April 18, 2007

Click - Part Two

Guest post by AlphaGirl

Blog Editor's note: In Click – Part One, AlphaGirl asks...

“As a single person with no family/personal resources, and who has humbled herself to ask for help, am I any less worthy because I chose not to reproduce?”
Click continued...

It sure as hell seems that way. A recent posting of mine with another online childfree community brought forth many stories similar to mine, and one young woman did email me off-list to say that she was in fact homeless. She had lost her job, and in short order, her car, her apartment, and her life as she knew it. I emailed her back and said I most likely wasn’t too far behind.

According to the United Way, Orange County, California has more than 34,000 homeless people; approximately 22,000 of them are employed, but their wages are not enough to ensure safe, affordable housing. So, they are either homeless outright, or “partially housed” in a shelter or in transitional housing.
The small Orange County beach town I live in has a rapidly-growing homeless population. How many of them are individuals who have slipped through the cracks of public and private agencies due to their “household size”?
Fortuna snapped her fingers, and these people went from productive citizens who hit hard times, to virtual throwaways in the eyes of assistance agencies and groups. Click. Anyone can be a month away from homelessness.

April’s rent got paid. By virtue of my final paycheck, and an advance on an already-bloated credit card line, it barely squeaked thru the bank, my landlord none the wiser. The rental market where I live is a death race: For every vacant unit, there are 10 prospective tenants. Tell a landlord you are having trouble, and they will price you out the next month. The check arrived five days late, with a late fee assessed. He was not happy. He is already renting to me at about $500.00 below market. Screw the other bills, they are going to have to wait. Apartment. Car. Hold onto to both.

May’s rent is looming. It is due in three weeks and I am terrified. I have yet to see any payment from EDD. Agencies are useless; they have made their stance perfectly clear. Childfree people are not worth their time/resources. Don’t get me started on “faith based” agencies. My nerves are shot. Well-meaning friends have offered prayers. As a devout agnostic with atheist rising, I can’t help but think that prayers are not going to pay my rent. I go through my days in a dry-mouthed, queasy state of anxiety over how I’m going to meet my most basic needs of housing and food. Any phone call, any recounting of my situation, and I’m in tears. A well-meaning conversation with my friend Maria ended in silence and tears. Mine were due to fear, and hers were due to abject helplessness. Her own circumstances prohibit her from helping.

The agencies and assistance groups have assumed the role of the goddess Fortuna. Have kids? You have our help. Click. Don’t have kids? Live on the street; you are not worth it to us. From visible to invisible. I can go from housed to homelessness soon. Click.

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Anonymous said...

Talk about grace under pressure.

Here's an idea on how to help. If any readers of this blog live in the OC area or knows someone who does, and happens to be a pet owner, put up your email here, in a safe way that spammers cannot get it, like this:

teri AT PurpleWomen DOT org

Let's put a spotlight on AlphaGirl's pet-sitting business!

Jess said...

I'm in the South OC, want to help, and have a large breed dog who sometimes can use petsitting. She's skittish but becomes a permanent "buddy" quickly if she's okay with the person.

jalter (at) dometrilogy (dot) com