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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My Shoes!

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I’m finishing and loading up a bunch of things today, because I had that marvelous combination of time, internet access and my neuropathy being veddy, veddy quiet. Enjoy!

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“You can’t understand someone until youve walked a mile in their shoes.”

What a ridiculous idea! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes for two steps and I won’t let you walk a mile in mine. I wouldn’t even let you walk around the block in them.

This is my path. My pain. My difficult road. And sometimes, it’s my easy street. You couldn’t stand to wear my shoes for a minute. Stop looking at them.

This isn’t some kind of challenge. And walking in my shoes won’t make you more empathetic or less judgemental. You’ll just end up pissed off with sore toes and a twisted ankle.

Oh, it’s possible the whole experience would give you some fleeting respect, a little awe for how I’ve managed to traverse such uneven ground in mismatched shoes for all these years. You might marvel at how most of the scars from my falls ended up on my insides instead of on my knees. But your appreciation won’t last because after you’ve taken your pity tour, you’ll be tottering along in your own shoes again, feeling quite superior. While you’re strolling easily or scrambling over debris in YOUR path, you’ll forget all about walking a mile or a minute of mine, although from time to time it may cross your mind that you’re glad you don’t have to.

I’ll let you in on a little secret because I know you won’t remember it next time we meet. I don’t always walk in my shoes either. Sometimes I kick them off and run completely off track for a while plunging my bare feet in sand or wiggling my toes in the grass. Sometimes I stop and lie flat on my back and thrust my feet into the cool night air and laugh at the sensation of lightness.

Sometimes I think subversive thoughts about not putting them back on again or just buying a new pair. But, no, they’re my shoes. Sometimes; a comfortable old friend, sometimes a particularly cruel bully that shadows me home, taking my refuge. Some days they hurt me to my bones, other days they soothes my soles.

I’ll walk in them until they become ghosts. When they fall off in tatters, I’ll walk barefoot until the sun sets.

LM – 2014 / 2016 /2017

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Some Thoughts About Motivation

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I am, as Carrie Fisher used to say about herself, an over-sharer. I have been jokingly referred to as, the Queen of T.M.I. I share liberally and personally. I process out loud, frequently about my health issues, how I wrestle with depression, anxiety and PTSD, abuse I have taken the brunt of, family, life experiences.

Sometimes people balk or take offense at this. They tell me it’s too personal, that I should keep it to myself, that what I share is inappropriate for Facebook or a blog. This used to be something that occurred more frequently. But now, I think the people who were offended have gotten used to it, given up or it’s just finally sunk in, why it is appropriate.

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I do it for me.

I learned a long time ago that returning the shame to the person it actually belongs to, means no more secrets and no more silence. I don’t have to name names, but speaking about my experience out loud makes it real, makes it less painful and it means I am no longer a conspirator. I separate myself from the person who put me through the trauma and become the person surviving it. Why should I be ashamed for what was done to me (or for the resulting life issues) or worry about embarrassing the perpetrator? I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed and embarrassed about. That shame belongs to them!

And when I do this for myself, I am also doing it for others; as support for those who have been through or felt similar things and also to bring awareness and help those who haven’t been through these traumas to understand.

Much of this is also the motivation for my project, The Empress Dammit, which is a definitely a rough work in progress, and deals with how I started to finally build healthy self-esteem, post age Forty.

A lot of strangers run across things I have written and respond favorably. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more of my personal friends, especially those that have said they appreciate my writing, to follow my writing blog. I think it will motivate me both to write more and to actually post it.

Tonight, I was going through past posts and saw something I posted that underscores all of the reasons for why I do this. There have been people in my life that I will never meet that have saved my life with their art, with their openness and with their shared experiences and feelings that mirror my own. Two people I can think of, immediately are Amanda Palmer and Carrie Fisher. If I can move someone, make them laugh, make them aware that they are not alone, that even if they are damaged that their voice, experience and their very SELF is VALID, then it was all worth it.  

So, here is the post, from a couple of years ago; I can’t recall what post the comment was in response to. :

YES THIS! This is why I air out all this “private,” painful, embarrassing stuff. This is why I blog and this is why it’s worth it. When I get comments like this from readers who are absolute strangers that touch me to tears of my own:

” I am very literally crying as I type. I very desperately needed to read this and see my experience put in someone else’s words (so much validation for so many things). I honestly felt my skin crawl reading your experience. In all seriousnesss, it matched my own so closely that I felt irrationally paranoid…still am a little…Regardless, thank you. Thank you so damn much. May I please share this? “

I hate so many things about the life I have had. It hurt and still hurts so much.
At the same time it is a huge blessing, it is a valuable tool to help others and I am so filled with gratitude.

I guess we are all seeking motivation from without and from within. I write, largely, because I have to get it out. If I don’t, it hurts. That goes for the personal content as much as the poetry, stories and other creative bits. But, that internal motivation is not enough for me. Motivation is usually a good thing. It isn’t always pleasant and it’s not guaranteed to make things easier, but it is a tool that can help you do things that give your life purpose and make it both meaningful and satisfying. At least that’s true for me. When I get a response or a message, even a “like” on a post on Facebook, it lets me know I’m not alone out there. My words have reached someone. And I know for every person that lets me know they read something, there is probably at least one person who read and didn’t leave any clues behind. Dare I hope more than one?

Thanks to those who like, follow, message and comment. Thanks for motivating me to make more content.

Cheers!

 

Aphrodite Sneakers

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Aphrodite Sneakers

When life gives you ugly
Throw back a little sparkle
You were never meant to hold
The hand you were dealt forever
Play your cards right
Lay them down on the table and walk away
Pick up an electric colored daisy
Pull it’s petals one by one while you say
I am mine and I am free

When the sun casts a shadow
Put on your bright red shoes
Dance in the pitch black night of day
Like you’re the only one watching
Make it up as you go along
That’s what everyone else is doing
They just won’t admit it
When you make it up as you go along
There is no wrong way

We’re all afraid of the big bad wolf
Who is really just a stray dog
Howling for a warm lap
And a soft hand to rub his ears
When life hands you a blustery chill
Make it a pot of cinnamon tea
Offer an ear for the sorrows
And a genuine compliment
Why, your frost shines like diamonds!

Everyone rages and everyone sleeps
Everyone dreams about being naked
And everyone is blind sometimes
Some are blind to their blindness
But we see more clearly
When we accept our myopia
If life hands you a mirror
Say, Thank You
Even if it hurts to look, especially if it hurts

If life tickles your funny bone
Milk that for all it’s worth
Drink up
That amazing medicine
It can carry you miles
And miles and miles and miles
If you happen to step in shit
Scrape your shoe off in a garden
You can stop and smell the roses while you feed them.

When life gives me ugly
I throw on my red shoes
My Aphrodite Sneakers
I put something shiny next to the rough, plain ground
And I put one flash of rhinestone stars
In front of the other
And I walk in beauty
Knowing her secret
There’s so much beauty, beneath the ugliness of life

-LM 2017