Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, grief, history, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/23: Halp? #crowdfunding #emergency

***AUCTION IS COMING UP ON 9/27***

JUST OVER HALFWAY TO FUNDED GOAL!!!

Time is running out on getting funds before auction Thursday. Some semi-good news, though. Apparently PayPal DID override the “no P.O. Box” bull and I’m getting a new card after all. Bad news: it only mailed Saturday. I don’t know exactly when it will show up, but they say 7-10 days. So it may not get here in time for 9/27.

Despite a few people sharing posts, nothing has happened. I will maybe have some funds from today and tomorrow in the mix, but it depends on when those post to my account (have to do those jobs first, and then there’s a delay).

I’ve run out of being on their good graces in terms of letting me get away with partial payments and the like. I know I’ll need the full amount of roughly $1400. I have about $3 in checking and $.42 cents in PayPal. I’m not going to ask the handful of people who have sent larger chunks in the past as I know their patience with me has likely worn very thin.

To those I need to pay back: I will do so as soon as possible.

Everyone else, I still desperately need help. I have some family heirlooms in there that mean the world to me, along with items that are one-of-a-kind and mean more to me as they are a part of my memories (the good ones) from childhood. My costumes, music, sheet music (some out of print and were my mothers). While much of this may not have much in resale value, they mean everything to me. My mother’s copy of Handel’s Messiah, in book form, that’s ratty and well-used… and over 100 years old. Choir notes and all. My mother and I never really got along that well, but we had music in common. We’ve both sung Handel’s Messiah multiple times.

Nearly every item in that storage unit is worthless to the rest of the world… but not to me. Once I get into an apartment again, I’ll be able to move what’s left into a much smaller unit.

I just need the chance to do all of that. Reorganizing it, downsizing some of it, pulling what I need out as opposed to storing it… then keeping everything organizing so I can easily find what I need.

I just need that chance. If I lose it all, I won’t have that chance. So, I need help.

~A

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Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, observations, politics, poverty line, society, storage, urgent

9/22: Political Divide Ponderings (and #crowdfunding)

[Before I get to politics, I need to raise the funds for storage before Monday because of transfer time for GFM and PayPal. Any sharing or donation is greatly appreciated. See the stickied note for more info. Basically: auction is on 9/27 and I don’t have my PP debit card, so everything has to be transferred over to my checking account. I have two days before the transfers will be too late.]

I have always been in the “Bleeding Heart Liberal” category. I knew at 15 that I was going to register Democrat. My parents were both registered Republicans. But from a time when Republicans were more liberal (Dad was an Eisenhower Republican) and Dems were more conservative. My mother was originally a Democrat, from back in the day before parties switched views. She switched to Republican, around when she married my dad. I think because her views were so conservative, he nudged her to change affiliation to match her views. Dad, however, was pro-choice and all the other stuff. He voted Republican, but man, he was liberal through and through.

By the time I was 18, I knew Democrat was where I belonged. Some of my views have a twinge of Libertarian in them, but I’m staunchly a Dem. When I got my voter ID card at 18, I showed it to my dad, who joked, “Where did we go wrong with you?” I knew he was messing with me in a good way. Remember, he was quite liberal and I am such my father’s daughter. He knew, in his own quiet way, that I was in the right spot.


Flash forward to this past week. A couple days ago, I got into a debate with a conservative woman from this shelter. Here’s where my pondering begins.

How can someone who is homeless/poor/etc and reasonably intelligent stand by politicians who are so vehemently against them? I’m talking about the Liar in Chief. I usually just use ’45’ to refer to him, and will do so the rest of this post.

How does a woman who served in the military and depends on the VA in all its brokenness support a man who cuts spending for the very system she uses?

How can someone who is living in a shelter that depends on federal grant money to help people say that the government shouldn’t be the ones who help the poor and disabled, but that churches should be?

The debate happened while we were waiting for the MAX train back from her first trip to IKEA is several years. When we got on the train, I was so pissed, I just started ignoring her. She turned to a man on the other side of her and started in about “ignorant liberals”

*twitch*

*twitch*

The one thing I got clearly from her was this: she got her advanced education later in life (a Bachelor’s in Science [B.S.] in something) and had dropped a class because the professor made something clear about some sort of view that was decidedly more liberal than conservative. She then went into how she was glad she didn’t pursue her degree when she was younger because she might have been convinced and brainwashed back then to agree with this more liberal view.

As with everything involving the women in this shelter (other than the backstabbing and lies some pull), it all has mostly blown over and she’s all smiles again with me. Meh. I’ll move on and chat again with her. Just not today.


This is why I ponder these things:

I am innately curious about the human condition and psyche. Always have been. Ever since I was out of diapers, I either had a camera in my hand or was observing people in how they acted, reacted, and interacted. I wanted to understand human behavior from the time I was really little.

I’ve long joked that I’m really an alien from another planet who was dropped off here to observe human behavior. Sometimes, it doesn’t really feel like that much of a joke. I’ve always felt different. Like I wasn’t the same. Not human. My physiology is the same, save for a few oddities, but I am essentially a human being. I just don’t feel like I am one.

I want to understand why people behave how they do, believe things they do, act how they do. I’ve always been the one who asked questions and looked for answers. As a kid, I was always pulling random things from the yard and putting them under our little 3x microscope. I wasn’t big on dissection once we got to that in school, but I wanted to learn about other things.

Why are we seemingly always at war with each other?

Why do we so easily fear and then hate each other because of differences?

I know that second one is partly why I feel so different. I choose not to fear the differences. I’m curious about why the differences are there, and want to examine those differences. I love and embrace my curiosity. I want to absorb and learn and experience those differences. And I’ve never understood why others don’t want the same.

To choose being informed over conformity.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bigotry, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, storage, urgent

9/19: Spoons, PayPal, #crowdfunding, and #homeless frustrations

#spoons, #paypal, #crowdfunding, #emergency

I think the fact I’m mostly using my phone and not the computer to do most stuff online right now is partly contributing to me not blogging as much.

But then I’m also focusing on EVERY OTHER FLIPPING THING CIRCLING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!! …

Sorry about that. I think I needed to get that out of my system. So… halp? Storage (*sigh* I know… AGAIN…) is once again closing in on auction day and they will NOT take partial payments this time. I need 1400 before the 27th of September. Somehow, some way. The fastest is via PayPal, although I no longer have an active PP debit card, so I’ll need a couple of days to get funds transferred to my bank account.

I’d get a new card, but I’m, yanno, homeless and only have a P.O. Box and THEY WON’T SHIP A CARD TO A P.O. BOX.

I know, as I just got off the phone with them. The guy in the security and fraud office verified my identity, said I can get the card mailed to my box… transferred me over to the card office… where I was told that no, they can’t do that. So, I’m stuck. Not like a card would show up on time anyway. So I have a few days (at best) to raise the funds and have the time to transfer it over. So, Sunday? Then I can do the transfer Monday and hope it’s in my checking account before noon on Thursday the 27th.

In other -not so surprising- news, I hate living in this shelter and need to get out of here before I go on some kind of rampage with a spoon and a pair of tweezers, threatening to do *something* …

Between theft, gossip, backstabbing, more theft, stupid people locking and closing doors that need to stay unlocked, and don’t GET me started on the perfumed Barbie wannabes living here in a FRAGRANCE FREE MOTHERFUCKING SHELTER!!!

Oh, and the outright bigotry toward trans people and stupid shit I hear people say and do. If you can’t get your shit together and use terms that have been around awhile and override the outdated terms you learned 40 years ago, then crawl your ignorant ass back under that rock and stay there. You don’t belong in modern society. Period.


It’s been a shitty week… and it’s only Wednesday. Wait, it is Wednesday, right? Yes? Okay.

I’m not exactly in a great mood, can you tell?

I haven’t killed anyone … yet. The week isn’t over.

But in all moderate seriousness, I don’t want to deal with the mess, so no killing. Not much on violence anyway.

I just want my belongings safe… and no criminal record. So far, I’ve been good on the second one. Trying on the first one.

So, if you can help… awesome. Spread the word.

~A

Posted in activism, animal advocacy, animal welfare, anxiety, auction, cats, community, crowdfunding, disability, dogs, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, storage, transitions, urgent

8/29: Random Requests, #Disability, #Dogs, and #Shelter Life (#crowdfunding)

I have ideas buzzing around in my head, but when I do manage to get them down, I can’t seem to form enough of a blog post to justify sharing.

Yes, I need help with storage. Massive help with storage. If I don’t get funds before Friday* it goes up to somewhere between $1600 and $1700. Is that achievable? Maybe. Honestly, I don’t know. I need to save my belongings. If people can use the GFM or PP, great. Although I now have a problem on PP. Hence the asterisk above.

* So, I am homeless. I have a P.O. Box. But that isn’t acceptable for PayPal to send a new debit card. I’ll have to wait to order a new card when I move. Until then, it’ll take time… the usual amount of time for a transfer to go through.

I also owe some people money. I hate not being able to pay them back as fast as I’d wanted to. Soon. Hopefully, very soon.


Disability Update: The judgment has been issued, but I won’t know it until the full thing is written up by one of the judges’ clerks. It’s been 2 1/2 months since my hearing and 1 1/2 since my case went to review. The clerk at the law office said I’m now getting into the time frame they normally see the decision handed down.

I touched on this on FB earlier today.

I’ve read and been told that I can make up to 30K/year and still receive benefits. This is apparently not true. There’s SO much misinformation out there. I can make about $14/hour part time. Which means someone will get an accounting clerk dirt cheap. C’est la Vie. I don’t think I can handle full time work anymore. Being out and about running between appointments and tasks the last few weeks has damn near killed me.

The other thing is the timing of the lump sum check. I have different people saying you get it immediately, others saying it takes months. So, I asked the clerk at the lawyer’s office for this as well. If the lump sum is over $20K, it takes extra signatures to approve it. Each set increment adds another signature. So, if it was 50K, yes, it would take a while. Mine could be as much as 30K, so it may be delayed a bit. I don’t know. We will see.


Dogs: I get it. You want to spoil your dog or cat. I do what I can to spoil Portia. And as I plan for the near future of getting a dog myself (I’m sure Portia will NOT be happy about it, but I’m working on how to help her adapt), I notice more and more how people treat their dogs.

And honestly, I’m not always impressed.

There was one resident here at the shelter who had her dog so well trained, she wouldn’t lick faces. Yes, you read that right, she didn’t lick faces. She was a sweet, well-tempered dog about 98% of the time. She had some moments.

Then you have others here who go over the top. One mostly has hers in a modded baby stroller. He’s obese. As in -I couldn’t tell if he was a boy or girl- when I first met them. Seriously. You couldn’t see the non-removable boy bits. He’s also extremely anxious and doesn’t do well if he isn’t part of the action.

Another… well, I couldn’t tell at first if the chi-dog could walk because her human always carried her. ALWAYS.

See, there’s a fine line between spoiling your dog and babying your dog. I intend to buy toys and nice beds and stuff for my future pupper/doggo. But I have zero intention of babying to the point of obesity or having people wonder if she can walk. Granted, I’m looking at getting a Groenendael (Belgian Shepherd, larger dog), so carrying won’t be feasible. We will see how things go. I will bend over backwards to make sure she’s healthy and happy, but going over the top is too much. I want my dog to be physically and mentally happy.

She’ll gradually be a working dog with a LOT of training over the first few years. But my desire to get a puppy and raise her with a lot of training is due, in part, to Portia not liking dogs. I want her to watch the puppy grow and the puppy to be raised with a cat so she knows how to behave around them. At least one breeder I’ve emailed agrees with this plan. And even if she doesn’t complete service training, she’ll still be a phenomenal and well trained dog.


I’ll likely do a more expanded assessment of the place I’m living now once I’m out and can get some distance. I do know one thing: 4 months may be the average time here, and what management wants everyone to aim for, but not everyone can fit that ideal. It just isn’t always doable. I’ve been here a shade over 5 months. And the ONLY reason I’m looking at getting out soon is because of CCC. As I go into their training program, I’m eligible for up to 6 months of rental assistance.

And one of the Case Managers here is leaving for good this week because, as she apparently said, she’s tired of breaking hearts. She sees the same problem with the “four month plan” that I do. It isn’t enough for everyone.


More tomorrow or… something. Tomorrow is a wild day. I have an Information Interview (not a job interview) at a local store (this is for the scholarship for the short term training classes) in the morning, then two doctor’s appts in the afternoon.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, cats, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/29: quick post (panic) #crowdfunding

I am at my wit’s end. I’m so close to getting back into a place (with initial help from an agency), and I’m losing everything.

So, after Friday, the amount owed will go up to about $1600. My checking account is in the negative right now due to shit happening and not enough tasks.

I also need to pay to renew my P.O. Box before the end of the month. Another $41 I don’t have. And then the vet bill.

I’ll post more later… just putting this out there.

~A

Posted in auction, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, job hunting, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/19: Managing the Unsteadiness #crowdfunding

I’m going to paste the new text for my GFM below. If anyone has any ideas on how to make it better, or categories to put it in (I changed it to community, but still not sure that’s the best fit), please feel free to leave a comment (moderated) and let me know ideas. Also, if you can share the campaign, even as is, I’d appreciate it. Most days, I feel like I’m talking to a blank wall.


Portia, my cat and ESA, and I have been homeless for a year and a half. I stayed with friends for much of the first year and then moved into a local shelter where we could have our own room. Their idea is to get women through and out the system into housing within four months.

Well, I need steady income and I don’t have it. I’m in my 5th month and going week-to-week. We could be booted any week now. No other shelter in the area has this kind of setup where we have our own room.

I’ve been waiting on the results of my disability hearing as well as applying for work I can physically do. I can’t handle long transit commutes and I can’t do anything where I’m standing for longer than half an hour. That knocks all retail and other “‘hey, interview is tomorrow’ right after submitting the application” out of the possibilities. I

am now working with CCC (Central City Concern) for training for bookkeeping work and anything else that comes with it, but it still takes time. They do help with housing and such as well.

But why am I talking about housing? Because more than half of what’s in my storage unit is household stuff. My mattress, bedding, sewing machine and piano. As well as a lot of smaller things that, while I could replace them, it would cost a lot to replace everything.

It would cost more than what I owe on storage to replace everything I need and use that’s in there. The rest of what’s in there is “backstock” of supplies for sewing and such. Those can be moved back to a much smaller (and cheaper) storage unit once I get a place again.

I also have the vet bill, which is small compared to what’s needed for storage.

Any and all funds raised will go toward storage and the vet bill.


I’ve been given another week here at the shelter. Working with CCC doesn’t seem to faze the building manager here. One thing myself and another woman here who is over the four months have noticed: the manager says she hears us. That she’s listening, but in reality, she has every single resident in one category and doesn’t grasp that not everyone fits in that neat little box she envisions.

Hopefully I can stick it out until things fall into place. One of the RA’s here told me “you can’t stay here forever,” which -believe me- I do NOT want. This place is toxic and is not helping my PTSD or my general sanity and health.

I had a few rambling ideas for posts the last few days, but now that I’m able to sit down and write? Nothing. The ideas will come back at some point. Until then…

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, insomnia, job hunting, life, observations, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/11: Brain Battle: Real Life vs. Creativity

Another crazy week of running around to appointments and tasks and stuff. Emphasis on appointments.

Still need help with storage and such. One thing I realize is that once I get a place lined up and have the money to move, I want to have access to my stuff in storage because then I won’t have to repurchase things like kitchen supplies and bathroom stuff, and a mattress, etc. I’ll HAVE all of that. No bed frame, but I do want to get a MALM bed with storage from IKEA because if I move into a small studio, I’ll need ALL the storage I can get.

But it would be best if I retain everything I already have and use that as much as possible. I’ll gradually go through what’s left and sell/toss what I don’t use (or are sewing/crafting supplies).


Trying to find a balance between real life and my creativity isn’t easy when your waking moments are filled with appointments, a bag-up of belongings here at the shelter, PTSD triggers, chronic pain & fatigue, and people telling you to make a few dozen phone calls and you’re not good using the phone. Also: applying for jobs, eating moderately healthy (yeah, that didn’t work so well this week), and trying to sleep when your brain insists on running Worst Case Scenarios at random intervals during the night.


I’m in Month Five here. Technically, they want you through the system in four months. But I need stable income to get into something. Income I don’t have. I’m working on it.

Except one thing:

I don’t know if I can handle a full time job anymore. The past two weeks of being busy and running around M-F each week has drained me to the point where I feel like my mood has dipped back down and depression is hanging over me. I’m fucking exhausted. I still haven’t put my stuff from bag-up away. I have no energy to do anything. It sucks. I know it’ll turn around, but how to deal with it until it does? Not sure.


Gonna sign off for now. I’ll be back… I always am.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, community, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, society, storage, urgent

8/5: Sunday Stuff

Looks like Auction will be late September, which is surprising to me, but I’m cool with it. Gives me time to save up this month and get it caught up. Will likely still need the help, so the GFM is still active for now.

Living here at the shelter is a week by week basis. I have to keep looking at housing and work and try to get a job ASAP. I may only have another week or two, which is a problem since I have no back-up place to go.

I’ve been running myself into the ground, it feels like, all this past week. If I wasn’t at a task or on the bus to/from a task, I was pulling the bins from the smaller temporary storage unit out and having a friend help me move them to another friend’s space until my main unit is out of hoc and organized so I can cram everything else in there. Or running around to appointments and other things. Yesterday, I crashed… hard. I needed the rest, though.


At one point, on my way home from an errand, I encountered a homeless man who, at least I’m hoping this is all it was, was clearly mentally ill and probably not taking his meds. He started calling me names and using insults as I walked past him. Including a word I’d never heard before: Wi**er. Which is actually a slang term for a white person emulating African American culture such as rap and all that. Hence why I ‘bleeped’ out the two g’s. Replace the W with an N and you have the original word.

Thankfully, one half of an awesome homeless gay couple intervened and went and talked to the man. He came back and told me that if they were still there when I finished in the grocery store, they’d walk me to wherever I needed to go, which was the bus stop. They waited at the stop with me until the bus came. I’d like to think I could handle the guy myself, but I know it might have proven difficult.

I didn’t want to get into a shouting match with the guy. It was tempting, but I was already tired and wiped out from my errand.


Not much for now… but I’ll keep everyone in the loop as to when and how badly the shit hits the fan.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, family, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/31: Random Snafus, Monday Part Deux

[write something witty here]

*thud*

Today has thoroughly drained my ass… I had a chore this morning (and one this evening), and then got accused of theft*, then had a task which went sideways**, then therapy, then meeting my caseworker… I just finished fixing and eating dinner… and at 8, the other chore round.

* I’m one of those weirdos out here who has never stolen anything, not even a penny from a till I was in charge of. Never shoplifted, nothing. So when one of the other residents accused me of stealing a 3rd person’s bottle of bleach from the laundry room, I was a bit upset and confused. Granted, not like the women here KNOW I’ve never stolen anything, but still it was strange. Besides, I have my own damn bleach. It just pissed me off that someone would make an assumption and accuse me.

** I had two tall cabinets to assemble and put in place in a little nook in a kitchen. Which ended up being 1/8 of an inch too narrow. AN EIGHTH OF A FUCKING INCH!!! Yeah, it sucked. Left it half done because she wanted to talk it over with her husband.

So, that’s my day in a large nutshell.

Living in a shelter requires some trust, but it has to be earned. Very few here have earned it, and many have lost any chance of earning it by repeated backstabbing and lies.

One of those lies has been thoroughly debunked. One of my ice packs was stolen out of the bag in the freezer. The person who was with me when I found out said one of the RA’s took it and gave to my friend who is outside. Her time was up here and she had to leave. I asked the friend and she showed me her cooler. Nope. Not in there. I knew the story was fishy. She couldn’t tell me WHICH RA took it. A week goes by and I find it in a shelf above the bag… further proof she was lying. So, someone “borrowed” it and finally returned it.

I’ve had other things stolen, mostly food. And then the accusation this morning. What is so frustrating about it is that they know how I feel about theft. If you own it and make reparations, fine. But just not acknowledging that you have sticky fingers? Nope.


I’ve applied for more work… hopefully something bubbles up to the surface soon. My time here at the shelter is tentative. I talked with the building manager today and we’re going to take it week by week. There is no other shelter in this system that has this setup.

I’m looking at apartments, even those in market rate buildings. Not cheap, but I need to keep looking for places. I’d MUCH prefer to have my own apartment all to myself, but living in an off-campus student building with roommates would be okay.

There may be a poem coming later…

As usual, I desperately need the help saving storage. It’s likely scheduled for auction in August and I’ll definitely need the full amount this time. No partial allowed. More on that tomorrow.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/30: Looks Can Be Deceiving… & #crowdfunding

Yup, still asking for help. Anything anyone can do: retweet, share, you name it. [Need about 900 for storage, maybe a bit more, plus 150 for the vet bill.]


Looks….

I had a doctor’s appt this morning to look into the painful bump I’ve had on my finger for nearly three weeks. With Medicaid, I get Ride2Care, which contracts with a local cab company. Due to what I’m about to say, I’ll refrain from naming the company, but their name starts with a B.

To get my return ride wildness out of the way, man, that dude had me gripping the seat. But this post is more about the driver I had to get me to my appt. He took me by way of Naito Parkway, which took us through Old Town at 8:15am, when the homeless are leaving overnight shelters and packing up their tents and such.

This is when the driver started his rant about seemingly able-bodied homeless people. He called them lazy for not working. I wasn’t awake enough to debate too much with him. If he’d stopped with a few statements about it, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but he kept going.

I brought up that they need an address to fill out job applications, and pass a background check and other things. He didn’t really hear me. His only response to that was that “they can ask a friend or family member to help.”

This is an assumption many housed people make: that homeless people have family and people they can turn to readily. But far too many have either burned those bridges or there are other circumstances, such as family is estranged or dead. There may be cases of severe mental illness, which you can’t always tell from a distance. They may look healthy, but there may be other things going on under the surface.

He made a lot of assumptions in a series of blanket statements about homeless people.

And no, I didn’t tell him I’m homeless and the place he picked me up from is a women’s shelter.

I can imagine what he might have said if I did, though.

“You don’t look homeless.”

“But you are all cleaned up.”

“You don’t look like a drug addict.”

The vast majority of homeless out here are not drug addicts. We are regular every day people who, due to circumstances sometimes out of our control, are no longer housed. Some are able to get into shelters. Some prefer to be on the street, for a multitude of reasons.

Then he brought up TPI and the main shelter, which is for men.

“Some people say they will not stay there because it is like a prison.”

The only reason I can imagine someone saying that about a TPI shelter is if they’re addicts or alcoholics and the TPI buildings are, in general, dry shelters, meaning no alcohol or drugs consumed while you stay there. Are there rules to staying here? Yes. You have groups to attend and chores to do, and you have to keep your space clean. Meet with your caseworker.

But it certainly isn’t a prison.

Where I am feels more like an insane asylum. The only differences are that we manage our own meds and we can come and go more or less as we please.

My hope is that as I get closer to being back on my feet, I can help become an advocate for homeless as well the other things in my life.  There are so many misconceptions and assumptions about homeless people, I hope I can help dispel some of them one day.

~A