Wed 25 Nov, 2015 05:27 pm
I've applied for public housing (90-day process period), every shelter that I can (on every waiting list), and I'm not part of a church congregation so I'm having a hard time finding help for my family (my domestic partner, 19 year-old partially blind daughter, 17 and 15 year-old daughters, 13 and 12 year-old sons, and a small dog.)
After receiving promise and making plans with my aunt and uncle of work and a place to stay in Oceanside, I handed in my 30-day notice to my landlord on May 11th. May 12th I'm rushing my daughter to the ER, her right pupil not responding to light and eye pressure 96 (normal being 15-18). 12 hours later we're told her retina had fully detached. May 13th I take her to her follow-up appointment where the doctor orders test after test to find out what caused her rapid retinal detachment and refers her to several specialists. Nothing.. It is now November and there is still no word on what happened, and now her left eye is beginning to show similar symptoms. So for now, all the doctors can do is "make her comfortable" and wait for more test.
I wasn't able to take back the 30-day notice. Everyone was still excited for Oceanside but it was a long month of doctors and packing. After all the test failed and it was proved nothing could be done for the eye, she had an enucleation surgery and was later approved for travel, and so we set off for our new home June 6th.
Arriving safely in Oceanside June 7th, we loaded everything into storage and returned the U-Haul, ready for some much-needed rest and job interviews first thing Monday morning. But it was then the empty promises my family made came to light. We ended up homeless, sleeping in the car at rest stops, and looking for whatever work we could find ourselves. Desperate for a place to go, my partner's family (in San Francisco) offered to take us in. Two days before heading out though, they call again telling us not to come. So still stranded, July 1st comes and I'm driving when I hear a terrible grinding sound coming from the car. Turns out the front right brake failed and the estimated repairs were beyond what I could afford. So homeless, jobless, and no car to get around, things seemed bleak. Thankfully, my partner's parents call again, saying they've changed their minds and we are welcomed to come. We ended up donating our busted car to the repair shop to waive the storage fee, and with help from a friend we rent a new one and head up to San Francisco July 2nd.
Things there started off well. My partner got a job, my kids were in school and learning a new language (as my partner's mother is Laos and doesn't know English very well), and my eldest daughter was slowly recovering from May. It was a cozy home but it was a home nonetheless. My daughters went to the same school as my partner's younger sister which was wonderful until my partner's mother made them responsible for her, blaming them whenever she lied about where she was and was late coming home. Things continued downhill from there. My partner's sister resented my children for not lying for her when she wanted to sneak out or fool around after school, and that caused her mother to also dislike us because she believed my children were intentionally upsetting her child. As more problems arise, so did truths. My partner's mother confessed that she only invited us there for rent and to watch her daughter, and that she not only disliked my children and I but didn't approve of my partner and our relationship, insisting that her child should have married younger and someone with money. So we make plans to leave on November 1st, the soonest we possibly can.
We end up ferry/bussing it back to Sacramento with everything we can carry on our backs/in our arms in tow. Catching the last ferry, we had to spend the rainy night under an awning. November 2nd, we catch the first bus we can and head for Sacramento. Using what little money we had left, we rented a car to make getting around a little easier for two more days as my daughter had another appointment. A dear friend, and our last resort, opened his home to us until the 24th, which is when his wife would return from her vacation and he'd have to ask her if we could stay any longer until we found a home or shelter. Well she said no and here we are — on the streets and desperate.
I need help. I need a job to get a home, I need a home to get a job, and I need a job that allows me the flexibility to take my daughter to her appointments. She sees a specialist in San Francisco and her doctor in Rancho, Cordova frequently. I have to transport her to her appointments but I can't leave my kids wandering the streets all day, waiting for us with our belongings.
If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. I feel as though I have exhausted all of my options. It's been down in the 30's the past few nights and only getting colder. I'm tired, my partner is tired, the kids are tired but I still see that little glimmer of hope in everyone's eyes.
It is my understanding that the Mormon church might help or point you to help in any case.
Your kids should not be wandering around all day long; they should be in school most days - at least the 12, 13, and 15 year olds. Contact your children's mother and see if she can take the kids. The state should be involved if your children's mother cannot be. This is where you go to social services - I'm sorry if it splits you up, but your children need food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. You can no longer provide these things. This is what the temporary foster system is for - it's to keep children from starving. Swallow your pride and contact California Foster Care: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/cdssweb/pg59.htm
For additional information, telephone toll-free at 1-800-KIDS-4-US
Truth is, I'm surprised no one's called CPS on you already.
Give the dog to a trusted friend. Sorry (and I'm an animal lover), but the dog's an anchor weighing you down and is likely shutting you off from housing opportunities.
Make it just you and your partner and things will be easier or at least they should be faster and you will not be worried about so many people.
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