I don't have a photo of our family unit all together. (My best friend has been ill for years and is very sensitive about her illness and appearance.) Our story has been going on for years as our friends know, but it has reached a pinnacle with no way toward solid ground except to network for help. We have had a couple of miraculous donations but each time, emergency events happened that stopped us from finding stable housing.
My little family consists of myself, a former nonprofit development professional from Chicago; my best friend of 20 years, who is disabled due to a serious neurological disorder; and my 15-year-old cat Kohl who is her "little nurse" for emotional support.
My friends have been wonderful helping over the years for us to gain stability. There was a period of time where we were on our feet again; unfortunately due to my job loss in a high rent area, we were back to trying to find home again. My best friend cannot go into a homeless shelter because of her medical condition so we are living in our van, paying for a room whenever we can find the help or the means. That's the Catch-22...scrambling every day to find a place to sleep, without any real long term solutions. Her condition keeps getting worse; she is not ill enough to be hospitalized but not at all well enough to be sleeping in a vehicle. And I can't leave her alone to go to work without a safe place to stay. We need help to pay for first month rent in permanent housing, or at least a place with first month rent free or deferred. I will even do a work in exchange for rent.
I have been contacted through Indeed and LinkedIn by several potential employers in Maine, some who are at the final interview phase and want to meet in-person. We have decided that, since social service funding is low in Illinois, we should take the chance for a place that offers enough assistance to put us in the path to permanent stability. We just need help for gas, food and first month rent upfront in order to make something happen.
EDITED: We made it to Maine thanks to the generosity of so many friends and strangers. I also found a full time job. The issue as of today is still housing. Our funds are being depleted by paying for temporary housing, so we need to find a permanent place asap.
Anything that will help us achieve home is beyond appreciated.
Thank you, and bless you for taking time out for us today.