Dear Readers, Friends and Charitable Folks,
I am in dire straits and desperately need your help!
*I have updates, but it’s hard to get them up because of health, situational and time complications. Thanks to those who have helped. I still need help. Thanks.
As someone who has been fairly self sufficient most of my life and prefers to be the one reaching out with a helping hand, asking for help can be excruciating and humiliating but in the past few years, it is something I have learned to do. It has never become easy or comfortable to admit I need help and lack the resources to push through. Will alone is not always enough. So here I am with a huge financial ask.
Barring a miracle, as of August 1, 2017. I will be homeless. Pride goes out the window when personal safety comes into play. I know my cat and I will not survive on the street. I do not want to get arrested for sleeping in my car or for me or my cat to die staying in a hot car. I don’t want to get raped or die sleeping on the street. Shelters aren’t much safer and they are maxed out. So here I am. HELP.
I need $1200 in the next couple of days.
Ultimately, I need to raise a grand total of about $5,000 as soon as possible just to get me to a place where I can have a chance at stability. I am considering, though it is a huge ask, trying to raise more in order to secure some sort of alternative housing like an RV or tiny house, but that is off the table now.
(Update on fundraising progress will be at the bottom of this post)
Some of you know me, know a bit about my background and why I need this sudden influx of money. For the rest of you, here is an introduction and an explanation:
I grew up in the Central Valley. My parents were teachers. I went to college in Fresno where I studied Art History and Anthropology. I have a pretty eclectic background. My academic areas of study were Art History and Anthropology. Among other things, my work history includes, running a mobile bar, restaurant and barista work, art gallery management, fine art sales, retail sales, craft services for small independent film projects, being a licensed optician, working in a law office for a bankruptcy trustee, and I was also a veterinary assistant for many years. I have worked for myself as a pet-sitter for more than twenty-five years and I have loyal clients who go back more than twenty years. I also do personal organizing, interior design and tarot readings. I’ve been a vocalist, an artist, a writer and occasionally, an actress. I also make handcrafted soap and have several other creative pursuits.
I am pretty proud of this. I came from an incredibly abusive family background yet I turned out to be quite resilient and instead of getting involved with drugs or alcohol, I chose creative outlets. I have worked diligently to overcome the hardships in my life, turn my past into something positive and to help other people. One of the things I have been working on is a self esteem building project and blog to support and encourage people who struggle with the aftermath of abusive relationships or childhood trauma. I’ve had very positive responses, but again, when you are trying to get your own basic needs met it’s difficult to give this kind of work the focus it deserves. Those of you who read my blog know that sometimes their are long gaps between posts. Again, it is hard to focus on telling stories when you are constantly having to put out fires in real life. Is my home safe? How long can I stay here? Will I be able to eat today?
The past few years, I have basically been in the process of trying to build a productive and purposeful life after everything I previously gained went ass over teakettle. Not having a reliable place to live has been tremendously challenging for me. I have had to move every couple of years because when your income is low, you don’t have a lot of options for stable, long term housing in the bay area. I have been coming back to life after pretty much a total loss in 2011; going through the process of getting SSDI, getting a bank account, getting a car, rebuilding my business, etc. I have been spending a lot of time in survival mode.
Beginning in 2009 when the economy crumbled, my life started to fall apart. I went through a series of truly unfortunate events, financial, personal and health that caused me to lose pretty much everything. I had never gone more than two weeks in my adult life without steady employment and suddenly, I was no longer able to support myself with regular work. It sent me into a spiral that many other people experienced around the same time and I had no family safety net to fall into. I quickly went through my savings. I ended up having to leave a house that I had called home for more than a decade. In haste all my possessions went into storage. I was certain I would rebound as I always have, but I was unable to keep up the storage payments and lost everything about a year later, not just things like furniture, but highly personal, irreplaceable items.
Despite this, I just kept trying. It took longer than I had hoped, but I now have an unsecured bank account and my own car with insurance I can afford. The little things I used to take for granted are huge now. I still need to fix my credit and I don’t have a very big budget for rent and utilities. Being a disabled woman with a 17 year old cat living in extreme poverty is not easy in the Bay Area, however, I have been persistent and have found places. My most recent rent was $585 in a very desirable area, so it is possible. I have not always been in places so ideal but I am now on waiting lists for subsidized housing and it’s just a waiting game. I have been told it can take up to 5 years. I realize now, that what I need most to get on my feet and stay there, is a stable place to live where I am not subject to someone’s whims, personal problems or life changes. In 2011, after losing my home I stayed in ten or eleven different places over the course of that year. Some were lovely, others could easily be called Hellholes!
In the past five and a half years, I have had to move three times:
1) Landlady decided she wanted to have a “party house lifestyle”
2) Master Tenant got engaged and wanted to move his fiancee in. His mother owned the house.
3) And the most recent place, which has been so lovely up until now, is ending because my roommate went through a bad breakup and made a sudden decision to move to Southern California to be with family and reunite with a former beau.
I need help to break this cycle!
I am 51 and disabled. I have complex PTSD, anxiety, neuropathy which may be related to MS, and mobility problems due to back injuries and arthritis. I don’t have savings. I don’t have credit cards.I don’t have family or a partner to lean on. I cannot afford to move every two years. It is nearly impossible to get your life together when you do not have the security of consistent basic shelter. At this point, I think my wisest choice is to throw everything I have in this apartment into storage, find the cheapest place possible and keep minimal things with me while continuing to apply for low income housing and long term alternatives. If something comes available, I am also going to need to have money to cover move in costs right away. *If I am living in a long term place with enough space that I don’t have to store most of my possessions, my max budget is $560 including utilities. If I have to keep everything in storage, it means I need to find a tiny spot for maybe $3-350 until I can downsize my storage and then it would bump up to $450. I know, sounds impossible.
My current roommate is not good with communication and did not handle things well. He told me about his decision to move quite suddenly and did not give me proper notice. He has thrown out several dates, agreed to one, then suggested a shorter timeline and when I told him what would be legal and acceptable he stopped speaking to me. He brought a girlfriend into the equation who is volatile and unbalanced. She violently attacked me without provocation, damaging my larynx, threatened my life and has continued to harass me. It was a tough decision, but I decided not to follow through with a restraining order, mostly because this person will be returning to Southern California soon and most likely, I will never see her again. (I do have things in place with law enforcement to move forward if she attempts to get physical again.)
As far as I can tell from the amount of packing he has done, my roommate probably gave the landlord notice that he would vacate August 1st. He has violated California law and local ordinances by not giving me notice, however, I am not on the rental agreement and cannot afford the entire rent on my own so I see no point in asserting legal rights or creating drama. Despite everything, I hope to salvage the friendship and I also need him as a reference so I hope to take the peaceful road. The best I can do is be out as quickly as possible. I may have to go to the landlord and ask for an extension. I have rights, however, that doesn’t mean that they will honor them.
I so badly want to have a peaceful and safe life. I feel I have so much to contribute but constantly having to deal with crises has held me back, both from creative pursuits and also from helping other people. I so badly want to do more volunteer work and to be able to help people one on one. I have not been able to volunteer or be involved in things anywhere near as much as I would like, but I have said yes, as often as I could. This might mean a one day trip with others to volunteer at the food bank, giving peer counseling or emotional support or helping with transportation or errands. In the past, I did volunteer work with a variety of things; the Food Bank, the SF Aids Walk, Oakland Historic Alliance, to name a few. Some areas of personal interest include, Civil rights, LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter, Body Positivity, Rent control and tenant’s rights, access to care and services for the elderly and disabled, and support for the arts. It is important to me to be able to contribute in some way, no matter how small.
I know the area I live in is expensive and you may be wondering why I don’t move somewhere with a lower cost of living.
I would like to address that:
1) When you are on a limited income and have no savings you still need a great deal of money to move somewhere else.
2) I am on several waiting lists for local permanent low income housing and if I move away, I lose those spots
3) All of my medical, psychological and logistical support is here.
4) I have lived here for more than 30 years. All of my personal support is here. I have long term close friendships.
5) My supplemental income is established here. I have long term loyal clients I can count on.
I will eventually get into long term affordable housing here if I can just hang on. I have a social worker who is assisting me and I am applying constantly as waiting lists open and sites become available. I am on several lists. It could happen in a month or it could take three to five years. I have also looked into alternative housing for instance, raising money to build a simple tiny house, buy a motorhome, RV trailer or even something like a yurt. But renting spaces to park these things is nearly as expensive as an apartment and I have yet to find someone who has land or a backyard that is willing to let me set something up.
Because of my situation, at the moment, I have decided not to do an official fundraiser through an online crowdfunding platform. I don’t want to deal with the fees or the publicity. Your donation is not tax deductible anyway. In addition to my undying gratitude, at some point when things quiet down I will happily thank you with a crafty thing, some art or perhaps dedicate a poem or story to you.
I am hoping for $5,000 all told. Here is a breakdown of what I need:
The most urgent:
$900 – $1,200 to get me moved out of my apartment. I have secured a good sized storage unit already. This would include any supplies, gas, truck rental, labor and hopefully get me an emergency place to stay at least for a few nights to get my bearings and network so I do not end up sleeping in my car with my cat.
$320 – $460 to cover the cost of the new storage unit for two to three more months giving me time to consolidate, downsize and find either a permanent home or temporary digs cheap enough that paying for storage will not be a problem. Currently, the storage is only paid until September.
$1,650 to have at the ready to cover move in costs and deposits at a place within my budget. My max budget is $550. Move in costs are usually 3 times the rent.
$500-$600 for emergency car repairs. I have been driving with very bad brakes for two years. The estimated repair cost and risk keeps escalating.
It would also help me tremendously to have money for the following:
$150 for a new phone. I have had one hand me down smart phone after another and they just keep wearing out and having glitches. In my situation a decent, functional smartphone is absolutely critical. I do not need the newest, fanciest thing, but I need a good one! I have one picked out that works with my carrier.
$160 – $300 for my cat to go to the vet for tests. LiLi is 17. Up until the past few years she has had excellent care but I have had to put off anything beyond the most basic requirements because I can’t save money. She has had a persistent cough and clearly, her kidneys are not working like they used to. She needs a senior blood panel and urinalysis so we can see what is going on with her and if it is something to worry about or if it is even treatable Depending on the results, she may need an X-Ray. Most charitable organizations who assist with vet bills need you to get a diagnosis first.
All this adds up to $3,680 on the low end and $4360 at the high end. I am just going to ask for an even $5,000 because I think it will cover everything and give me a little cushion. Anything extra will be frugally applied to living expenses, basic necessities or moving costs when I get an apartment.
Anything, no matter how small, will help. If you can’t help, your prayers and good thoughts are appreciated, but also, if you have trusted friends / circles you want to share this with, please do! I am in such a desperate situation.
Here are several ways you can get help directly to me:
1) Square Cash is my favorite. It is secure and very fast. https://cash.me/ My “Cash Tag” is $LMoon
Facebook is also super fast! If you are connected to me on Facebook you can send me an instant payment via Messenger. If we are not linked, I believe you can still do it. Here is my profile link: https://www.facebook.com/Lorelei.Moon
If you want to send a check or money order, please contact me for an address.
If you would like to hold a fundraiser on my behalf, please contact me.
If you have questions or ideas of other ways you can help, please contact me.
If you send something and wish me to apply it to a specific thing on the list, let me know. Initially, everything is going to go towards getting out.
If you send money, please contact me with your information so I may thank you and give you a gift when all this is over.
My PayPal and Venmo accounts are not currently active, sorry. I am working on that.
Thank you so much! I look forward to putting this behind me so I can write things you will enjoy reading again!
12-27-2017: I have been feeling a little crushed and a little resigned because it all feels so impossible. I had applied for a cooperative housing complex, low income, with 2 units available. The application was overwhelming. It had several essay questions. My social worker and the other people I showed my answers to were very impressed and encouraging. I felt like I should have at least merited an interview.
But today was the day they were supposed to inform the finalists and I heard nothing. I tried calling the office but got no answer. However, I’m feeling better now. I may not have a place to go yet, but thanks to a few small donations I am $75 closer to my initial $1200 goal! It all adds up. I really appreciate it!
12-28-2017: As of early this morning an extremely generous donation has brought me very, very close to my initial $1200 goal. This means I can take the next step of actually inquiring about truck rental and labor to move my things into storage. I really do need to raise the full amount somehow but this is a giant leap forward.
Thank you! I am overwhelmed with gratitude!