Keep me out of my parents' basement

Yesterday, I heard the fire alarm in my building go off. I thought to myself, those bums on the second floor forgot to change the batteries again. I'll go give them a piece of my mind. I went up the stairs and opened the door and was immediately blasted with a thick jet of opaque black smoke and extreme heat.

I ran around shouting to see if anyone was still inside, and then I punched 911 into my phone. Before dialing, I thought to myself, is this serious enough to dial 911, maybe it's not such a big deal? Am I overreacting? Then I realized, obviously it's a big deal, what the hell is wrong with you Shuja.

Three hours, seven fire trucks, and eight broken windows later, the fire was out. But in the process, much of my room had been destroyed. The ceiling caved in, the room was flooded, and anything absorbent was contaminated by soot.

I'm going to be staying with my mom and dad for a while (I don't see them enough anyway, at least according to them) because I don't have a place in NYC now, and no furniture to put in one if I had it.

So many of you have offered to help online, and it would just be wonderful to be able to have the funds to pay a security deposit on a new place and hopefully get myself a bed and a desk and chair. Bare minimum.

Incredible timing, because I had quit my day job a couple weeks ago, thinking my situation was relatively stable, to try to see if I could make a living freelancing. Obviously this was a curveball. Hoping I don't have to retreat to my hometown and become a basement dweller.

Please only give if you can afford it. We're all in tight spots these days. But if you're among those who offered your assistance, I am so grateful and helping me stay in New York is the best thing you can help me do.

Much love to all of you, and your words of support are already enough.
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Shuja Haider 
Brooklyn, NY
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