, however, a grant program that can possibly help me with the home repairs, but I would need to add some of my own funds to be able to do the work needed. For my portion, the amount I need to come up with is $2,000. This is why I am now asking anyone who can to help me in raising those funds by making a donation.
Following is a list of the emergency repairs and disability modifications that need to be completed so you can see where the money will be used.
Roofing, Building & Construction
1. Roof repair (emergency repair)-flat area in center of roof has no cover, the chimney at the center is old, crumbling and in need of removal, and there is a hole/leak in one spot where the chimney meets up with the surface of the roof. The first picture above is the ceiling in my living room right above my lift chair where the roof leak is causing it to become damaged.
2. Handicapped bar on bathroom wall next to the toilet (accessibility modification). The last picture above shows that there is no handicap bar on the wall next to the toilet.
3. New bathroom shower w/handicapped bars (accessibility modification) The current bathroom shower is not pictured.
4. Bathroom barn door installation to accommodate size of new shower (accessibility modification).
5. Fix porch floor (emergency repair)-floor of porch needs to be replaced with proper material as well as adding or replacing supporting beams underneath. Several of the pictures above show some of the areas in need of repair. The entire porch actually needs to be replaced.
6. Handicapped ramp from porch out to sidewalk (accessibility modification). One picture above, which displays the entire porch, shows there is no handicap ramp. It would be safer for me to use the handicap ramp, especially in the winter, when the steps are icy and/or covered with snow.
Plumbing, Heating & Air
7. Toilet repair (emergency repair)-there is a leak just underneath the toilet tank where it sits on the back rest of the toilet bowl. The picture of the bathroom shows a towel wrapped around the bottom of the toilet to catch any water that leaks out onto the floor.
8. Furnace replacement (emergency repair). I have been told by more than one contractor that the furnace in my home is very old and in need of replacement.
9. Furnace flue vent redirect (emergency repair)-before repairs to roof can be started, the vent that is supposed to direct the carbon monoxide fumes to the outside is hooked up to the old chimney and needs to be redirected straight up to the outside. This has caused a potentially lethal situation because, not knowing that the furnace flue was hooked up to the chimney, I had someone last summer plug up the chimney to keep the rain out. Now the carbon monoxide fumes from the furnace are being forced down into the interior of my house. I even had one contractor that I called to come and do an estimate for this program threaten to come over here and shut down my furnace when he found out about this situation! This is, clearly and undoubtedly, the issue that will need to be dealt with first.
10. Gas hot water heater removal from bathroom and electric hot water heater installation to make room for new shower (emergency repair and accessibility modification). I also cannot have a gas hot water heater in my bathroom because of its small size.
11. Circuit breaker box repair/replacement (emergency repair). Just like the furnace, I have had more than one contractor tell me that the circuit breaker box is old and needs to be replaced. I was also told by one contractor that the circuit breaker box shows that the kitchen has too many outlets on one circuit hooked up together and needs to be redone as well as there being only four circuits for the entire house where there should be more.
It is truly my hope that you will be able to help me out, even if only a little. GoFundMe suggests that I indicate how soon I need these funds. I think that simply saying that I need them right away won't be good enough as I'm sure anybody else using GoFundMe would say the same thing. I will tell you this: all work done on my house will need to be completed by September 15th. And we haven't even scheduled a date for the contractors to start the work yet. Based on that, I would have to say that sooner rather than later is best here.
Helping me to come up with these funds would simply mean everything to me - maybe even my very life! Knowing that I am living with this hazardous carbon monoxide situation weighs heavily on my mind. I am stressed out because I think about it constantly, which I'm sure isn't good for my health either. To say that I would be eternally grateful for your help in successfully raising enough funds is an understatement, plain and simple!
So, I ask of you - will you please help me in achieving my goal of having a safer, more secure home to live in? Since the fees charged for using GoFundMe are per donation, larger donations would help keep the cost of the fees down. So, give what you can but, if you can at least give $10 or $20, that would be awesome!
Oh, and one last thing... Spread the Word! This GoFundMe page will be posted on Facebook to reach more people but, if you think of anyone who does not use Facebook or a computer (I know a few of those myself) or find out that someone who knows me isn't aware of my situation and that I'm needing some help, please let them know about it should they be interested in donating. Again, I thank you for your care and consideration.