Justice and Advocacy · Personal reflections

The Logistics of Staying Housed

Every month, I get one paycheck for my creative work through Patreon. I write 6 or 7 days a week, usually about 500-2,000 words per day. This has been my habit for over a decade. I have written several books, none of which I found worth pitching to agents or publishers, merely the practice of a young mind discovering the world through a distorted lens. My writings are in Huffington Post and here on my personal blog. Rather than being employed by a company, I am supported by 59 people, more than half of whom give five dollars a month to help keep me and my partner housed. It covers about 70% of my rent. I am incredibly lucky to have gained so many allies in my recovery from complex trauma and exploration in writing.

Right now, I am fundraising to cover the other half of my living expenses through GoFundMe because I am staying home to care for my partner, Josiah, who is severely ill. Because I received a limited education as a parentified daughter in a large Quiverfull family, my only competitively marketable job options are in service jobs that would greatly increase Josiah’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. I have also done some freelance work, but it is unreliable as a form of month-to-month income. I have rent and utilities ($850) saved for next month from 100% of this month’s paycheck, plus what I’ve saved from Josiah’s fundraiser. I will need to raise another $312 before the end of September to cover October, and that’s with no frills, like rides to appointments and the pharmacy. I am surrounded by an incredible community that has reached out to cover everything and keep us making rent.

Thank you all so much. I am amazed by your generosity, and so grateful to be sheltered while we work through this.

I am among many, many people who are in the same boat and we’re bailing fast and it’s sinking, and more people keep falling in.

It is time that I open the door to the world I live in, where most of my friends and I, living with the scars of C-PTSD and various related physical and mental chronic illnesses, are struggling to stay sheltered. Not housed, not owning by any means, sometimes not even being able to afford to rent. The American Dream myth would have us believe it is our own fault, that we just aren’t trying hard enough, working smart enough, saving enough, investing or doing something else the right way. The truth is far more sinister: all of the resources are being funneled away from us daily while we fund the lavish lifestyles of the rich.

The housing crisis in the United States is about to become unfathomably massive within the next few weeks.

Humans naturally build shelter and gather sustenance. Both of these things are illegal, forcing us to depend on money, and we must find some way to pay people who already own more than we do. Evictions are resuming amidst a pandemic, and a “homelessness pandemic” looms. People have been running out of money for six months, and they don’t know what to do with their kids if they can’t put them back in school. Our lower economy is in tatters, while the upper economy serves as a mask for it.

My unsustainable solution to this problem for myself is to keep doing what I’m doing – writing, asking for help, taking care of Josiah. But I feel helpless to look out for my friends, except to share a lot of fundraisers and help spread the wealth around a little. Just to get us through another week, another day, another month, of paying for shelter. I can do all this, but I can also draw attention to the problem. That’s what I’ve tried to do here, briefly. Let’s discuss possible solutions, and maybe someday I’ll be able to tackle that subject with more in-depth research.