In which the good people of the Internet save my butt

The way things were going last Thursday, I fully expected to be spending today looking for a different place to live. And I had no idea how that was going to happen since we’re already living in the cheapest housing we could find. If I haven’t been able to pay the rent, I’m surely not going to be able to come up with security deposit, 1st & last month’s rent for another place.
My morning started with a pre-eviction notice that gave us 3 days to come up with $2,200 , followed by a visit from the electric company with a 72 hour shut off notice. We should be getting our income tax return soon so my first go-to was to ask if I could just pay when we got that money back but that was a big negatory on both fronts. while venting to my daughter about that, I said, “You’d think they’d be a little flexible and let someone do that,right? If I was a landlord, I’d let a tenant do that.”
She answered, “Uh,yeah. But if you were a landlord, there would be a lot of things you would do that most won’t because you understand this kind of thing.”

I think this was the same day I daydreamed about becoming a billionaire and buying Mar-a-Lago out from under the so-called President and turning it into a sanctuary for refugees, immigrants, low income folks, and pretty much anyone who is marginalized. For free. Because why not?

But back to reality…
I got desperate and came here to the blog to ask for help, even though I HATE asking for help. Hate it. I can’t even express how much I hate asking for donations. It’s largely because I know that the majority of readers here are also not financially stable.  There is also that horrible,horrible lingering ideology hanging over from the way I was raised that attaches money to personal failure and assigns some morality to poverty. Asking for help means I’m a loser. Perhaps this is why I am always putting out into the universe this idea that poverty is not a moral failing. I’m still reminding myself of this all the time. In reality, and perhaps what’s the most frustrating and soul crushing part right now, both my husband and I are working harder than ever to try to get out of this chasm of poverty.

By the end of the day, people had donated enough money to cover our rent. By Friday, there was enough to help with the electric bill and groceries.
I spent the rest of the week feeling tremendously grateful… while also not feeling great about the entire situation. I’m still reconciling all of those feelings. It isn’t that I don’t feel deserving of help. I think I’m mostly just so angry that I even have to ask for help and knowing how many people out there are in the same and worse situations. I’m already angry at the world for various reasons. Adding extra ire can’t be healthy.

But still…grateful was the primary theme of my emotions. “Thanks” doesn’t even begin to express how appreciative I am of generous people who supported me though the last few days. It wasn’t just the monetary donations that made such a huge difference to me. Those personal messages written with so much love and compassion have been a major source of encouragement for me.

There was a good reminder I needed in all of this,too. The world (ok, mostly America) is a garbage pit right now and it’s hard to remember on some of these days how awesome people can be. People are fundamentally good. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Also, if you’ve ever wanted to help out someone asking for donations but only had a few dollars and thought, “Why bother?” …DO IT ANYWAY. I received so many donations and I am making it my personal goal to reply personally to each and every one but it might take me all week. But here’s the main point: most of them were $10 or under. Sometimes literally only $2 or $5 . Every little bit truly does matter.


art by Emm Roy!


12 thoughts on “In which the good people of the Internet save my butt

  1. I’m soooo sorry I couldn’t help. This not being able to help made
    Me sick because you helped me a few years ago when nobody else did. I don’t know if you remember but you gave me $13.00. It touched Me so much. Right now I work on commission only and actually Overdrawn on my bank account $535 or I would have been the first to help you. Someday I will! So glad others stepped in when I couldn’t.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I truly though I would soon have a surplus to send you some token of solidarity, but this morning my transmission crapped out. And I am sure you know that when the transmission is involved it will be $1,000+. A friend suggested I start a go fund me, and i did. I also asked my cousins if anybody had a car I could borrow I don’t expect you to send anything, but just ofr your information this is the gofundme link Knowing you helped me not to totally panic.

    1. Crap. Nothing to do with transmission work is good news. :-/

      I will share your go fund me tomorrow (end of the week/payday people are more likely to donate, I think)

  3. Believe me I understand. Because of health issues I’m on disability which means a fixed income that JUST covers the basics. I try to save but the amount I’m able to is so small that any minor emergency wipes it out in one go and I’m constantly starting from scratch again. The only thing that kept me from not losing it and filling in some financial gaps was my car. Then, because the registration had expired, it was towed by an asshole of a state trooper. Of course I didn’t have the money to get it out so now that’s gone. I went into a deep depression because while the state paid for transportation, everything else I needed to do like laundry, grocery shopping, etc. was impossible to do without relying on family. Because of the medical issues, public transportation is very difficult to take, especially since the city has removed almost all bus stop seating in the area to deter homeless people

    When I bought that car my credit was shit and realized that I had to make this count so struggled for 3 years to create a perfect payment history. But when I went car shopping this time, all of that stuggle didn’t account for anything. Even though the car was paid off, every finance company now said I didn’t have ENOUGH credit to qualify for loans. But don’t worry, the vulture dealers were all too willing to get me into another car I would pay triple for. I just couldn’t justify it.

    So I did what I never do and reached out and asked people if they could donate money via a gofundme campaign. It is so uncomfortable to approach people and make a pitch like that. Especially since we are all kind of in the same boat. But in a couple of months I was able to get $700. At first I thought I could use it for a down payment but I made sure I was very strict with my budget and didn’t allow my eagerness for a car let me paint myself into a financial corner which restricted where I could buy and soon realized I was going to need a fixer upper. Long story semi-short, I lucked up on a car that only needs minor repairs and was able to talk guy down from $850 to $300. And even though it failed inspection, I am able to at least take it out for laundry and grocery shopping while I save to get the repairs needed so it will pass.

    1. I will never understand why our system believes that BARELY covering the basics is good enough for anyone trying to live on disability. It really makes me angry.

      You nailed it,though. It’s so uncomfortable to ask for help, especially when so many people are in the same boat. It also seems like the ones most willing to help are the ones who ARE in the same boat . Grrr.

      1. Oh, and FYI. The COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) for SS Diability was only .3% for 2017. This meant a $3 increase in my monthly check. But because of this, DTA just lowered my EBT benefit by $2.

  4. we are fortunate in the UK in that we now receive Housing Benefit it pays the whole of the rent and Council Tax , it took 2 years of endless arguments for them to finally give in during which we sold pretty much everything we owned of any value . 2 years to actually acknowledge that we were really poor , that my partners disability wasnt suddenly going to go away , they still sometimes stop it for no reason and the eviction notice arrives yet again, people open the file read the top page and just press enter to stop the payment , it then takes weeks to get it reinstated . Its just endless stress , they suggested i find an extra night shift job , but i have a day job and provide care to my partner which is ever increasing . Its the constant your not trying hard enough , from everyone, family included .Theyre not the ones who were up with him 6 times last night because hes having spasms and cant turn himself in bed , the one washing endless dirty sheets and clothing , trying to be cheerful with him when the pains so bad he turns into an ogre . We are still dirt poor , I just wish there was a magic wand i could wave to make us not part of the army of the despised .

    1. We have experienced something similar in our family.

      My sister in law has a learning disability yet the government still insists that she is checked for her fitness to work every three years. Not this time but the previous time (she was assessed by ATOS of course!) the person assessing her declared her fit for work, meaning all her benefits were stopped. Her parents took it to tribunal which took eight months and it was overturned but if they had not stepped in and covered her bills during that time she would have become homeless. I hate the red tape and bureaucracy that you have to traverse to get help sometimes. 😡

      As an aside, as a carer, could you get a carer’s allowance? And I would also, for your own wellbeing’s sake, apply to have some respite. You deserve and need time off to take things off the boil, everyone needs that.

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