Tommy's Housing Recovery Fund

As many of you know, my mother and I have been to hell and back this year. We have helped many friends and neighbors with various problems over the decades, and now some assistance from others would really help us recover a bit from the extremely stressful experiences we have endured over the past few months. There are also very costly burdens now placed upon us for the foreseeable future as well.

After 33 years of paying the rent on time and being tenants in good standing, we lost our apartment (my lifelong home, until this past June) when the landlord asked for it back. Since we were renters without a lease, living in a private two-family house and not a rent stabilized multi-family dwelling, there was no legal ability to fight for keeping our apartment. Despite trying our best to vacate promptly, which we were eventually able to do in about 4 months, the landlord still proceeded to take us to housing court at the very end of the ordeal, as a parting gift, seeking a formal eviction—so as to legally guarantee that we would leave.

Before this months-long nightmare began in February, we were a family that was already experiencing financial difficulties. My mother, now in her 60s, had already been facing health difficulties and painful physical disabilities for years prior; a major drain on her capabilities and quality of life, which also requires a lot of my time and assistance. Additionally, we had already been busy caring for my elderly grandmother, who was becoming more frail and homebound following a health malady last fall. Needless to say, by February all of our resources were already strained. 

We were not mentally, physically, or financially prepared for this displacement. We were not compensated for the thousands of dollars it cost to hire movers and to pay for various van rentals to move smaller batches of possessions and my work materials throughout the process. In our new and far smaller living arrangements, my mother and I are both unable to store all of our personal and professional possessions, and have had to take on very expensive storage units as a result. Considering the fact that my mother is an artist with many supplies, objects, art works, related books and I am a film archivist whose archives were stored at home, you can imagine how much “stuff” we had accumulated throughout a combined 60 years, as highly sentimental people, and how difficult it is to now be separate from the majority of these possessions and work materials on a daily basis. This physical and financial inconvenience will likely last for years, if not being a permanent situation. Our monthly living expenses have risen considerably in addition to all this, without a rise in family-wide income. That’s bad news for people with limited incomes in New York City.

Throughout the process of looking for new housing and trying to sort, pack, and relocate all of our possessions—in addition to meeting my various pre-existing familial responsibilities—I was unable to tend to most of my self-employed film archiving work for the better of four months. Following our move, getting settled into my new place and helping my mother and grandmother with their daily needs has slowed down my work flow as well. This particular problem has left me in a very difficult spot, as I estimate I’m nearly six months behind in my work. The initial result was effectively lost income during February-June, and now major delays in specific long-term projects, some of which are contractual and legally-binding. These hold-ups are putting me at a financial and professional disadvantage for months to come, if not longer. Considering that my film archives are now separate from me and in a storage facility without late night or 24 hour access, and I cannot transport much to and fro without getting a car ride from a friend, it is also far more difficult and time consuming to access and use my own holdings for my own work.

Simply put, 2017 has been a very difficult year and it has turned our lives upside down. There is still a difficult road to navigate ahead. In conclusion, we’re seeking to raise much needed funds to help ease the burden of expenses we already faced, and expenses we will continue to face for the rest of the year. Hopefully 2018 will be an easier and happier year. 

To recap, these funds would help us with the following items:

•Movers on moving day; also van rentals, moving supplies and hired help on various occasions.

•Household goods and supplies which needed to be replaced or purchased anew.

•Storage units; also time and expense in traveling to them.

•Lost income from time away from work, and major delays in ongoing work projects.

•Large increases in monthly living expenses (rent, utilities, etc.)

We thank you all so very much for your generosity and assistance. We simply do not know what we would have done without the help of various kind souls throughout this ordeal…then and now. We are incredibly grateful.

With much love,

  • Anonymous 
    • $990 
    • 32 mos
  • Dorothy Bradley 
    • $200 
    • 40 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 40 mos
  • François Willot 
    • $30 
    • 40 mos
  • Bernard Gardner 
    • $200 
    • 40 mos
See all


Tommy José Stathes 
New York, NY