Thursday, September 20, 2012

Countdown to Homelessness: 10 days

I have been writing this blog and detailing my experiences.  I have a badge on the right of the screen where I have been trying to raise money to keep the children and I from being homeless but so far I have only been able to raise $55.00.  Thank you to those that have contributed!  I had over 3,800 page views in the last month.  If everyone had contributed just $10 I am sure I would have reached my fundraising goal by now or close to it.  Please contribute if you can!

I was recently reading a post from a Facebook friend about how she has felt "let down" by her friends.  That she had been sick and in the hospital for all most two weeks and during that time only one friend called to check on her.  That was it.  When I read her post I was sad but I understood her feelings.

Here I am, a well educated woman, with three disabled children and I am about to find myself homeless.  I am fortunate in that my homeless situation should not last forever because I have been offered a job but that does not make the experience any less frightening or anxious.  Today I have been feeling so anxious that I feel nauseous. 

I have a few friends in town that know the situation I am in and none of them have offered to help (they are older though so I am not sure how much they could physically do).  The part that bothers me most though is hearing them say, "Don't worry Michelle.  You are a good person and things will turn out okay."  I am sorry but I missed where that happens in real life.  If anything I commonly see good people suffer all sorts of horrible things.  I think that is why I like talking to my friend Krissi lately.  She knows where I am.  She has been though it herself.  The only fortunate thing for her is that she never got as far as losing her house but it was close.  When I speak to her she offers me no false hope.  It is refreshingly nice.  

When I spoke to my mother tonight I was told God will help to make it happen and don't give up because somehow the money will appear.  Really?  So far the answer is, "No, it's not."  I have tried calling my oldest son, who is currently unemployed, to help me but his fiance is pregnant.  She will not let him leave her to come and help me.  Another possibility is my uncle.  He is an alcoholic and drug addict but is currently on the straight and narrow.  Should I risk my children being with him?  I don't want to and I am not sure he would even come anyways.  Random strangers answering an ad?  Even scarier thought but what choice do I have?

That is me up above.  I am a woman defeated.  You see me with tears in my eyes, dirty from sweating all day packing and tired.  I don't know how to stop the train wreck that is my life at the moment.  I have to be out of my current house at the end of the month.  I am facing having my electricity shut off on Monday.  I am hoping I can convince the electric company to leave it on for a bit.  At this point I owe them $700 for two months electric and a deposit.  I am sure I will have to pay them but that will cut into the money I need to move and survive for next month.  All I have done this evening is cry.  When I got back John did not offer to do anything to help me get to the welfare office.  I am on my own.  You have NO idea what the welfare office is like here.  People never bring little children in because they will kick you out.  It is the craziest thing I have ever seen but that is what happens.  The respite provider I have been using has taken a full-time job so she cannot help me.  She gave me the names of two other women but one said she would not watch my three children alone.  She said they were too much for her.  The other lady would not answer.  

I have reached out to the local regional center and this is the email exchange...

Hi Michelle,

I am doing quarterly updates on the kids. Could you please tell me how each kid is doing in terms of health, school, and additional services (speech, physical therapy, and Occupational therapy).

Also in order to receive respite for the next quarter, I need to know the name of the provider that you have been working with and whether or not respite has been helpful.

Thanks so much for your time

This will be pretty easy. SO far the children have, overall, been healthy. We had several trips to the dentist but so far things haven been good.

I have not signed the children up for school services for this year.

The kids had been going to private therapy. Margaret had been going to occupational therapy and Joseph has been in physical therapy. A month ago Joseph started to walk. His walking is very unsteady and wide legged but he is making it.

My husband left us in July. The children and I have been trying to make it but we are going to be homeless at the end of the month. I am not sure what we are going to do so therapy has stopped for now.

Respite has pretty much been a no go. I cannot find someone to come to my house to watch the children. The lady I had been using has found a job so she can only watch the children on Saturdays. That is not when I need someone. The other numbers I have called and no one seems to answer, want to watch so many children, or in town any longer.

That should catch you up.


Thank you so much for the update. I am very sorry for your current housing dilemma. I can send you a list of community resources that may be of some assistance. Quarterly respite is due and I need to know if you would like me to take the kids off the list. If you do not anticipate using the respite voucher, then I will have to take them off the regular list so that children on the waitlist can use the respite. Please let me know ASAP so I can notify the respite coordinator. Sincerely.

The list of community housing resources would be useful. Please send that information. I want to use the rest of the respite voucher for this month. So please send the most recent list of respite providers. As for next month take us off the respite list.

I have not completely decided yet but we may move to Arizona at the end of the month.


I know, I know. I lied to her (only about leaving for AZ) at the end but it is only because I want to see what she would do. So far I have not heard back from her and I sent her my response yesterday. Notice she did not say she would HELP me find a place.  Our regional center is basically useless.   : (  

Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow but I guess I will start off with calling the electric company and seeing what I can do.  The countdown to homelessness has begun...

PS.  To add insult to injury today I just realized that the little outfit the nurses sent home to me that Martha wore is NOT right.  She did not wear those clothes.  I realized it today when I came across the box with the outfit in it.  When I found the picture the NICU nurses took that day of Martha I knew as soon as I saw the romper again that was NOT what she wore.  I never had her little clothes.  :' (   


  1. Michelle,

    I saw your post on my blog dashboard and after reading the first few lines decided to click on it and read the entire thing. A few lines down I recognized someone you're talking about. After reading your entire post I now feel sick.

    I feel horrible for even mentioning that my friends and some of my family have not been there for me. I still have 2 sets of parents (divorced parents who then remarried) who help us quite a bit. I am just ill thinking about your situation and the fact that no one is helping you. I have not read many of your blog posts as I have been so busy the last few months planning the Energy for Life walk here in KC. Is your husband not around at all? What is he doing to help since he left you in June?

    I am completely astonished at the comments that people are making to you. "You are a good person so things will turn out okay"??? "God will make the money appear"???? Excuse me... but what the hell??? Since when do things work out for people just because they're a good person? I'm not even going to comment on the other statement because I'm atheist, but even if I did believe in god that statement would be completely absurd.

    I just don't understand why people have not offered to help you more... or at all. I did not know about your efforts to raise money to stay in your house until reading this post. After all of the stuff I've done to raise money for UMDF in the last month and our own financial issues, I can't even afford to donate $10 right now. Not that it would help much anyway since no one else in your life seems to be helping you.

    I will be posting the 2nd half of the blog post that you read from 2 days ago today. Read it if you have time.

    This is why...
    Despite practically being a complete stranger... If you lived near me I would offer our basement to you until you can get back on your feet. (our basement is finished with a living area, bathroom, and bedroom so I wouldn't be offering you a cement slab.. fyi) I don't understand how no one else is stepping up to the plate to help you and your 3 beautiful children... especially your family. It's not like it would be just you without a home. If you lose your home your children lose their home too. And not just 3 children... 3 disabled children.

    So, on that note... Come on people!!! If you care at ALL about Michelle, please help her!!! Don't care about Michelle??? Fine. (sorry, Michelle) Then do you care about 3 precious disabled 5 year olds??? Then help them and let Michelle come along for the ride.

    Michelle.. you are in my thoughts and I really hope things get better for you soon.

    1. Thank you Robin! You, like many people in my life, are broke. They cannot financially afford to help me. My parents have offered for me to come home with them and stay there. If I did that I would not be able to find a job or be self-sufficient anytime soon. One thought was to head back and let my mother take my children for a bit but there are two problems with that. The first is my nephew that is staying with my parents. He is in school and would be a risk to Joseph (giving him some-sort of respiratory illness). Also they live in the country and if Joseph got into trouble medically they may not be able to get him the medical attention he needs. The second problem is my mother has NO desire to watch my children. I am not sure why. I don't know if it is because there are too many of them or their medical issues (Joseph specifically) scare her. In any case, I would not be able to leave them with her.

      My husband is financially strapped and there is no extra MONEY he could give me. He could have been physically helping though. He may be waiting for me to ask but at this point my pride will not allow it. What happened to men who would volunteer to do what is needed for his family? Even if it is a family he is leaving!

      Thank you for your offer of a place to stay. I would actually take you up on it if you lived in Phoenix. I HAVE to go to Phoenix. A job and a new life await there. I just have to make the transition. That is my sticking point. If you read more of my posts you will know why I have to go to Phoenix.

      I have given up on a miracle. I spoke to John. I told him I was selling what I had left. Mostly a bunch of kids clothes. He said what a great way to make a couple of hundred bucks. I laughed. I said more like $80 if I am lucky but money is money and I will take it. He said, "Yep" and got into his car to drive away.

      There is no miracle coming for me. Life will be interesting and I will continue to blog as best I can once we get to Arizona.

  2. Oh Michelle. I'm so sorry I didn't get in touch with you sooner. I am sure there would have been more ways that we could have helped you. :-( I hope your move is successful for you and your kids. You deserve so much more.