Please Help Lorelei Moon Avoid Homelessness & Find Safe Haven!

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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!

-Lorelei Moon

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Beasts of No Nation

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“Sun, why are you shining on this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you cannot shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobody is ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here”

-Agu (Beasts of No Nation)

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I made it a good way through the film as a witness, without shedding a tear until this haunting monologue, exquisitely executed by young marvel, Abraham Attah. I hope we are going to get to see more of this brilliant young actor who holds his own with Idris Elba!

I’m not going to go into the plot of this film much as it’s pretty straight forward. Like the novel, it describes the loss of innocence and experiences of a child soldier in Africa, like those of the, “Lost Boys.”  What I will say is this. You MUST, must see this film!

Beasts of No Nation is showing in the smaller arthouse theaters and you can also see it on Netflix! Netflix produced this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful, hopeful and heart crushing. The acting is superb. It’s not easy to watch, but it’s well worth your time and you won’t feel emotionally manipulated or as if you’ve been shown violence or gore for the sake of it. The violence is not gratuitously graphic. Neither is it glossed over.

As someone whose childhood horrors forged my PTSD, I have so much empathy for these child soldiers who are ripped from their families and molded into monsters. You do what you have to do to survive and if you are tenacious, lucky and can hold on to some of the better pieces of you humanity you come out the other side with the ability to be happy.

Thank you Netflix for adapting this novel by Uzodinma Iweala. Even though the country and conflict are fictional the turmoil and circumstances are very real in some parts of Africa. I hope the film makes more people have compassion, awareness and to desire an understanding of situations in other countries that we like to pretend aren’t our problem or don’t affect us. And bravo to Netflix, not only for tackling a subject that is not pretty but is also not about white people. How marvelous to see a film, and an important one at that, about people of color where white people haven’t been injected into it! Huzzah!

Here is the trailer for Beasts of No Nation

Really, go see this film or watch it at home! That is all!

The Deep

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THE DEEP

Do you feel my heart beneath your feet?
Do you feel the wave of turbulence about to spring up from the deep?
Do you sense that hand upon your back?
Do you know with every waking thought that a moment’s going to crack?

There’s a storm a brewing in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it knocking despite the fire at your door.
Don’t be afraid to answer. It’s too loud to be ignored.

Do you hear the simple rhythm of the night?
When you look up, do you have a crown of stars or see merely scattered light?
Do you care what all this fight is for?
Do you know how many years of blood have left their mark upon this floor?

There’s a song forming in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it calling through the forest, over the hills
Don’t be afraid to sing along, or listen standing still.

Have you felt time pass you, taking toll?
Do you hear the sounds of cracks and fissures, breakage in your soul?
Do you fear it’s certainly too late,
Now that you finally can articulate the change you want to make?

There’s a pearl forming in the deep,
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep;
Carried through an open window on the siren song of chance,
Inviting you to drop your burden and join into the dance.

Do you feel your heart beneath my wing?
Have you seen such strength mistaken for a brief and fragile thing?
Do you feel my hand inside your hand?
Does it matter any more to you where this flight is going to land?

Don’t be afraid of rumbling in the deep;
The awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
Greet that unfamiliar part of you like a dear and treasured friend.
Take a good look, hold it close, to love the dark is not an end.

Have you caught the scent of winter’s death?
Do you sense the rush of spring’s return in each and every breath?
You can taste the jasmine in your mouth.
Wounded hearts have steeped in every cup, yet flowers do pour out.

There’s a calm found after every storm,
A confidence, a knowing that you now are safe from harm.
There’s no sense treading water when your feet have found dry land.
Let the deep slip from your shoulders lost in endless sand.

-LM 2015

Changing Youth

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This is a song, I started a long time ago that was worked on sporadically throughout the years and eventually recorded. It had long been one of my favorites. It was really a commentary on Looking back at lost youth as one grows older wondering if one should have done more. It is also about the young rebels of every generation who carry so much hope but also think they know everything. They don’t think they need to listen to the big wind of their parents.

Recently, I came across an online archive of lyrics and partial lyrics that I thought were lost forever and this snippet from the original song was in there. All my masters, notes, notebooks and computers were lost along with almost everything I owned in 2012. As an artist, it’s really heart wrenching to lose your art. It’s like losing your children!

Trauma has changed my brain so reconstructing things has been very difficult. Even lyrics from songs I have performed for years don’t pop off the top of my head the way they used to. There was another verse and a bridge to this song, but I don’t have it here. I remember it took setting the song aside for a several years before the right bridge came to me. Maybe something new will come to me more quickly this time around! Regardless, I was really very happy to find this old friend!

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CHANGING YOUTH

Changing youth searching for truth in an empty room
Well, where will you go when the world gets old?
What will you have learned, from them?

This sacred place that we have forsaken inside our hearts now & then
Well, what will we say when it’s finally gone away
That we just played our parts?

I don’t have to tell you that you’re the only ones
Who can make a difference before more damage is done

Unholy thoughts that we act out
Then pray forgiveness in the dark
A kind of hush that you create
It’s a very good disguise

As you walk on by watch their big wind die
What did they know anyhow?
Changing youth you search for truth
But then you live a lie

And I don’t have to tell you that you’re the only ones
Who can make a difference before more damage is done

Changing youth searching for truth in an empty room….
-LM

Over The Edge

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Sometimes I write pieces that could become a fleshed out story, become part of another story or just remain a fragment, a piece of a story that is a story itself. A piece of writing feels complete as incomplete, like a teaser for the imagination or just a peek into another world, a glimpse of someone else’s’ experience.Often when I write, I am perfectly ok if i write a few paragraphs and leave things hanging. After all, life is like this more often than not. We meet interesting people, we have friends who are going through a rough time and they slip in and out of our lives for various reasons. We find ourselves wondering later, “I wonder what happened to so and so? I hope that thing they were going through turned out all right.” I used to think this was just a terrible thing for a writer to do and that I must be a real freak. Then I discovered, Kelly Link, a fabulous writer that very often leaves the reader hanging, and I didn’t feel like such an aberration.

So, I am just warning you, gentle readers that this is one of THOSE fragmeantz. it’s not very long so perhaps you won’t get invested. I have been on the fence since I wrote it. Is it complete though it seems incomplete? Is it a metaphor? Is it a story to be continued?

I actually do know where this story is heading. If I want to continue it, it waits. What do you think? Should I continue?

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Over The Edge

I stood at the edge and imagined EVERYTHING.

I went over all the possible scenarios in my head.

I made it day. I made it night. I moved ahead a year. I made it five, ten, an eternity.

I even removed myself from the equation, in my head, made myself moot. I know that sounds ridiculous because without me, none of this would have happened. It’s not like an alternative life would have taken my place and followed the footsteps I had never made. Even if I disappeared today it wouldn’t fix things. The world would still be hanging on a hinge with nothing to be done about it. Not that I could figure anyway. Not without help.

So then, that was it. There was nothing left to do but jump.

The map had said that height was merely an illusion. That flailing through the air was like splashing around a pond in summer as long as your leap was one of faith. Faith was something I was short on these days and I was terrified of heights.

I knelt down and rummaged through my bag until I found, the book. I leafed through it until I found the map one last time. It could be a complete fabrication, the hallucinatory imaginings of a wizard who’d smoked too much leaf mold. If I didn’t jump I wouldn’t know. And it wouldn’t be long until I was discovered. Damn it! I had to move quickly!

I tucked the book back down in the bag, dug out my flask and took a sip, letting the whiskey burn it’s way down my throat. It served me less as liquid courage and more as a reminder to my blood to start flowing through my limbs again. I had been standing in one place too long.

Suddenly my ears caught noises from further down the mountain. It was time to do this or give up. I knew too well what giving up meant so I quickly tucked everything back in the pack, secured all the compartments and strapped it on tight.

A few yards away, my horse was grazing. Sorry, my friend, you’ve got to come too. I hope I’m not going to kill us both with this crazy plan. She nuzzled me. At least someone trusts me, I thought and swung myself up onto her back as quietly as possible. Now, how to get her to leap off a cliff without her balking or making a fuss? I decided riding wasn’t feasible. Instead I dropped to the ground again, untied the scarf from my hip and made her a blindfold. One blind horse, docile as you please, one terrified human with probable assassins at her back.

“Ok. Girl. We are taking a walk,” I whispered. And with that we walked to the edge, I closed my eyes and stepped off, yanking the reins hard.

Trickle

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I am weary of being scared. Fear is simultaneously very real and just plain pointless. Fear is a bully!
 
Freedom is at once with me and illusive. I would like to be free but freedom without the means to choose my situation is just another kind of trap. I keep thinking there has to be a way; a way out, a way ahead, a way through or even a way to accept, Yes, I keep thinking there has to be a way, but I have not found it yet,
 
I keep thinking if I was younger, prettier, more energetic and able; if I was less ethical I might be able to use those things to my advantage. However, I am not any of those things.
 
I have tools. I lay out the tools I have on the table in front of me but my fingers merely fumble with most of them.
 
I look back over my shoulder into that dark and treacherous place and I refuse to go back. I look forward into the shifting fog. I look up at the blinding sun. I look down at my feet and I can for fleeting moments I can feel my roots. I am strong and grounded. Then the earth cracks, breaks and rumbles to remind me that it is difficult to keep my balance. I look inward at my wounds, some healing, some tenaciously festering and I see where I have been. It is a place and time where angels covered their ears and would not tread.
 
I find myself marvelling at all the brutality I survived with astonishing resilience. How did I manage to keep opening up my heart? How did I determine to keep trying to trust, to forgive, to love? Yet, now my heart finally closes, hardens, becomes wary, cynical over much smaller offenses! The clock is winding down and I have more happiness yet more frustration than ever before.
 
All I ever wanted was to be loved and cared for. All I ever wanted was to give love, to share, to help others by word, deed and through my art and music. I wanted to let all this creativity and care flow to the ocean in a torrent but all I can do is let it trickle through a straw in the hopes that someone who is thirsty will find it and drink.
 
-LM September, 2015