Mayer Family Emergency Move Fund
We do want to be out of here as well, my tenancy here hasn't been very great at all due to many apartment malfuctions and previous management. However, to find out that after we've been living somewhere for five years, to be told with no warning whatsoever that we have 20 days to find a home, uproot the kids possibly from their schools and neighborhood, to come up with first, last and deposits and apartment/housing rental application fees seems very wrong. 30 Days notice at least should be minimum, if not more. The previous owner had been trying to sell for awhile, and put us all through inspection after inspection in addition to the tours given to prospective buyers, where we sacrificed time and our privacy, were told to keep our mouths shut about the apartments and they even bribed several families into a Sizzler dinner away from their apartments so the realtor could show them and no one would tell them about the place (or possibly the management). Seems like someone could have maybe taken a moment to let us prepare to move out!
A little bit about us: I'm Cherrie, I'm turning 40, as I wrote. I had an accident four years ago (actually, the anniversary is also the beginning of April) where I tripped over a curb carrying a box and twisted my leg backwards, causing permenant damage that has left me disabled. My oldest, Deideric, is 12 years old just turned, and is an amazingly bright kid who is on the autism spectrum. My youngest, Gavin, is nearly 10, and he's energetic, charming, and brilliant. Gavin grew up for half his life in this place, so this is hardest on him out of all of us.
I wasn't fond of the idea of doing a gofundme, to be honest, because I felt like I should be able to handle this, financially and otherwise. The last time we moved was before my accident, when I was "able bodied" and able to handle the details, even though I didn't handle them as well as I would like to think -- we bounced around from place to place for about five years prior to landing at this apartment, sometimes crashing on people's floors, sleeping in a fifth wheel for one winter, and just before we got here, we spent 8 months in a homeless shelter. So even though this apartment has been a fairly uncomfortable experience (faulty plumbing, leaks, lack of a shower/bath for a month, having our washer and dryer removed in some form of retaliation, even cockroaches at one point). I hate thinking that the kids are probably scared we are going back to bouncing around again. I hate thinking about the fact that it scares me, too. I refuse to let the kids down again, or myself. I hated the experience of homelessness enough that it took me several years to not have anxiety over the thought of it.
So while I didn't want to do this, after doing the math, the cost of first month, possible last month and deposits was possibly going to cost more than I get paid for a whole month. And I have no clue if I'll have a deposit with the PUD just for moving service. So, I'm talked into this possible route of raising money for what is an emergency type of situation for us.
I am on HUD, and the good news is that they did give me permission for the first time to get a house/apartment larger than a two bedroom, should I find one within the rent restrictions. My boys have never ever had their own rooms apart from each other. Unfortunately, I think I've only located ONE possible place within those guidelines and it very well might not be the right one. I can't even apply for it until I get paid, since the fee for a credit check with a rental runs around $40, and I'm down to my last less-than-a-dollar, time to eat ramen time of the month. I also believe this is part of the silver lining involved in this sudden change-- we could do much better than the place we are in now. We just have to be able to get through the next week the best we can.
Best case scenario as far as what I figure would have to happen, is that I'd have to apply for a place, which I think can take around 24 hours, and if approved have paperwork filled out by them, which I have to return to Housing to be completed, then an inspection has to take place, then I have to come up with the money to get in (might even have to come up with it before that, I'm honestly not sure). We do have a cat which increases the cost, but this cat is part of our family, the amount of theraputic value he's had on my kids, especially my oldest, has been phenomenal. My kids are already upset by all of this, and I couldn't take their pet away-- honestly, I'd feel horrible too we were forced to rehome him.
I hope this explains our plight well enough, and if anyone has any questions please let me know, and I'll try to answer everything as completely as I can. I did post a photo of the 20 day notice (complete with my FABULOUS and obvious talent for blacking out personal information) for you all to see, and will post some family photos as well.
Here's my oldest on his birthday at the beginning of this month:
And here is my youngest with the cat:
and this is me (last summer):
I just have to sort my brain out, here. We didn't go running into the night like we were supposed to, and are still here, now being sued for eviction.
Today a wonderful neighbor took me out to drive around and look at places, to see what we could find that wasn't advertised online. Despite the anxiety I was feeling, it WAS really nice to get out. However after 3 hours I felt like I ran a marathon-- I hardly got out of the car! But still, it was really cool. And she even brought over a pasta dish (that was amazing) after the trip, so I ended up not having to cook. I've been here five years, and finally get an awesome next door neighbor -- and of course I have to leave. :(
Yesterday was a confrontation with the landlord, who was sick of hearing me say that I'm trying to get out, even with the visible difference in the state of my apartment (mostly packed boxes, now). I wish I had more I could show her. She then made a comment about my character that was not only unfounded but completely untrue-- and I did lose sleep over it, for sure. I'm still pretty upset. But my friends and family, no matter how far, have been so supportive and help talk me through this anxiety, and it's been a huge blessing.
When I woke up early this morning, I was in severe pain. I had to make an emergency doctor appointment, due to a lump I found under my arm that was not getting any better with over the counter pain medicine. However, the appointment wasn't until afternoon, and I sat by the phone waiting for the man to call.
He did not call.
I tried texting again-- twice, fact.
So the current landlord comes banging on my door, and I explained my situation, how I thought I was getting this apartment and how it's all falling through, and how we are pretty much packed and ready to go. She informs me that even if I left today, I'd owe a FULL month's rent. I assured her that I had every intention to leave as soon as possible (which is the truth now, the stress is too much, I'm ready for new surroundings). She smiled and seemed gracious, but called my lawyer to complain about me still being there.
Next, doctor appointment-- I was poked, prodded, and cut open twice.
When I made It home, I called the Housing Authority to verify some stuff (and was assured that as long as they made no payment this month, it wouldn't affect my housing if I was evicted, making me feel a little less scared), then called the lawyer (who told me basically that an eviction IS the worst thing that can happen to me, making me feel worse again).. Not that I want to be evicted, I know it's a very bad thing. However, my two boys living on the street, that's my worse nightmare. I called the current landlord, who started giving me a hard time about not paying rent to them even though they are forcing me out-- I explained to her that if I paid the full rent of this place I would be minus most of my moving money. I told her that I get disability, and that's not an income that provides one with any extra money. After a brief hold, she informed me that they will let me pay only $125.00 tomorrow, and they will let me leave by Sunday (Happy Mother's Day to me!)
....we have nowhere to go.
I don't know what to do-- if I don't find a place this week I'm going to get actually EVICTED, and I'm told I will lose my housing if that happens.
To be able to pay for and keep my internet and phone (enabling me to transfer it to the new home) I need $215.00 more. Anything else would be towards the rest of the month's survival-- My youngest has his birthday is in two days, as well (he'll be turning ten), but I'm not sure we are going to do more than the couple small gifts I've already gotten him. I think he understands, but it still sucks. I have such awesome kids.
Quick update on the kids, btw: On Thursday, while leaving school, the bar in between the school's double doors came out of the door and landed on my poor 9 year old's foot! We spent the evening in the ER, only to discover that he has a broken toe and has to use crutches for awhile. His school is a “walking” school, which means no bus- and now he has to use crutches while walking all that way. Great. If I choose the place I am looking at, he'll have even FURTHER to have to go.
So basically, I'm hoping you can share the heck out of my campaign, I would really appreciate it. I honestly don't have any idea what I will do now. I don't have a cellphone with internet, and I can't get anywhere without being able to call for a bus to come get me. If I spend money on that, however, I won't be able to get the place I'm looking at. I hate these kinds of decisions, it seems like I usually pick the wrong option.
I will see if I can post some goodies to raise donations, hopefully I can do that in the next 5 hours while I still have phone and internet.
So please, please share if you can-- it would be most appreciated during this time!
Love to all, and I hope everyone has a good weekend.
sorry I've been so quiet, I've been trying to find a place to live and I must admit, pickings have been tough. It feels like there's always ONE major thing wrong with every place I find – at this point, I'm a bit less picky about neighborhoods (clearly, I have to choose which unsafe area is the least unsafe) and just trying to find a place that looks like it's not being run by a complete slumlord (which also means that certain landlord's listings are no good, because I have already heard about their not-nice practices), or the place either doesn't take HUD or doesn't allow pets. Since I can't drive due to my injury four years ago (I twisted my leg backwards and suffered permanent damage from that fall that limits mobility -- I have no way to press on a gas pedal or let up on one once it's pressed), I don't have the luxury of driving around to look at private rentals that aren't heard of on the internet/paper, and honestly, most everyone I know doesn't drive. If they do drive, they don't have the time to drive me around to look at places.
I've considered moving us to a different town, but that's a whole new set of costs for a truck and gas that could be going pretty far away from here-- and I haven't met the goal for an in town place-- there's no way I could afford the extra travel expenses. I still don't know how we'll move our stuff even IN town.
I feel like my brain is swimming from all of the ads on Craigslist (often duplicated or somehow not quite that honest), neighborhood comparisons, schools (I haven't even figured out what to do if there's a change in district), crime rates, word of mouth, advice from Housing, trying to remember which ad on which website I had already viewed a million times and had to disregard, price ranges, utilities, reviews online (most of which say to avoid the places at any cost), move in costs that are usually insane, and just having my hopes raised and dashed.
That and having to keep a household running at least rather smoothly at the same time. I love keeping things going around the house, it's what keeps me busy (with my mobility issues there are some things I definitely have to have help with, but most of it I manage). I've been trying to get all caught up on the laundry, and since the previous landlord decided to take away our washer and dryer (coin op), I've been washing pretty much everything by hand. It honestly doesn't bother me that much, except the having to hang things up to dry portion- even with a fan on the clothes it still takes a really long time to dry anything, which is slowing me down considerably. I'm even hand washing blankets. We haven't got a microwave (which for the most part is actually kind of not-so-bad) so I have to cook everything on the stove, which takes a bit more time, at least when it comes to reheating stuff. Oh yeah, and I have two boys and sometimes more if other kids are here, which means I'm constantly cleaning up. And packing – though I am getting help with that, too!
I guess my point is, all of this is why I wish I could just find the right place. I don't have the energy or the means to do this again if I settle for something awful run by a terrible landlord who doesn't fix anything (especially if I know it will be a problem before I move in). Both of the kids and I need stability, not another nightmare. The place isn't going to be a dream come true, I'm not expecting miracles, just hopefully a place that is clean when we move in and doesn't have a leaky ceiling.
Oh, and I feel rather dumb about this, but it turns out being in the search engine is only considered helpful if people are searching my name. Anyone who knows about my campaign heard about it through links that my friends have shared (and thank you again to any who share this!!), so I definitely haven't been getting any better luck with the search engine addition...but hey, you never know, right? :)
So, yeah, I'm a bit stressed out, that's for sure. I'm trying to stay focused and out of the “what ifs,” but sometimes that's difficult. I guess all I can do is push towards my goal. At least I'm keeping busy!
Oh, and I did call the state to see if they had programs to help with deposits, but they only have programs for people who receive Cash Assistance. I do not. I did hear that the Salvation Army does assist some people with their costs, so I will call them on Monday.
Thank you again, deeply from the bottom of my heart, to all who have helped and to anyone who is keeping up on our situation. You all are amazing!