Posted in anxiety, birthdays, community, depression, disability, faith, friends, grief, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, poverty line, transitions

10/14: Changes Afoot!

I’ve been quiet (again) for a bit because I’ve been running around trying to get a handle on what feels like a million things happening at once. A close friend of mine passed away right before my birthday, so that sent me into a bit of a tailspin. She was one of my first writing friends here in Portland when I moved here.

Then paperwork got moving finally for a WEX job (I think that’s what it’s called). The agency pays for up to 240 hours at $12/hour for me to get work experience in (technically) what I’m going to be retraining for in school. The problem is that since it’s a temporary job, many places don’t want someone coming in for a temp assignment in accounting/bookkeeping. You’d have access to HR records and other stuff. Not things they want some random person walking around with knowledge of. So, we’re working on finding a suitable place.

The other thing is getting into an apartment. I’ve been here at the shelter almost 7 months. WAY too long, for both their liking and my own sanity.

But…

I got approved for a studio I’ve been looking at for a while now. Back in my old neighborhood, close to storage and everything else. Human Solutions will be helping with the first few months as I get off the ground. Up to 6 months.

I’ll likely be moving out of the shelter sometime this week, if all goes well with timing of paperwork and checks and whatnot.

So, after a year and a half of being unhoused (another term now being used for homeless), I will have a place of my own again. It’ll be nice to have my own small kitchen and a bathroom I don’t have to share. No more people stealing my food from the fridge… and back on my old full size mattress. I’ve been sleeping on a twin size bed or smaller this whole time.

On the bad side, I didn’t get approved for disability, which sucks. So, no dog for now, no getting a bunch of IKEA furniture to maximize the small studio apartment… and other things. I’m working on a plan, though.

I should at least get the bed frame. A white MALM bed frame with the drawers underneath. Need to maximize storage potential.

Also, there are a few things at the top of my Amazon wishlist. Very important stuff for a new place. No tub, just a shower stall, and I don’t have the things I need for that. If someone were so inclined. Or IKEA gift cards… It was my birthday at the beginning of the month. Also… “apartment warming?”

More to come in the next stage of my adventures.

~A

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Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, community, creativity, depression, disability, dreams, empath life, friends, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, medical, PTSD

10/4: Never Enough

This week has been filled with lots of ups and downs. On Tuesday, I filled out the paperwork for doing a WEX job (I’ll explain that further down), as well as the application for housing rental assistance with Human Solutions. Today, things tumbled down.

I received the decision for disability in the mail. Despite everything sounding like the judge was going to find in favor of me, she didn’t. I’ve spent the past two hours trying to read the decision. As best as I can decipher, it boils down to one thing: I’m not disabled enough. I’ll call my attorney in the morning and figure out what’s next. Right now, I’m dealing with the other thing from today.

I returned to the shelter to be hand delivered another write-up for not having everything in bags for the bag-up. Thing is, what I did leave out is stuff that’s been left out during previous ones. On top of that, this is supposedly my 10th total write-up. The previous two were supposed to be removed from my list. Apparently, they weren’t. So with my total write-up, I got a one night exclusion. I packed a few things, set some extra kibble down for Portia, and walked out the door before 3pm, which was my deadline for leaving the premises. I didn’t do a good enough job.

I was able to get in to see my doc about this skin issue behind my ears, and she checked it for signs of a fungal infection (something several friends suggested). Negative, so she prescribed some anti-inflammatory ointment, which I’ll pick up tomorrow.

Really, I will get to the positive stuff… I just need to get this crap off my chest.

I am exhausted. Tired. Tired of not being enough of any one thing to qualify for something. Tired of running in circles putting my life back together only to come back around to the crack in that circle and stumble and fall… again. Tired of not being able-bodied enough. Tired of not being disabled enough. Tired of not being demure enough. Tired of not being outspoken enough. Tired of not being homeless enough (yes, that’s been brought up). But also, tired of not being stable/housed enough.

I feel, at times like this, that I am not so much running in that cracked circle, but that I am standing in the middle of it, constricted by expectations of society and their rules, as it spins around me, wrapping me tighter and tighter.

I am not enough. 

But I should be. 

The WEX job is a temporary set-up where that agency pays $12/hour for 240 hours of the client (like me) to work for a company or nonprofit in the field they wish to work in to gain experience and see if they really want to do that work. So, I may work in the accounting department of CCC, or, if they don’t have the space for me, doing various things including some accounting training, at a local nonprofit that deals with performance arts in the community.

The other thing: Human Solutions. They will cover rent and deposit for an apartment for four months with a WEX job and up to six months while in school. Now, after the four months with the job, I will be able to apply for an extension. I don’t know how long that extension will be, but it will help.

The hard part will be now that I have had the denial for disability, that extra money to live on isn’t going to be there. Which sucks.

I also won’t be able to get my service dog puppy to start training (was looking at using some of the lump sum check for that, but no check).

Again, I’ll call the lawyer’s office in the morning and see what the next step is.

And yes, even with all the housing stuff moving forward (yes, I found a place. a small studio, but it’ll work), I still feel that circle tightening around me.

I never feel like I’m doing enough.

~A

Posted in disability, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, storage

9/27: The Aftermath

As mentioned this morning, storage was completely caught up thanks to many amazing people. So, I had to get a new lock and go up to my unit. My friend came with me, partly so I could show her the insanity of my storage. As she’s on the street right now, she asked if I had anything in there for warmth. I gave her a fleece blanket and a towel (she mentioned that she didn’t have one, and I have extras… don’t ask.)

I’ll definitely need to wash everything in there once I move. Ugh. But I’ll make it. I think once I get stuff out of there into an apartment, I can manage organizing everything better. Will still need a small army of stronger humans to help. I can basically peel one layer of stuff back and that’s about it. It’s frustrating because I can assemble furniture a few times a week and no problems (well, I do tire a bit and am sore the next day), but trying to dig into my stuff in storage? Nope. The sustained lifting and such is just too much. I have offers from a few people, including the above mentioned friend’s boyfriend. Another person is ready and willing to summon that small army of guys to help. I just need to get two things first: pallets and casters. I can get the pallets for free, but still need to find a cheap source for casters (heavy duty, locking).

Now to keep rent on it caught up and get those things. Then I can summon the small army. I just have to figure out where to stash the pallets while I wait. And getting them… most places that offer them are way out where I’d need a vehicle. Anyone has tips for local sources, let me know.

~A

Posted in activism, auction, community, crowdfunding, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, society, storage, transitions

9/27: FUNDED!!

I’m still kinda groggy, but storage has been funded and now all I need to do is go over there to pay it off.

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Forced Gratitude.

Gratitude is something no one should ever demand or require. Anyone who does, it makes them come across as a manipulative abuser. Think about it. In an abusive relationship, the abuser may say things such as “you can’t make it on your own, so you have to stay… I do everything for you…” and others… all in a bid for obesiense.

But today, and the last several days (as well as times this has happened before) are where true gratitude comes up. I wouldn’t be able to save my belongings today and have them available for when I get a place soon, if it weren’t for the community online and in this world. I am absolutely eternally grateful for the help from people all over. Friends and strangers alike.

Being homeless sucks. Being poor sucks. Being both makes me see that there is so much that needs to be done to improve our society. No one should have to crowdfund paying for storage or medical bills, or insulin, diapers, food, etc… the list is endless. It shouldn’t have to be.

As I transition out of homelessness, I absolutely will lend my voice to the need for change in society.

Again, I thank everyone who has helped, from the bottom of my heart and soul.

~Amanda

Posted in activism, auction, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, storage, urgent

9/26: before I fall asleep #crowdfunding

Last call for the night. Still stagnant at needing $250. If anyone can get me closer, that would be awesome.

One thing I intend on getting into once I’m out of the shelter is becoming more of a voice for the rights of homeless. We get told we have no rights. That is unacceptable in today’s society.

But storage and getting out of here first.

~A

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, storage, transitions, urgent

9/26: 9PM, Still so close! #crowdfunding #urgent #auction

SHARE ME!!!!! So close… still about $250 shy. (yes, that’s Berke Breathed’s Bill the Cat… he represents how I feel right now)

This will be short… just like me.

The idea right now is that the donations from today on the GFM likely will NOT post tomorrow (it takes a couple of business days).

BUT!!!

If I can get the last $250 via PayPal and pay what I have between PP and GFM and then pay with the rest when it clears… I’m hoping they’ll let me go through with it. We’re just that close. It’s roughly $225 waiting to clear. That’s pretty freaking close, in my opinion. Then it’ll be paid up and I can start October with just that month’s rent up.

And if/when I get into this apartment, I’ll be able to remove a good chunk of what’s in there and downsize to a smaller storage unit. The apartment I’m hoping to get isn’t big. It’s a teeny studio, so I’ll have to be smart in what goes in there. I have stuff in storage (IKEA Ivar shelving to cover nearly every inch of wall for one thing) that can help me maximize the space. Then organize what remains in storage and I’ll only be a couple blocks away so I can access it easily.

But I need to save my stuff first.

With help.

Almost there.

I’m giving it 12 hours from now (9AM) to get the last bit. That’ll give me time to get on transit and bust ass over there (as I’m currently NOT two blocks away from storage) before auction at noon.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, birthdays, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, poverty line, storage, urgent

9/26: $250 remaining #crowdfunding

$250 REMAINING!! ALL HANDS PAWS ON DECK!!

Give or take a few bucks due to fees from GFM and PayPal (I find it mildly amusing and moderately frustrating that the CS people at PP say that using a donation button doesn’t incur fees… umm, yes… yes it does),

There’s a total of $1000 in GFM, some of which likely won’t transfer in time. Maybe it will… that would be a nice small miracle. But I doubt it. I’ll likely show up Friday. So I’ll need to show them there’s more in the pipeline, but it won’t post in time. I’ll head down there in the morning before auction…

The rest of it is in PayPal. $242, give or take a buck or two. I estimate so I can remember the numbers easier. I want to get what I can give them tomorrow as close as possible so I can then pull it and phone in the rest when it posts.

I still also have a vet bill, but Portia isn’t going anywhere for now, and Dove Lewis knows my situation.

A friend who can’t help this week, but can send some money next week after his own financial dust settles, can likely cover the vet bill… so I’m not hugely worried about that part at this very moment. I don’t know how much he’ll send, but likely enough to cover it. Just not this week. So, vet bill can get some of that.

I just need ALL PAWS ON DECK!!!!

Just a little more… We’re over the 2/3rds mark… 1/6th left…

And maybe I’ll celebrate a bit next Tuesday… I had hoped to be out of this shelter by then, but if I’m allowed one night to let loose and drink a couple while having dinner, I’ll be a happy birthday girl.

Let’s make this happen… just a little more!

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, eviction, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, silliness, storage, urgent

9/26: 18 hours… #crowdfunding

18 HOURS LEFT!!! SHARE MEEEE!!!!! PAYPAL ONLY!

There’s a little more in the GFM because a few people haven’t noticed my comments in a group about not using that at this point. I’d be amazed if it showed up in my account tomorrow. I doubt it will.

I’ll continue posting stuff tonight until I’m too tired to do anything more… then start back up in the morning.

I’ll find things to blog about for the 7pm hour…

~A

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, music, storage, urgent, writing

9/25: #crowdfunding #update

***SHARE ME!!!!!***

Not much to report. There’s $758 (well, minus the percentage WePay takes) from GFM. Between that and what I’m getting from my latest tasks, I’ll have a total hovering just under $900.

The really GOOD news is that my new PP card showed up today. I wasn’t sure if it would show before Thursday, but it has.

I still need to get up to $1400 (just checked the emails… $1493) or so before NOON on Thursday 9/27. Once I’m done at the dentist in the morning, I’ll start blogging and working on getting the rest of it. My Case Manager working on job stuff *may* be able to get a bit of it, but the short notice and amount may not work in my favor on that front. So, I’ll need about $500 600 and change (my phone bill may take a small chunk of it… timing sucks ass) before noon Thursday.

The good thing amidst all of this mess is that I did my application for the apartment today. I got to see the apartment and it is tiny, but yanno what? That’s fine. It’s still bigger than the 8×10 room Portia and I have been living in the past six months. I can focus on getting my life back together. Get back to the basics that make me who I am.

Climbing back out of the abyss of homelessness. I can do this. With help from the community at large.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, community, conformity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, faith, family, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/25: Forced Gratitude (& #crowdfunding #urgent)

[#crowdfunding plea at bottom this time. two days left before auction. see the bottom of this post]

Over the weekend, I lashed out in frustration and PTSD-related anger at the agency that runs the shelter I’m in. Yesterday, I got a verbal lashing about it from the person who runs this building. The words that stuck with me the most were about gratitude. That I should be grateful they’ve let me stay longer than the normal length of time.

Gratitude first: No one should be told they HAVE to be grateful for something. Am I grateful? Yes. Should that equate to forced silence and obeisance? No. I’ve spent most of my life allowing people to walk all over me and tell me how to act (did I follow their rules every time? No, but that’s a whole other post). If living here has taught me one thing, it’s to not be silent when shit goes sideways.

Am I grateful? Yes. Should I play the nice little quiet obedient resident who shows her gratitude by not speaking up? No. Fuck that noise. I will be loud. I will be vocal. I will NOT be silenced because my voice and words make someone uncomfortable. The crap I had tweeted about was painful. Triggered my PTSD as well as anxiety, and I know I wasn’t the only one who was having a hard time with it.

The person who chided me for “not being grateful” wasn’t here. Her weekend was disturbed every so slightly by phone calls. Mine and the others here? Much more.

Once I’m out of here and my time being homeless is over, I will be able to recap the things I see as wrong and right about our systems here in the Rose City.

One thing I will address now, though, is the intended length of time they think is adequate for us to find housing. Four Months.

Now, if you have a job and just need to be somewhere to save up and get back on your feet, fine. Also, if you’re looking for work that is along the lines of grocery, retail, food service, and doesn’t require long application processes, this can work.

But what about those like me? Those with disabilities and/or advanced education who need to work in other environments? The 4 month concept is flawed. Many white collar jobs take much longer to get through the process. And if you need to rework your resume or switch career paths, 4 months is definitely nowhere near enough.

I was told I should be more grateful that they’ve let me stay longer than the 4 months.

Forced Gratitude is not real gratitude. No one should demand it. Ever.

~A

#crowdfunding: I’m moving closer to needing access to my belongings. I’m just over the halfway point for paying off storage, but I need help. Auction is on Thursday at noon. I’ll have roughly $900 by the time the rest of what’s in the GFM and my own income clears. I need about $1400. Before noon on Thursday the 27th. Please spread the word. Thank you. I am grateful for all the help I can get. Real gratitude. Not forced.