11 JUNE 2015 :: Planned Poverty

In my housing class today, we talked about choices in housing, and about creating a goal in our housing search.  This planning goal sounds good, but when you are homeless, living in a shelter, surfing the couches of friends, or relying on family, the problems are usually a little too overwhelming to allow such freedom.  As the recipient of their grace, you are expected to leave as soon as possible...and expected to take anything that will cover your head and allow you to move on.  The concept of deciding what you would ideally like to find is good for future goals, but isn't very acceptable for current needs.  Housing barriers like evictions and criminal histories make the options even less plentiful. 

In the materials we were discussing, our choices in housing were subsidized or unsubsidized, and all were based on renting the property of others.  Subsidized housing is paid with government funds (taxes) the same way other subsidy programs are paid.  Poverty households, which often include a majority of the homeless, disabled, elderly, ill, addicted, and abandoned, can only afford subsidized housing.

It use to take several years to finally get into "government" (subsidized) housing. Some of the online references I recently located stated there were waiting times up to ten years.  I think it depends on your location (how big the city is, how many need subsidized housing, the age of the property, and how many units are available).  The title of this blog reflects my opinion of this process... it is really a system that continues the poverty structure.  With government housing, you have to BE POOR to qualify to apply, you generally STAY POOR while you are waiting for your application to rise to the top of the list, and you have to REMAIN POOR if you want to stay in the housing you end up at.  In the effort to find stability, economic options like subsidized housing are critical... they are a long-term goal for poverty households...and become a prison for many.

I believe HOME OWNERSHIP would be a much better solution.  By keeping the same 30% payment structure and incorporating taxes and insurance into the purchase price, government owned properties could become new beginnings for individuals and families that would receive government funds anyway.  There wouldn't be a need for subsidies, the government would be receiving payments not spending taxes to help the most vulnerable and needy citizens, and the investment might save billions down the line in reduced casualty costs like crime and courts and prisons. 

I will probably come back to these concepts again and again because I think the way government thinks is foolish, and the decisions that are being made jeopardize the future of our country and the lives of those who are dependent on government programs. 

The poor are easy to blame in government budget crises because they don't have a voice... they are too busy trying to survive their daily hardships to fight for their rights in government decisions.  A lot of the issues that are involved in poverty are intertwined, like the weave of a basket or a fabric.  Changing the future and saving a family with several issues to overcome (education, job training, addictions, criminal associations, homelessness, poverty, abuse, etc.) is a long-term task. That is why home ownership is better than subsidized housing.  Stability is the first step.

There are many housing ownership options available in the government right now, they just have to be applied to the needs of homeless and low-income families.

10 JUNE 2015 :: Changing our lives.

I guess I better get this done...  I am planning to start doing some of my crafting now that I have some supplies to work with and am desperately in need of listings at my work2gather.etsy.com shop... I usually go on for a long time once I get started.  :-)  It's that getting started that is the obstacle.

I have entered a bunch of Twitter posts for today... during a kind of lunch period here on the west coast of the USA.  Getting the global clock figured out is another challenge in online selling.  I finally decided you have to work with your own time zone and let everyone else find you.  I am checking on those scheduling programs for social media, but have only a fuzzy impression about them so far.  I need to see more of the choices that are available and compare them.  When I post my own real-time entries, I wonder how many of the posts around mine are scheduled and just being delivered by a machine.  It means no one is looking and everyone is posting, so you really aren't "connecting" with anyone.  :-)   This is why I am also trying to figure out how to check the pages of the people and groups I am really interested in.

I did make another post about my efforts on Facebook, but my main purpose in doing this is Twitter... to see what happens when you make a lot of posts over a month.  So far, NO sales at my fiverr.com/work2gather shop, which is very disappointing.  I have noticed that my printing of my Twitter pages isn't loading the ads anymore... I am wondering if my efforts are getting published at the real website... I have a lot of problems with my computer, and other websites.  I have heard about crooks and their pretend websites...and those who recreate the internet experience to steal.  I hope I am not another one of their victims.

I am still thinking about housing issues and poverty...and my own life experiences, and the problems that evolve with family and friends and others.  The church does a lot of things for poor people, but everyone has their motives, their ideas of what is wrong with you, and how you should be in order to "succeed."  I have tried to find different kinds of help as I went through my struggles...it's really hard to fit into the options that are available.  That is why I wanted to make something different... and that became Working Together.

No one can solve every problem.  I hate the waste of money when everyone tries to do the same things but for their ministry.  I was trying to find a way we could join forces and begin to build local resource channels.  In the End Times, the needs will be very great...they are just starting to be critical.  I finally decided the local Christian Mission was the way to go.  If we can focus our efforts on making the missions ready for persecuted Christians, it will become the place to turn to.  I am assuming that the facilities will get better, too... sorry to say that is a reality.

I hoped to get the partnership help I wanted by establishing an office near the local mission in Eugene.  When my own finances led to eviction and moving to Portland, that became even harder. It isn't the view of the traditional mission.  I don't know how much time we have left, but my own experience tells me that we aren't ready for what is coming.  I'm not going to be here much longer so I have been trying hard to find a way to do as much as possible before I die.

I hope you will tell other Christians about my quest. 

And I hope you will start with a single purchase
at my GIFT gig (fiverr.com/work2gather). 

The amount of money GOD provides is how I decide what I am able to accomplish.  It is hard to have nothing, but I know there is a lot of spiritual war going on within and outside of the church.  Whatever GOD is doing, He is reaching the people He wants to reach.

9 JUNE 2015 :: Budgeting to reach your goals, including housing.

We talked about budgets in my housing class today... in the process I brought up some of my experiences with budgeting and things I discovered over the years of my efforts.

It's hard to think about the past, to remember the struggles we lived through, to feel that all the hardships, and efforts, and plans, haven't led to the goals I hoped for.  Now that I am a senior citizen (in retirement), I wonder how much time I have left.  Will I be able to at least start the dreams that matter to me.

Budgeting is just one part of goal making.

Money has always been the main issue in my struggles.  Finding the right solution to overcome my money struggles has also been an ongoing problem.  I have tried a lot of different ways to overcome my financial issues, but they didn't succeed.  I think lots of other poor people have tried desperately to solve their financial problems and didn't succeed.  No one sees these efforts, they only see the result, and think that poor people don't try to help themselves.
When you are poor, budgeting is the only way you can survive (without committing crimes). I shared with my class that when I was receiving Welfare payments as my only income, I would have to work on my budget for two weeks just to [try to] figure out a way we could survive. I shared that poverty is one L-O-N-G deprivation, and you eventually have to find a way to care for yourself as you struggle.

You can't budget anything if you don't have an income.  When that happens, you have to do your best to live through the consequences...which always leads to eviction and homelessness.  No income source leads to a bunch of problems, and they become a new hurdle for your future

The housing class I am taking is about overcoming the problems evictions and criminal histories and disabilities and other situations cause in the search for rental housing.  Budgeting to make sure you cover your bills is one of the class segments.

On my way home, I stopped to check on the offices of another local housing program.  It was one of the local programs that help people purchase their first home.  It wasn't a regular office so I thought it might just be an administrative location. You had to ring a bell to have someone answer the door.  In the conversation I had with the person at the reception desk, I learned that their minimum income requirement was $24.000/year.  I assume that is gross wages (before taxes).  I would like to see ownership options for homeless populations and people who make less than a bank would approve.

I suppose we need to break that $24,000 down to something more understandable, like $2000/month or about 40 hours/week for 4 weeks at $12.50 an hour.  I wish my body could handle that kind of workload every week... I have trouble getting through each day, especially if I am active.

I have no idea what their program provides in housing choices...I only learned the amount I would have to be able to verify to qualify for their program.  My rental housing class (and the government) use a housing percentage of 30%.  If this percentage holds true for the ownership program, and the NET INCOME for $2000/month is estimated at 75% after taxes ($1500), the housing budget for those program participants would have to be about $450/month.  I haven't read about many house prices that would equal that price... most payments for a regular house loan are in the thousands.  If you need to pay a $1500/month mortgage, and you use the 30% budget estimate, your income would need to be $5000/month.  ---   I will need to check on the ownership program/s more deeply.

I also told the reception person that I have already taken a similar home ownership class in another county, but it was many years ago.  I wondered if it would still qualify for their program. I was told they are good for two years...and don't transfer within the state.

I mentioned to the person at the reception desk (and the two people sitting there listening) that I was interested in home ownership options for homeless and lower income people... people who don't make that much, like myself.  I asked if anyone is already operating a program like that in the area.  None was mentioned.

Housing problems are not just about affording a payment.  They involve education and training that create wages, they require a job that doesn't disappear over the life of the loan, and they need flexibility for the people living in the housing and their life situation.  Ownership allows more stability and growth for any family, but even ownership needs a financial partner that will help them through the life of their loan.

I have never believed the housing crisis had to happen.  Whoever owned those housing loans just needed to care about the people who lived in those houses and work with them through the downturn.  Many people had made their payments without problems until the interest rate became an issue.  No one needed to lose their home, the owners and the lenders just needed to help each other through the short-term problems we were facing as a nation.

I suppose budgeting wouldn't have helped those homeowners, but I hope it will help those who want to make sure their small incomes will meet all the demands of their lives...and build for the future.

8 JUNE 2015 :: Discovering the social media platform and other life issues

I spent almost all day on Sunday posting a wide variety of funding and topical messages for my Twitter campaign.  I have been trying to find out when the busiest posting times are on Twitter.  When I get online, I try to watch the waiting post numbers and then post my own messages every 50, 100, etc., or every so many minutes.  Because I was online a long time on Sunday, I ended up with almost fifty postings at Twitter and one post at Facebook.  I entered related prayer requests at my Christian teams on Etsy on Saturday.  Learning about this social media process is very challenging.

Now that I am trying to share my quest over a month-long time period, finding words to write is becoming an issue.  I thought about using the same statements, by re-tweeting, but I wasn't able to do that when I finally tried.  So, I am destined to write in my posts anew each time.   :-)   This is asking for money a thousand different ways.

When I shortened the character limit on this one, it made me think of the rock group...  :-)

needed 2 build 4 hardships ahead. Has called U 2 share $5 for its cause at

This one was an experiment in hashtags...another process I am learning about.  Next, I have to learn about the (at) sign messaging process.

This is in a way. Go 2 2 my gig to . $5 minimum, but U can more.

This is one of my messages about the purpose of Working Together without a request for funding.
-where will U turn if U must choose & turn away from the ? What does say of the ? - work2gather.us

I am trying to understand why some web addresses turn into links and others do not.  I add the http beginning to some.

This post focuses on the application to crowdfunding I am trying to make.

Can U see at ? I do. This is my effort to reach U with my financial needs and share my story.


Each day is a different schedule for me so I will be able to try different parts of the 24-hour clock. It is really hard to keep asking for money like this.  I haven't been this active as a "fundraiser" before... I tend to "put something out there" and then see what GOD does with it.  This Twitter campaign is about the only "marketing" budget I have.  I hope GOD blesses it so I can begin to accomplish some of the goals I have been developing for myself and for Working Together.

My housing class is progressing.  I am trying to see myself in a place I can actually live and grow and build in...but I think I need to buy a house rather than rent.  The rental contract doesn't allow anyone to help others, even their own children.  This is one reason I think promoting home ownership is the best answer for many homeless families and individuals...including creating coops, creating partnerships, creating small homes that are affordable and keep people out of the elements, creating campgrounds that act as permanent housing for those who want to live outside (or cannot keep a traditional home because of their addictions or other issues), and more.   If someone's only income is Social Security, they can pay on their mortgage as easily as they can pay on rent...but they will be building an income for later...and not be kicked out of their housing again.  Stability is the most important thing.  Ownership gives people, individuals or families, stability.

In my housing class the focus is on spending and saving, setting goals, trying to overcome the problems that the past brings into the future, and building a better life.  One of the assignments is to keep track of your spending for one week. I have done this in the past and it was very pivotal in my self-help efforts to change my bank account balance.  :-)  That was many years ago, but the process keeps going.

My life wouldn't fit on the page that the program provided, so I made my own. Then I adapted my design for general use.  I am hoping that it will eventually become a useful tool for many.  One of the pages I designed became a great reflection of goals and keeping track of your spending on the way.  I will be trying it out as soon as I can.  I have found that what I design doesn't always work right when I start using it to record real numbers, so I try to use my creations and make sure they function well.

This all reminds me that my regular schedule is totally out of control.  I will need to update the best I can and hope that it all gets back on track soon.  I really need more space... one small room just doesn't allow the activities I need to accomplish.  I hope you will pray for my great needs...and then go to my crowdfunding gig and contribute.  :-)    Thanks.