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 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 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 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 adoption, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, crowdfunding, depression, dogs, housing, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

8/6: Guilty Pleasure: Looking at Adoptable Dogs

[this started as FB status, hence the lines closer together]

With the idea that I’ll be moving on sooner rather than later, and hopefully into my own place, I’ve been looking at potential second pets. Namely, dogs. It’s a huge step, honestly. I haven’t had a dog since I was 15. Eventually, I want a dog I can train in not only obedience but as a PTSD dog. With help, of course. I certainly have my ideal breeds, but I may start with a rescue dog to get reacquainted with having a dog at all. 

Looking at local dogs on petfinder. Found a couple of cuties. Obviously, I’m nowhere near ready. But one advantage of getting a dog, other than training for PTSD, is that she would help with depression and anxiety. Both being aspects of my PTSD. And yes, I keep saying “she” because I’d prefer a girl dog.

 

But I also know that dogs are a whole other ballgame from having cats. Not even taking into account greater food intake and needing to be walked, there’s obedience training and other necessities. Something being here at the shelter has taught me is an absolute must. A well-trained dog goes a LONG way in pretty much everything. Especially being a good neighbor.

Here at the shelter, I’ve seen separation anxiety, breaking out of ‘jail,’ aggression toward dogs and humans, etc. I want to make sure any dog I have in my life can handle being around cats who may not like her, other dogs when out and about, and people in general.


So, I’m looking at dogs. I will never bitch about the price of purebreds I’ve been looking at (which are averaging $1200 to $1600). Yes, it’s more, but when rescue dog adoption fees are in the $300 to $600 range… urf! 

The breeds I’m looking at at German Shepherds (easier to find in rescue here) and two of the Belgian Shepherd breeds: Tervurens and Groenendaels. Those are my ideals for a service dog. And I’d definitely get a roughly 12 to 16 week old puppy so I can start obedience training from the start and then around a year old, start working on service training. 


I’m just kinda seeing what’s out there right now. I’ll know when I’m ready for a dog. I hope.

~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

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, eviction, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/22: Mischief, Mayhem, and Tea

Still in need of help with storage and vet bills. I don’t have any more tasks scheduled at the moment, so I’m getting a bit panicky. Phone may get shut off, which I need for tasks and general survival.

I’ve set up a GFM: Vet Bills, Storage, and Life

I can’t say I’ve been super mischievous. We’ve certainly had our share of mayhem around here. One of my few trusted residents here got booted for no honest reason. The whole thing is majorly messed up. She was given grants, she even found a room to rent, but then they denied her the grants she’d already been awarded. All because of what? Nothing obvious.

My concern now is if they’ll pull the same short-notice warning on me.


TEA!! Yesterday, I volunteered at the Tea Festival at the World Forestry Center near the Portland Zoo. It was packed with tea companies and tea lovers alike. I learned more about different kinds of tea yesterday than I’d ever imagined.

Also that I prefer my tea sweetened.

It was a pretty damn cool experience overall.

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, health, homeless, homelessness, housing, job hunting, life, medical, music, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/18: Updatessss…..

Lots of fur has been flying in my life of late.

Quick aside: Yes, still need help getting storage caught up. Really need to get it caught up for once and for all. Then I can deal with each month as I go. I just finished a four day run of tasks, but a chunk of that income will go to keeping my cell phone alive as I need it for that work. (They just called as well. I said I’d get some funds at the start of the month and then ended up using them for other stuff… so yeah… help?)

People are always amazed at my hourly rates for Taskrabbit. I inevitably get the “man, you should be rolling in dough” when I’m not. I can go 2 weeks without a task and then, like the last few days, get slammed with several. I had four tasks in four days, during a heatwave. Only one place had A/C. Today is my self-mandated rest day.

So, here’s the other stuff happening of late:

Housing: I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I got to the top of the waitlist for an SRO in North Portland. Problem #1: I still can’t afford the rent on it. Problem #2: My alarm bells for my PTSD went off when I was up there to fill out the application. As it’s a co-ed building with people of all ages and many disabled, there were many there who made me feel uncomfortable.

Also included in housing: I’ve been given a two-week extension here at the shelter, instead of the usual month-long extension. I’m at 4 months, which is the preferred length of stay, but I need steady income and safe housing. I don’t really have either at the moment.

Disability: I talked with the legal assistant who works with my attorney today. My case is now in the review stage. She said it could be 30-90 days before the judgment is made. Then another 60+ days before the brief is written.

Now, if I get a favorable decision, I can go ahead with General Assistance (meeting to apply for it next month), which can help with rent, etc until disability kicks in.

In all likelihood, I may not see funds until Christmas at this rate. If I get a favorable decision.

Shelter Life: Even with everything else going on, I have the added stress of living in this shelter. Anyone who wonders why many homeless people get bitter and angry, come stay here for a few months. With resources stretched thinner than month-old roadkill and people who can’t afford decent housing, it’s rough here. If one were to compare the lot of us, I have some of the highest education of residents, yet here I am. Extensive education doesn’t keep one from being homeless. It’s just a longer fall to the bottom.

Being disabled in a multitude of ways also makes it difficult to find work. I can’t just apply for anything and everything. I can’t stand for very long, sitting for more than 2 hours is painful as well. Due to my vocal cord issue, I can have difficulty on the phone for extended periods. My voice just cuts out. For being trained as a singer, that alone hurts. I miss singing.

There’s been a lot of fighting and arguing around here. The bullies are still around and being as asshole-ish as ever. One difference is that the main one knows not to directly mess with me. I’ve stood up to her a few times now, very loudly and publicly, so she harasses others instead.

Portia: We had some health issues last week where she threw up every bit of food and a hairball (she mats, almost never gets hairballs) for two days straight. Took her to Dove Lewis and have a bill to pay now. That night, she threw up what I eventually found out was bile. Only the once, thankfully. I took her to see her normal vet the next day (who comped the visit). She did a physical exam (I can’t afford bloodwork and all just yet) and found no major issues like an obstruction or full bladder. Her teeth and gums looked good as well. Despite her age (12) and sensitive skin/stomach, she’s pretty damn healthy.

Housing Option: While I’m aware that the big thing is affordability, I also need to get into someplace that’s more… normal. I’m at the point where sharing a kitchen and bathroom with a few people is reasonable to me (as opposed to sharing with 20 other women, some of whom don’t grasp the concept of cleaning up after themselves). There may still be spaces available at University Pointe which is unofficial housing for PSU. Not as cheap as an SRO, but I’d be sharing with no more than 3 other people. Much more manageable.

Job Hunting: As mentioned above, finding work within my parameters isn’t easy. Getting interviews is even more difficult. I can’t just apply to warehouse/factory/retail/fast food jobs. My back and my PTSD would never let me get very far. I used to love working retail, but re-injuring my back 5 1/2 years ago and then again last December (I should probably never leave my home that month) has made returning to it nearly impossible. I tried using a stool at my last retail job, but it pressed against my sciatic nerve, so I had to stop. My irritability from my PTSD doesn’t help. I’ve gotten worse at being around others. So, limited facetime in a job is best.

So, where does that leave me?

Not many options. But I’m trying.


Yes, I have my days where getting up and doing stuff just feels impossible. Days when hopelessness overwhelms me. I’m doing what I can to fight it, to stay positive, but is isn’t easy.

But this is my life in a nutshell at this moment. I may start another YouCaring just because… or GFM. I don’t really like either one. But this would cover vet bills, initial cost of pet insurance, and storage… I’ll keep y’all informed.

~A

Posted in animal welfare, anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, friends, homeless, homelessness, housing, life, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

7/13: Tumultuous Week

(Yes, crowdfunding if anyone can help: vet bill from Dove Lewis, storage, others. If I do another YC or GFM, would you share regularly?)

It’s been a wild and weird week for me. I filled out the application for an SRO, but going there to do it made me uncomfortable. Several older men also live there (it isn’t gender restricted) and gave me the creeps by staring at me as I arrived and later when I left. I was on alert due to my PTSD and I really don’t feel comfortable living in a building where my PTSD is triggered that much.

Staring Monday evening, Portia began horking up her food. When she kept throwing everything up by Wednesday morning (once or twice is reasonable if she’s stressed or due to the heat, but this wasn’t a brief run), I hauled her in to Dove Lewis. They gave her anti-nausea meds and sub-q fluids and sent her home. That evening, she threw up what I eventually figured out was bile. She had nothing else to throw up, but still wasn’t well, so up that came. I took her to her usual vet yesterday afternoon. The vet took her vitals, did much the same exam as Dove Lewis did, and gave her a B-12 shot. She’s slowly coming around. She has eaten a little of her favorite wet food this morning.

While her regular vet comped the visit fees, Dove Lewis did not. Just under $150.

Which I don’t have. I set up a payment plan, but as usual, I’m behind on everything else as well. Storage is back up. I have a few small tasks coming up, but nothing close to covering everything I need covered. I may start a GFM or YC again to cover whatever needs to be covered. If I do, would people share? I mean, I prefer the PP donation link, primarily because they don’t take as much as the others do (YC doesn’t, but WePay, which they both use, does).

I do need to get a senior blood panel done for Portia. She’s ain’t no spring chicken anymore. When she threw up the bile, I freaked a bit. I’d never seen that before. And this brings me to pet insurance.

That industry has exploded. Years ago, when I still have JoJo AND Jack, I looked at pet health insurance. There were only a small handful of companies and they had age restrictions.

Now?

Hell, Geico offers pet health insurance. Their plans aren’t bad, but they don’t cover basic stuff and illnesses, so I’m looking at the others. So many options. Since I’m on Medicaid myself, I’m not used to all the details and shit. Just sign up and take what I get, right? But the policies for pets… wow.

At one point when JoJo was sick, I remember asking for help on FB and some dude I barely knew from the Furry community told me that if I can’t afford to take her to the vet when she’s sick, I shouldn’t have pets.

I blocked his ass so fast. Here’s the thing: My cats (well, one right now) are my chosen family. With my PTSD, they have helped me through so much. Portia is the reason I’m still here. She is my tether to life. She is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal).

Does it suck that I can’t always afford to go do all the stuff society thinks I need to do to keep her healthy? Yes, it does. I want to get her a Lion Cut shave down soon, but groomers aren’t cheap.

But I do the best I can. Of all three cats I’ve had since I moved out on my own, Jack was my “problem child.” He ate things he shouldn’t (*cough*BabyBell cheese wax*cough*brownies*cough*), had gingivitis and stomatitis and eventually had all his teeth behind his fangs removed. I learned how NOT to pill a cat with him. He knocked shit off counters and tables and broke things and pounced on his big sister like it was a religion. But he was my big goofball and I miss him. His vet bills were numerous. Acute Renal Failure.

JoJo, despite her wheat allergy, was pretty damn healthy until the last month or so. With her, I learned how NOT to bathe a cat (note: remember to remove the covered litter box with clumping litter from the room before you close the door to bathe a long haired cat). She had Congestive Heart Failure.

And now I have Portia, whom I adopted after Jack passed away. She has sensitive skin and a sensitive stomach. Food options are limited. And she HATES being groomed. But other than those two things, she’s been reasonably healthy. A few blips here and there, but nominal. Oh, and the allergy to wool. She’s currently chilling out in one of the cooler corners of the room.

No matter our income, our animal companions help us through good and bad periods of our lives. Portia gives me someone to come home to. If I’ve had a shitty day, I can come back here and snuggle with her.

I just hope I have another couple of years with her.

So, yes, I’m still asking for any help possible. Help with the vet bill at Dove Lewis, storage, etc. We will get through this massive hurdle. I just know I’m not able to do it alone.

~A