15 JUNE 2015 :: Housing, income, and survival.

This past weekend I have been trying to catch up with my "homework" for my RENT WELL housing class here in Portland (OR).  Rent Well is an opportunity for people with problem rental histories to qualify for a damage guarantee they can offer to potential landlords.  It shows the landlord that the potential renter has gone through the class as a way to be a better resident and act as an incentive to rent to them.

Part of the Rent Well focus is to help participants recover from the tragedies that have happened to them and help them find a new path forward.  It isn't easy to look back, especially when you are still dealing with life issues that take up all your time and energy.  I needed to make a history of my past housing in case one of my new applications required it...going back ten years...and make sure I had the current contact information.  In the process, I looked at the rentals available at their sites.  I discovered, again, that subsidized housing is all I can hope for with less than $400 a month in verifiable income.  I have been trying to escape government programs since at least 1975.

What has been my goal?  Always ownership.  Preferably a home-based income.  All the equipment I need to create income.  As much income as GOD would allow.  Self-sufficiency.  Off-the-grid living.  My own water sources.  A garden, goats, and chickens.  Lots of space to grow into.  A place to process food.  And lots more.

For me, a farm property needs to be in just the right place.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  Urban versus Rural became a consideration.  Being on a major bus line, or other access point, was essential to meet the needs of poverty.  Freedom to leave is as important as the freedom to arrive...I explored some Los Angeles cults in the past and discovered their need to isolate and control.  Small properties that are as close to the main city as possible, and thousands of acres that are out in the safety of the wilderness in rural areas.  I still haven't decided how many acres would be enough, but I think 5 acres per person might become a formula for me.

Given my income and age and health problems, this is a dream that probably won't happen, but I am still moving in that direction, hopeful I will find a way.  :-)

I am always hoping GOD will finally bless my prayers,
and cause, and efforts!

In creating my housing and work history for my class assignments, it was easy to see when I was able to pay rent... when I had enough hours to make enough wages. 

From Fall 2006 to about OCT 2012 I lived in a small campus quad.  Quads are the lowest cost housing that I have seen, because you share a kitchen and sometimes share a bathroom.  I have already gone through housing that shared bathrooms  -  I didn't want to do that again.  You have to clean the space before you can use it, and then clean it for the next person after you are done.  I was already over 50 and didn't feel I could cope with that.

Even with low rent it was a continual struggled to rise from that location.  I was amazed at how my work hours (and wage income) went down just as I was starting to get ahead... over and over again.  It was a job that you had to call in every day just to see if you could work.  That was a new experience, but it was what I had to do.  I felt for union workers I read about that had to do the same thing, and migrants that stand on corners hoping to make enough money to survive their day. 

When I first got the job I had back then, I thought it would be a normal job and I created plans to build a life with my limited (minimum wage) income.  I had been homeless and living in the local mission before I got the job, and the quad I moved into.  I needed to rebuild my work history and housing records.  Unfortunately, I was never able to get ahead financially, and eventually developed health issues that kept me from looking for a new job.  My hours and income were too low to pay my rent before I was evicted and had to move in with my son and his wife.

Trying to create wages for myself through Working Together was always my plan.  I did what I could in my spare time.  My search for income led to internet efforts, too.  I tried selling at eBay a little.  I discovered a site called fiverr.com eventually.  And didn't fully try to create income at Etsy until I was at my son's.

I am still looking for the path to self-sufficiency within my dreams and limitations.  My current "crowdfunding" effort with twitter and fiverr.com/work2gather is another try.  If you can buy at least one of my $5 gigs, it would help.  If you can share a little more, that would be even more helpful.