Eviction: Going to be on the street

Hey, guys.

My partner, Haley and I have been living together in Pittsburgh for 2 years now. We have faced nothing but hardship since we moved here and we are finally in a position where we can't see a way out. I absolutely hated to do this and am upset and embarrassed but we will be on the street in 10 days if we can't get another apartment and move before then.

When we first moved here we came from Richmond, VA. Finding and apartment while working the hours we worked was very hard and we latched onto the very first apartment we saw just so we had somewhere to go before we had to sign another year lease in Virginia. 

The apartment we got was in an area we just couldn't afford but didn't realize until we were stuck in the lease. The management wasn't great either. The day we were supposed to move in the apartment was so filthy that I had an allergy attack twenty minutes into unlocked the door. If you ran your fingers along the window sills, you came up with a thick layer of dust. Walking through the apartment left your socks/feet black with dirt and the bathroom was a disaster. 

We had seen the apartment before moving in when another lady had lived there so we didn't know how dirty it was. We didn't move our stuff in and had to fight with the Landlord several times to get it to finally be clean enough to live in.  

We were working our 40 hours a week at Starbucks constantly and having a hard time paying our bills. Haley and I are both type 1 diabetics and we have a lot of medical expenses each month. These range from insulin, to test strips, syringes, lancets, pump supplies, alcohol swabs etc...All things that are life sustaining. We would be in the hospital in a few hours without our insulin. 

Another job opportunity opened up for us that paid a lot more. We both applied and got the jobs. This job paid a lot more and had a set schedule. It was a call center job dealing with credit cards. This was fine for the first month, however, both of our mental states while working this job were awful. 

We got cursed out on the phone more times than I can count, told to kill ourselves, told we were worthless and all around treated like garbage for thirteen dollars an hour. This made keeping up on bills a lot easier, but it was destroying us mentally.

Then Haley had a few nights where it became too much. It started with a panic attack on the floor at work. Everyone waived me over to her cubicle because she couldn't breathe. It was so bad I ended up h aving to take her home. From then on, Haley couldn't be left alone because she would injure herself. We tried to work similar schedules, often, but that's hard to do. I couldn't be with her all the time. 

Eventually, Haley attempted to take her own life. It was so bad she had an ambulance called to take her to a hospital. She spent the night in the hospital but because we were so bogged down with bills she insisted they let her come home so she didn't miss work, which her being an adult, they had to. She hadn't agreed to a full check in. 

However, this happened again. The second time it happened she attended Western Psych hospital in Oakland, about ten minutes from our home. She was there for day and then eventually was put into a group therapy session 4 times a week. This was good, except Haley couldn't work that job anymore. She had another panic attack and ended up quitting. 

When she quit her mental wellness was so much better, however, she had a lot of trouble finding a new job. So that left me to balance all of our bills, including our $875 rent bill. This caused me an immense amount of stress.

Haley tried very hard to find another job, however, nothing was happening fast enough. Eventually, I too, broke down. I had a horrible night where, on my way home from work, I passed my exit and just kept driving. I don't remember too much of what happened, other than I had gone into a really bad neighborhood, trying to find someone to end my life for me. 

This was a sign that I also needed to quit this job. I thought that Haley and I would be able to find new jobs quickly and this was around tax season. I was estimated to get $1000 back from my tax refund. I waited and waited for it, figuring it would cover my rent until we both found and got established at new jobs. Then I got a call from the IRS telling me a mistake was made and I wasn't getting anything. Nothing. Not a dime. 

We tried everything to find jobs that paid at least ten dollars an hour and we found nothing. 

Eventually, I did go back to a Starbucks. Haley found a job at a salon.

As we got these new jobs, however, we were already massively behind in debt. Our Landlord took us to court and the judge postponed anything for a month to see if we could scrape together money to try and get caught up. Haley and I paid $200 a week to our Landlord but every time we got a little caught up, the 1st of the month showed up and we owed not only our rent but a late fee because we didn't have it all in full on that date. We couldn't get caught up, in fact no matter how much we paid, we only seemed to get further into debt. 

We've been paying as much as we can without starving to death or giving up our necessary medical supplies. Once in a while we do something nice for each other or splurge or something stupid for 10 or 20 bucks but that is it. 

We have a cat, a hamster, and we are currently watching our friends snake while she is away at basic training for the Air Force. They, too, need a place to live.

We have been hit with an eviction notice that gives us only ten days to find a new place to live because we can't get caught up. Nobody even warned us we have had no time to prepare. My mom lives an hour away in the middle of the woods in Ohio, so there'd be no way I could keep my job or find one that pays as much living with her.

Haley's family lives in Virginia. 

My mom filed for bankruptcy or she'd help us out without a doubt but she can't. She hardly gets by on what she had at the moment. My dad and I do not get along and I was physically and emotionally abused by him for most of my life. He's not an option for us at all. 

We don't want to do this, we are embarrassed and upset and panicked but I don't see any way out of this hole we are stuck in.  I'm crying as I type this, I don't want to have to ask for money its the absolute worst. I'm just at my ropes end.

We do want to leave this area. This city has been nothing but a curse for me every time I've lived here. We just need to not be on the street for the next 6 months to a year.

All we are asking is that you can donate even a dollar to help us pay our deposit and first months rent at a new and much cheaper apartment that we can move into in ten days or less so that we don't end up on the street.

We are looking into options to see if we can get that little amount of time extended but right now it doesn't look good. 

There's a much cheaper apartment available for $700 a month nearby and we are trying to do everything we can to get there as soon as possible. The application fee is $45 each for both Haley and I and the security depsoit and first months rent should both be 700. 

I have about 600 to my name right now and Haley about 100. We just really need the help. Once again, I hate to ask this...This is such a panicked and horrible situation, but if you can help at all in any way I can't tell you how grateful we would be. Words cannot express. Being diabetic and having the pets we do ...We just have nowhere to go right now without some help. 

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Riley Rowan 
Pittsburgh, PA
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