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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Plans

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When you live with chronic pain the day doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. And when you have housemates that make you consider living with monkeys might be a more gentile experience, it becomes even more of a challenge. This is my life.

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Sometimes I think monkeys must have been playing in my bathroom but no, it’s just 20 somethings

Waking up is a struggle. Getting up and on with what’s left of the day is a battle in which I am grossly outmatched. I am the tiny rag tag band of rebels shaking sticks  and the day has me outflanked on very side with Howitzers. The times I have slipped through enemy lines and made it to coffee and limited functionality this week have been few and worth celebrating!

Three hours after waking up the second time I have decided I have some semblance of consciousness and a wave of hungry discomfort takes over. I have to eat something or I will be sick.  Making my way downstairs isn’t  easy. My joints declare war with me and the second skirmish begins. I’m  a little dizzy. I know my stomach is empty but it feels like it has been stuffed with stones. The stairwell is washed in the orange gold glow of early evening.  Through one window I hear chirping birds and traffic. From the opposite side of the house the screams of happy children fill in for the full sweeping stereo effect of life I am missing.

It’s unclear yet if my housemate is home. The house itself is fairly quiet. This only means his girlfriend isn’t here. I peek outside and see his car but that doesn’t mean they aren’t together in hers. I pad into the foyer to check for mail then step into the living room empty handed. The expansive couch should be inviting but it’s littered with clothes. On the coffee table is an odd collection of some sort of sports bag, a CD, scraps of paper and a torn plastic  bag. From here I can see the kitchen table has a similar collection of oddities which includes motorcycle helmets. Hades is home after all. I hear his voice. He’s been holed up in his den playing Smite.

We enter the kitchen from opposite ends and each mumble a greeting. “Hello” “what’s up”

I indicate the mound of clean dishes, “Hey! Thanks for finally washing all those dishes!”

He grunts, “Don’t thank me, (the girlfriend) did them”

”Hooray! (The girlfriend)” I exclaim,”But that doesn’t explain the monkeys in the bathroom.”

“What?”

“Oh I came in late last night then wondered what the hell had happened in the bathroom.”

“What do you mean?”

“ Well it was a bit more than the usual disaster zone with things strewn about!”

He grunts humorless and maybe a bit confused. Why do I keep forgetting that, “Decor De Tornado” is normal for him?

As I fumble to fill the tea kettle and place it on the stove I notice he has a stabilizing cast on his left forearm and wrist. Thinking back to the time he punched a hole in his own head board I am wondering if he had an anger episode. Dare I ask?

“Oh wow! How long have you had the cast? Is it broken or just a bad sprain?”

“It’s not broken/ I did it playing softball.”

As I watch Hades fumble with the cap of a soda bottle it crosses my mind that I haven’t ever noticed if he’s left or right handed.
I ask,  “Hey would you like to switch traditional gender roles for a moment ,and say” (I switch to a silly girly voice) “ would you open this for me?”

Hades manages a laugh, finally, “No that’s okay. I got it.”

Then he shambles off, his aura black and grimy, heading back to his video game, Note to self: Avoid injured housemate and his foul mood.

I pull my pretty red toaster from the niche, plug it in, fill the slots, push the lever down then turn to peruse the fridge. I’m not quite ready for last night’s leftovers and I’m definitely too wobbly and hungry to take the time to prepare something. On an upper shelf I spy a container of noodles and cheese that I put there several days ago after Hades left it  out to rot. I make an executive decision. I’m the one who saved it in the first place. If they haven’t touched it for four days they’re not going to. I’m eating it. I usually say something but given my housemate’s demeanor I will slip it into the microwave without a word. While I wait for things to come together I pull out a teapot and choose a bag of toasted rice tea. It’s a toasted rice kind of day!

I wonder how long Hades has been sporting the cast. It looks fairly new. I chuckle as I wonder if the mess upgrade in the loo was due to trying to keep his cast dry. I realize I should let him off the  hook for dishes and such until it comes off. I put the clean dishes away and decide to wash the dirty casserole dish that remains on the counter. I follow that by taking out the trash and recycling, returning to find the toast has popped and the microwave is  beeping so I scoop up the food and ferry my little repast upstairs to my room. I’ll come back for the tea.

Opening the door, I’m immediately confronted by a wall of stuffy air. I’ve always found it interesting how we don’t notice the smells of our environment until we leave them for a bit and come back. I remedy this by opening a window which lets inside the chorus of traffic sounds, children and also the whistle of  wind which I had not noticed before. My cat is meowing at me and I notice I am standing next to her empty bowl. I splash some fresh water in one bowl and scoop some kibble into the other and she adds  a steady, crunch, crunch, crunch to the compilation of sound.

I leave my food (I’m lucky to have a cat who is only interested in her own) and head back downstairs to collect my tea. The air from outside was chilly so I’ll put on a sweater when I come back up. Then I’ll nestle on the bed with my kitty, eat my “thieves’ pasta” and let my batteries charge a little. I need a few grocery items and the nearby store is open late, but it’s unlikely I’ll leave the house at all. I am having a typically difficult day. There are many days I make “to do” lists purely as an exercise. It’s likely tomorrow may be a repeat of today. I may have to be content with, I got up, I got dressed, I ate, I washed dishes and took out the trash, I collapsed. When you have a chronic condition plans are always going to be suggestions.

-LM 2015

Take It As It Comes

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TheCottageMarket-KitchenPrintable-JustRollWithItSometimes you have to go with, well, that didn’t turn out as I’d hoped but I have a purring kitty on my lap and that’s pretty sweet.

I got in around three this morning. I live a somewhat isolated life but have had a lot of social time all of a sudden; two much needed nights out of the house with comfort food, tequila and the fabulous company of two ladies I rarely get to see.

Friday night I picked up my friend Blau after work. Our adventure began with a plethora of Google Map/GPS glitches that might have tempted the most staunch Mercury Retrograde scoffer to turn we finally arrived at her chiropractic appointment.

2015-05-29_19.07.41Seriously, I thought nothing could top the time when Google Maps Lady told me to take a U Turn in the middle of the Bay Bridge but this time she paused between commands and said, “Not sure how I can help with schizophrenia” then “Turn right on 16th.”

After her appointment Google Maps Lady directed us to take the long and not so scenic route back to Blau’s house. Once we got there I was able to meet her adorable kitties and Blau gave me a really cute hair cut then helped me bleach my roots. It seemed to take an awfully long time which baffled us until I was packing up and we discovered the packet of bleaching powder that should have been added! Oh well, such a thing was befitting of the day.I love the new shorter layers in the back fiercely! I am so much more myself when I get to muss my hair, paint my face, wear a skirt and put on some jewelry. It’s nice to be a girl.

My new do and lovely black and white hair doo dad loaned to me for the occasion!

new hair blau

Then we went out for dinner and drinks. A party of kids came into the restaurant post prom looking just incredible and so grown up! I think it was just what both of us needed. Girl talk, relaxation and comfort food. Driving back to Blau’s place the night was quiet.

I came home, sat in my car for a bit which has long been a ritual for me. The tiredness was already seeping into my bones as I entered. I started tip toeing around the house putting things away and trying to unwind. I walked into the kitchen  and had a moment of giddy glee when I saw the mound of dishes that had been growing in the sink all week had been washed! Who hoo! But then I discovered my housemate had used all my ice and without replacing it, and he’d thrown my laundry aside (even though I folded all of his and left a bag out for mine). The bathroom looked suspiciously like monkeys had a row in it. (Not so woo hoo)

2015-05-30_04.21.19So I put my leftovers into the fridge, got a glass of water, washed my face and curled up with my cat. Every ounce of me wanted to sleep, but some part of my brain wasn’t having it. I picked up a book but my eyes would not focus on the letters. Begrudgingly, I booted up my laptop and watched a video.That seemed to do the trick.

I managed to fall asleep just as it was getting light. The early morning birds sang me to sleep. After a few hours of bliss my housemate and his girlfriend woke me by shouting to each other as he left. Doors slammed. She clomped around for a bit before leaving. At that point I could not go back to sleep.

So, I got up for a bit and surveyed the horrors of the “Craigpocolypse.” The state of the bathroom still defied explanation unless monkeys really were let loose in there. After a couple of hours I just realized I was too tired so I curled up with the snugglepuss and enjoyed a slew of weird dreams of which only cryptic fragments remain. Finally, I woke up at 3:30 in the afternoon.

On one hand I didn’t want to sleep all day. On the other, I did say I had no plans. Admittedly, I did make a list of stuff I might do. Too late for most of that. I had hoped to do a few things tomorrow but I am hesitant to confirm.

Somehow while sleeping I had bunched the pillows up in a strange lumpy configuration. Now my neck is stiff and angry. The rest of my back is in much the same state. My throat and sinuses are scratchy. It’s a bit late for coffee but I really want a cup! I’m finally feeling a few twinges of hunger.

2015-05-30_16.18.59I feel like I’m really not here yet. So, I’m just going to give myself some time to arrive. Sometimes you just have to take it as it comes and let whatever’s left of the day unfold.Meanwhile, if you are lucky, you’ll be blessed with a bundle of purr to keep you company.

Mini Conversations: Life With People Who Are Nothing Like Me

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funny-dogs-bbq-hot-dogsI have a Housemate who has pretty much nothing in common with me. Same goes for his girlfriend who has her own apartment, but pretty much lives here. It’s not that I don’t like them but they aren’t easy to live with and they take up the whole space. This is one of the reasons we don’t keep a third housemate for long. Sometimes I think we could be a sitcom around here. “Comedy gold.” *cough*

Note: I refer to my Housemate as Hades, because he plays the game Smite as Hades, he leaves the thermostat all the way up constantly, and really, he is the roommate from Hell. I call his lady, The Girlfriend aka Princess Brattipantz, because that sums up exactly how she behaves and it makes me laugh.

Hades is BBQing. I’m in the kitchen making a salad and a long overdue pot of coffee! The Girlfriend is popping in and out of the kitchen and the living room where she has the TV blaring.

The Girlfriend:You don’t eat much meat do you?
Me: Nope. We don’t actually need meat, you know. I eat it in moderation.
Hades: *waving a hot dog in my face* I LOVE meat! It’s good for you!”
The Girlfriend: Don’t make too many hot dogs. You’re the only one eating them! They’re expensive!
Me: Hot dogs shouldn’t be expensive! They’re made of all the crap parts!
Hades: If I don’t eat them now I’ll heat them up later and they’ll be already grilled! Mmm!

The girlfriend is sitting on the couch watching, The Prancing Elites, a reality show about a gay male dance troupe from the south. She’s giggling at the pretty makeup on the boys and being sad when one has their house burned down.
The Girlfriend: They live in the south (insert frownie face emoticon)

This is a cut above the reality twaddle she usually watches.

The two of them are doing their usual Bickersons routine which is admittedly kind of cute! Either that or it’s just my stockholm syndrome kicking in.

Hades popping off with lines like:

“I DEFINITELY told you I will eat Mac n cheese or salad but I won’t eat both.”

“Woman!”

“Fine then! I’ll burn your piece of chicken!”

Oh those kids. They’re too much!

In the midst of prepping my own food, I’m following the hurricane that is Hades, around the kitchen, putting caps back on bottles, removing trash and recycling from the floor and counter, etc.

Hades comes in, opens a drawer that is right at shin level, pulls out the foil and walks away. A few minutes later I see the drawer is still open, foil on the table and Hades standing in the living room mouth agape at the pretty gay guys!

ME: So hey, this is my life of wonderment on a daily basis. I mean here you are, a big strong man but you don’t have the strength to close a drawer after you open it. Is it weak wrists or something?

Brattipantz laughs.
Hades comes into the kitchen to see what I’m talking about.

Hades: That wasn’t me!

Me: Dude! I just watched you open the drawer, pull the foil out and walk away. You should get a test for early onset Alzheimer’s!

Hades: Oh yeah.

Then he closes the drawer and goes back to watch tv.

This is why I live in my room. Sometimes I just don’t want to see it.