We need funds to purchase a unit in a low income housing cooperative and moving money. My name is Benita (Bonnie to my friends). I have a 16 year old with autism. I am on disability myself. Sometimes there are things far more important than your own pride. I am putting my belief to the test that there are still people who are outgoing and gracious when an individual needs assistance. I live in poverty. I’m the individual that you know exists but remains invisible to the general population. I am humbly asking for your assistance in helping us rise above the constant struggle of living in poverty. My Paypal address is: [email protected]. (I sell what I can on Etsy, thus the name).
Most of you will probably not read any further. I agree it is an uncomfortable subject to discuss. I did not just become poor. It evolved slowly over a period of time. It wasn’t just one or two problems in life but a whole pile of them. I was gainfully employed for 30 years and then an unfortunate chain of events lead to my becoming disabled. I’m a Type A personality and a workaholic, so accepting that I was disabled has been extremely hard for me. Living on a disability check each month is not for the faint at heart. I also am a single parent of a daughter with autism and other special needs. Statistically, single mothers have an especially hard time getting out of poverty. Households headed by single mothers are four times as likely to be poor as are families headed by married couples. Did you know that children who grow up in poor families are far more likely to become poor adults? As a single mother, I rely on a network of support – disability check each month, friends (none locally), personal drive, ambition and a will to stay afloat. I don’t want this to be my entire life. I’m working hard each and every single day to make sure that my daughter eats, does her school work and feels loved. I’m trying to be the role model for my daughter on how to make her life what she wants it to be, how to achieve her own goals, how not to give up when it’s so hard that you have no choice but to ask for help.
Poverty also means isolation and when you have a special needs child, sometimes you are alone in the world to deal with all the problems. When an individual is poor, you are not just deficient in monetary funds but you are poor in every avenue: emotionally, support wise and family wise. While individuals today might have TVs and cellphones, they can be more disconnected than ever — from neighbors, work, family, all of the social networks that help people through life. I have no family or friends around me. What friends I did have, could not handle my status of poverty. I had no money to do things with them and little opportunities away from my daughter. My faithful friends consist of a handful of individuals which I have never met in person but communicate via the worldwide web. They may not know it, but they have been my strength and stronghold when I had none. I owe them everything.
The low income housing complex, Independence Square Townhouses in Independence, Missouri (http://independencesquaretownhouses.com/Home.html) is where we would like to move. It is clean and safe and the lease amount is half what I pay at this time. It is an amount that I can afford on my disability check each month. Currently, we live in a house on a street that is no stranger to police presence. There were 3 drug houses on the block while the 3rd drug house was previously located next to us. While they are gone now and I have decent neighbors, the sounds of domestic abuse, gunfire and general criminal activity is always present on a daily basis. The downpayment money for the units vary according to how much the seller of the unit is asking. Sellers of some units ask as low as $2,500 while the highest I have seen is $7,500. Of course, there is moving expenses and deposits for some utilities that would be incurred with a move. This is a viable and affordable housing option for us. Everyone should be entitled to a clean and safe environment in which to live.
It would be easy for me to say that I feel stuck in a never-ending cycle, constantly worrying what the next financial emergency may be that will send us further plummeting down into the dark hole. This year has not been kind to us. We have had unexpected emergencies arise which required immediate medical attention. We lost two of our beloved pets to old age. I had to let my supplemental medical policy and prescription plan lapse. By the grace of God, we barely exist. I have not been sitting idle though. I have some skills in the area of arts and crafts that I am able to attempt to provide us with monetary funds beyond my disability income. Our handmade shop is located athttps://www.etsy.com/shop/PersimmonPointe. We are trying to help ourselves as much as possible and in whatever way we have available to us. Everyone struggling, for whatever reason, to make the best of their lives is worth a little help sometimes.
On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union address declared “an unconditional war on poverty in America.” President Ronald Reagan on January 25, 1988, just 24 years later, declared “the Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.” Truth be told – that war was never “unconditional” nor has “poverty won.”
Please feel free to share our information with others who might be in a position to help. Any amount is greatly appreciated. If you would rather purchase something from our Etsy shop to go towards this fund, we thank you in advance.
Benita “Bonnie” Blair
I write in a journal each day to help alleviate stress. I thought I would share with you some of the items on our “wish list”. We feel that this may provide you with insight as to our appreciation for the basics in life, which many people take for granted. Enjoy!
Wish List for 2016:
School pictures of my daughter. For the past two years I have not been able to afford to purchase the school pictures of my daughter.
A can of spray air. I really need to see if I can afford a can this year. It would definitely be of great help with the sewing machine and I might add that the computer keyboard definitely needs cleaning.
Toothbrush. It has been at least 4 months since I have changed it out and I even suspect that one of the dogs may have chewed on it (bite marks on the handle).
Dental cleaning and care. My daughter had her braces removed over two years ago and I cannot afford to even get her teeth cleaned.
Shower curtain, liner and shower clips to hold them up (my items have seen better years!). The shower curtain is thread bare, the liner is falling apart and the clips are rusted. As a matter of fact, the shower rod is completely rusted over).
Washcloths (preferably one for each day of the week and don’t look like swiss cheese when I hold them up)
Lightbulbs. I have one out in the bathroom, two out in the kitchen, two overheads out in the living room and one out in the front room. I don’t care how many years they tout a lightbulb will last, the price is just too far out of range for a person on a limited budget.
A new set of towels. Not that I’m keeping track but I do have one towel from 1979, it has the Star Wars crew on it. My other towels are over 15 years old. I haven’t bought a towel in that long. Our towels have seen better days and being cheap ones, they have become threadbare.
A cooking spatula for turning meats in a skillet. I was given one last year but I apparently exerted too much pressure and it snapped. It was total plastic so maybe one with a steel handle will work better. Of course, that is assuming we have food to cook in a skillet.
A toilet paper roll holder that can be attached to the wall in the bathroom. The one that came with the house broke soon after we moved in. I have tried to fix it but the wall needs more repair than I am capable of performing plus one side of ceramic holder broke off.
A new mousepad for the computer. I still use a mouse and don’t plan on changing. The mousepad that I am using is definitely in bad shape. The top design part to it is peeling away and it sticks up and is quite sharp. I use my scissors to trim it back until another piece rears its ugly head. Pretty soon there will be no design on it and all that will be remaining is the bottom section. The mouse doesn’t move on that part of it.
A pair of good scissors for sewing only. My kids have ignored me over time when I have said not to use my good scissors. They have cut everything from wire to tape and they are ruined. They barely cut thread now. For right now, I’ll use an Exacto knife.
Five 9-volt batteries. I need to put in new batteries into the smoke detectors. There is one for every room. Sometimes they will make that chirp sound and I hope and pray that they will last until I can afford to buy replacements.
14” x 20” air filters for the gas furnace. The filter has not been changed for months because I can’t afford air filters and I cannot make it down into the crawl space that houses the furnace. From time to time, my youngest son will change it out for me.
A twin size sheet for my bed that was given to me by my dearest friend in the UK. Right now, I have a comforter that she sent for us over the mattress and I lay on top of it with a piece of fleece fabric that I use as a blanket.
Five large spools of white thread. I’m at the end of the spool that is currently on my sewing machine. No thread, no sewing.
A long handled duster to reach along the ceiling and around light fixtures. The cobwebs in this place are amassing at a rate that would make any Halloween haunted house owner proud.
A staple puller. Am I the only person on earth still using a knife point to remove staples from papers?
An electric can opener. I have used a hand held crank can opener for years. My left hand is using its ability to function too well and it is getting harder to use. I’ll still keep my hand held one for backup though.
A new dog collar for Penny. She has had the same collar for the past 8 years and the fabric has worn off on the majority of it. She doesn’t seemed to be bothered by it but it is a constant reminder to me that I cannot afford even the simple things.
Vaccinations for the dogs. I’m overdue by a year on Penny. I hope she doesn’t go mad waiting for her shots.
Four empty spray bottles for filling up with cleaning solutions such as Clorox. I have been pouring straight Clorox from the bottle but I’m wasting so much of it. I’m also ruining my pants by accidentally spilling Clorox on them.
A piece of vanilla fudge. I remember this shop down in Dallas, Texas where they made their own fudge and you could go in and purchase as little of it as you wanted. Just a sliver of a piece would make my day. I haven’t had a piece of fudge, in any flavor for over 15 years.
Nails for picture hanging. I’m completely out of nails. When we moved here I had 15 nails and I quickly put them to use. I have been without nails since and have other art work from the kids that I could hang to cover the bare walls.
A new lamp with a stand to put beside my reclining chair. Currently, there is a lamp table combination that I took with me when my boyfriend passed away. I don’t know how long he had it before we were together. The light switch takes about 10 to 12 turns before you can catch it in the right position. It crackles and sounds like it is going to shock me but I figure the plastic knob will prevent shock. The table it is attached to has lost most of its finish and is definitely an eyesore.
A tube of Silicone Glove from Avon. This has got to be the best hand cream in the world or at least for me it works. The last tube that I had was over 5 years ago. I hope they still make it. Right now I’m using hand lotion that was given to me by my neighbor. It barely takes care of the dry hands I get during the winter time but something is better than nothing.