18 JUNE 2015 :: Moving toward the future

One more week for my housing classes....

I mailed off one letter to the management company that handled the apartment I was evicted from.  I am trying to get an update on my status, to find out why they didn't respond to my past efforts to contact them, and to see if I would be eligible for some subsidized units they handle.  :-)  It doesn't hurt to ask, right?

I have some other letters to write and mail as soon as possible, too.  This weekend I want to try some of the online applications and check on some websites just to see what is available, what the costs are, what the qualifications are, and anything else I can find that will help me see one or more solutions.

I don't know whether I will "qualify" for the Certificate by the last class... references are one of the requirements.  I may take the class again, at another location, to see if it is any different.  That would give me enough time to get all the pieces together. 

I wonder if I would get double the benefits.....  :-)

The Salvation Army Senior Center I have been going to while I take this class had their monthly Rummage Sale to day.  I had to break my budget this month to go to the regular Salvation Army Sale Day yesterday (looking for clothes, but you know what happens once you get there!) and then to the Rummage Sale today (because it only happens once a month). What is the financial damage to my budget?  About $10 for the Salvation Army Sale and $5 for the Senior Center.  Not much in dollars, but it messes up my planned budget...and that makes a problem for next month's budget.

I am getting better at figuring out what to include and how to keep from spending what I need to save. I get better every month because I discover ways to improve my situation.  In the future I will just have to include these sales or not go.  If I don't do something else in my plans, if I go without something that is already in the budget, then I can go to these sales without causing any financial problems in my budget.

I have less than $400 a month to do all that I need to do.  Ten dollars can be a big expense when there are other things that are more important...including the desire to save for the future I have left.

One of the articles I was reading from fiverr.com (I think that is where it was from) said the most important two hours of the workday are from 10am to noon...and that those are the hours most people send their emails, and other communications.  (I thought about Twitter...  maybe I should try to post those hours!)  My emails have the arrival times so I will have to look at them and compare the article to the ones I get.

It also shared the reality that everyone has too many things to get done in their day... I am not alone!

I am getting my plans organized. 
  • I printed off my listings at work2gather.etsy.com so I can make them better, get the text right, take and upload better photos, add more listings, etc. 
  • I am getting my lists into my wallet so they will always be handy (not forgotten at home). 
  • I am reducing my food portions so I can eat better and get skinny again... hopefully... because I am also working on my exercising plans.
  • I bought some of the food storage jars I have been wanting for my pantry supplies and will try to get them filled for emergencies.
  • I have decided to focus on ARTWORKS  F I R S T  because I have enough art paper already, enough paints, enough picture frames to put them into, and I need to make more space for future plans-in-progress. 
Make sure you watch my etsy store for my new works... by next week I hope.  Time always gets away from me so I need to allow more space for my claims.  :-)     Making definite timed plans are always a challenge for me.  Something always comes up, I get distracted, or something.  For several years now, I have been trying to figure out good SMART goals for myself.  I always get derailed by the time limitations.  I keep moving in that direction, I just don't get there as fast as I would like to.

I hope you do better than me.

17 JUNE 2015 :: Criminal History

Continuing my saga about my housing class...  I went to get my required Criminal and Civil records at the local county courthouse today.  Prior to this class, I had no idea that it was possible to locate all these records about myself and others.  I am already trying to decide how to incorporate OJIN (Oregon Judicial Case Information Network) into Working Together programs, for employment, prison programs, housing, and other planned activities. I added the link to OJIN so you can check it out for yourself.  Everyone else will have this information about you.

I didn't go online to gather the files myself. I received them from the human person behind the counter.  I don't know what my file says yet... I haven't been able to get to it.  All I know is what I was told :: that I didn't have a criminal history or any civil court historical records attached to my identification information.  The counter person also added that there are many records under my (very generic) name that could be mistaken for me. -- I think that is how it was explained.  I am going to examine the papers I was given as soon as I can.  I don't know what I will find.

When I went to the courthouse I had to go through the security system.  I haven't done this in years, seriously.  It won't be part of the information gathering process when everything gets online, and that will be a benefit. 

I have taken to getting around with a small wheeled cart for shopping. Mine holds two separate paper grocery bags that I put into doubled plastic kitchen trash can sized bags.  These help protect my things from dirt, rain, and other things that I may have to walk through.  I forgot about going through the security station with my cart.  It gave me a small view into what it must be like to go through airport screening, which I also haven't done in many years.


Another fun thing I did today was to look for clothes again -- at the Salvation Army 50% off Sale Day (every Wednesday).  It is almost my most favorite thing to do.  I was tempted to spend a lot more than the $9.75 I had brought with me...but, I am glad to report, I put the extra things away and kept the most important treasures I found.  I am especially fond of a wood  office thing I found that has 31 separate sections for the days of the month and two small drawers  at the bottom.  I LOVE IT!!!  :-)   It is something I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.  I wish I could spend more money, but I am working on my budgeting skills (discipline) so I need to get better at not spending money even if I have it with me.

I have to do as many of the chores and activities I need to get done on the days I purchase a bus pass for any reason.  Having to go to the courthouse required buying a bus pass, so I also went to the main USPS site downtown, and for the elusive restaurant supply store that use to be in that area somewhere, the one I can't remember the name of, and can't find in online searches.  On my way to the Salvation Army store I stopped at an Arby's so I could use my coupon for mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce as a treat for me.  If I was healthier, I would have done more, but that was enough for today.  I had to rest after I finally got home.


When I think about the future of Working Together, it is always currently linked to me.  It's life hinges on my ability to hire myself and others, to sell memberships, CORD listings, and other products for my own survival and for the survival of WT.  I don't know where GOD is taking either of us, but I know there are hidden reasons why GOD does what He does.  It looks like I have failed, but there is no failure with GOD...we just don't see all the things that are being accomplished.  It is like the years we spend in college.  If we look at them one at a time, it doesn't always seem like anything is happening, but years later we understand what was happening in those years.

The End Times will come whether I am alive or not, whether Working Together is built or not.  WT would help Christians as they encounter all the problems that are expected.  For whatever reasons, I haven't been able to gather the funds I kept trying to find.  Even in my ill-health and age, I continue to seek GOD and do my best to start the process...and to deal with the issues I have encountered on the way.  When I am gone, it won't matter about me anymore.  Those who live after me will have to find their own solutions to the crises ahead of us.

So, I better get to my twitter posts and keep trying.  :-)

16 JUNE 2015 :: Housing dreams with a subsidized life. :-(

Another day at my housing class.  :-)     I didn't finish ALL of the homework tasks I planned to get done, but enough for now.  I have 3 more classes until it is finished.  I don't get the actual Certificate, though, until I complete the class requirements, which is what I have been working on. 

Dealing with hard issues like evictions, lack of money, limited choices, and health issues can make the search for decent housing seem futile.  After these things continue beyond your desires for life, I think it turns some people back to drugs and alcohol, maybe even into crimes they wouldn't do otherwise.  It is a very difficult thing to be homeless, being homeless more than once is a major burden.  One of the reasons people turn to drugs and alcohol is to self-medicate.  People with addictions use their "drug of choice" to cope with problems they are facing.  Homelessness is a very complicated issue...and recovery takes time.  This is one reason I advocate for ownership programs for those who seem unworthy when you look through a bank application.

I was going through my class materials tonight... page-by-page... to make sure I get everything I need for the class Certificate.  My "to do" list is moderately long, but not too difficult.  It's like job hunting for a house to live in.  I have to figure out who to ask for personal references about my housing character.

Finding personal references is always a challenge for me.  For a variety of reasons (lack of income, health, work, etc.), I haven't been able to socialize much for many years.  I'm looking over my life and thinking who I should search for and try to remind them they know me.

Time goes by so fast...  It is nearly midnight and I haven't made even ONE twitter post for my crowdfunding effort.  I finally rushed off to get four done.  I may take care of my Wednesday quota after I post this.  I need some middle of the night posts (by my time clock) to make sure I try all the different times.  Somewhere across the globe, someone is suppose to be seeing my posts.  :-)  That's what I THINK, anyway.  Who really knows what happens to our posts?

I wish it was easier to survive poverty...that we all can be whatever life requires of us and scratch our way out of the pits we are born in... that we never had to deal with some of the issues that cause poverty... that answers were easy to find... that we came from the best homes, best families, best schools...... but we don't.

I think it was the News Hour on PBS tonight that had a segment on a school somewhere near the Appalachian mountains.  It was highlighting a young girl that was trying to get a college education so she could build a better life than her parents and grandparents.  It reminded me that there are still people in our country that can't read and write, who have drug issues, who do the best they can.  At the end of the segment, we learned the young girl has made it to sophomore level. In the photo they shared it seems she is doing well.

It is a great thing to have a safety net for people who don't have any other options.  As society has grown more cold and distant, more separated by miles and states and oceans, relationships have been lost.  The government has needed to become the "family" that no longer exists.

I hope I can find a way to a better life myself, and help others to reach their dreams.  I don't think being supported by tax subsidies is the best answer, but it is what some of us have to do.

If you can, support my efforts to raise funds for my survival needs and the development of Working Together.  Purchase one of my GIFT gigs at fiverr.com/work2gather today.  It starts at $5 and also offers other support options.

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.