Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, emergency, individuality, job hunting, life, society, storage, urgent, writing

8/13: Self Defeat?

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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

Posted in anxiety, community, crowdfunding, emergency, food cravings, friends, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/29: Sunday Fluffery & #crowdfunding

You know the drill by now: Yes, still desperately need help getting storage caught up. Nearly everything I own is in there, save for a few bins in another unit I need to vacate before end of business Tuesday. Need a vehicle/person and a place to stash them.

I’m still shut out of my data, so no FB until I get my phone back on, which will hopefully be in the next few days. I need it for two reasons: my sanity and my current quasi-employment through TR.

Had a task today where I was breaking down moving boxes en masse at a house near where I had a task earlier last week. The only bad part: all the boxes were outside in the front and back yards. In the heat. The task will net me a whopping $22.50. My furniture assembly tasks are where my rates are higher.


Food: I may attempt the shortbread again… or wait and get some baking power and make sugar cookies. I probably should check the general use cupboard. I tend to avoid that one as Bast Only Knows what’s in there. I doubt there’s baking powder in there. Considering the average shelter resident here considers top ramen cooking…


Shelter Life: This morning, I couldn’t find the black shorts I picked up for doing tasks. My mind immediately went to “If they were stolen, someone will fucking pay” … when I did find them, I realized how quickly I went to theft being the reason I couldn’t find them. This seems sad to me that this is the mindset we go to here. I’m not the only one, mind you. The other cat lady here did the same a couple nights ago.

Things do go missing. Food is a big one. And other things have gone missing as well. Theft is all too common in homeless shelters. This is why I keep my door locked at all times and usually closed. Right now, the fan is on with the door open to get some cooler air circulating. But I’m IN my room, which is fine. I will, on occasion, go to the bathroom (next door) or a quick hobble out to the kitchen to grab something and leave it propped open, usually only if one of the others who lives down at this end of the hall has their door open and can hear for anything suspicious.

I have computers and other things I consider valuable in here. They aren’t much, but they’re something to me.

Well, I’ll post more later…

~A

Posted in anxiety, crowdfunding, depression, emergency, homeless, homelessness, life, Personal, society, storage, urgent

7/27: time? I’ve got nothing but- no, I don’t. #crowdfunding

That title is partly a line from my favorite movie. Up to the dash.

[PLEASE SHARE ME!]

But I am running out of time for storage. I want to get it caught up before August as the amount owed will go up to roughly 1300 again. I haven’t had enough sizable gigs this month to get me close. And my phone with data has been shut off. I can’t regularly access FB here at the shelter because they have a block on it.

I’ll post other stuff later.

The GFM may not help in time. So back to the PayPal option. I only put the GFM up so people might feel better about donating. I don’t know anymore. It doesn’t seem to help.

So, I ask for help. I really want to get it fully caught up so I can go in and organize and declutter and keep it accessible. Once it’s caught up, I should be able to keep it caught up. Pretty much my whole life is in that unit.

Even if you can’t donate, please share/retweet/etc.

~A

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, crowdfunding, depression, domestic abuse, emergency, empath life, homeless, homelessness, life, observations, society, storage, urgent

7/24: burned out

Burned out.
Torn up.
Tired of all of it.
Sick of the hate.
The pettiness.
The lies.
Why do humans do this?
Why the hate?
The judgement.
The condemnation.
We are no better than those around us.
Yet…

Many think they are.
No.
We are different from each other, but no better.
The pine box will be the same
No matter who or
What
You
Are.

I just had a run-in with one of the bullies here at the shelter. I wrote the above poem a few days ago, but it’s how I see things right now.

People don’t seem to realize that others do see how they treat people. Some of us watch, observe them. We hear the things they say when they don’t think anyone is listening.

Hear them trash someone who is unable to defend themselves. Then gaslighting me saying I said something and I didn’t. It’s exhausting dealing with people who don’t get that their behavior is bad. I snapped. I slightly regret doing that.

Being an empath who can’t block worth shit in a building full of unstable women is not something I’d wish on anyone.

I’ve hit my breaking point.

~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