Saturday, June 12, 2010

Needing Help Please!

Things have not been good recently around here.   Chris and I just recently found out that our landlords must sell the house that we have been renting since October of 2008.  It wouldn't be such a big deal because normally tenants are allowed to stay until the house does sell.  Not in this case. They have asked us to leave by the end of this month.They are in the midst of a foreclosure and are wanting to sell asap and the easiest way to do that is get rid of the occupants so that it will be a smoother transaction for all parties involved. Except of course, US.  We didn't have a lease renewal so we were on a month to month basis and either party can give 15-30 days notice.   We have no deposit to look forward to because they only required a non refundable pet deposit. This leaves us with nothing to put down on any house we may find.  We may have first months rent but nothing more.  We have been looking and most renters now are required to pay security deposit, first and last months rent up front. That is a lot of money to come up with in just a few weeks.  A goal that we will not be able to make on our own. 
Our parents are all retired. They receive their social security and are budgeted to that alone.  They are willing to help as much as they can but the reality is, it will not be enough.  My biggest fear is that if we do not come up with enough funds that we need, we will be homeless.  And that idea has been keeping me up at night worrying and crying because I feel like I have failed my family and it just doesn't sit well with me.  I have never been faced with this kind of situation before and it's taking its toll on me.

I am physically, emotionally and  mentally spent. Not only has this been a huge blow to us, but financially we have been struggling as well. Mind you that we always had the rent paid before anything else because that is the responsible thing to do right? I never dreamed that it would come down to this.  With Chris' little unemployment check and whatever money I bring in and of course our son, Jeff, does help out a lot.  We we're barely making ends meet. But, we were still doing it. There was always a way.


I have never been the one to ask for people's help but we are in desperate need.  Please if your heart moves you to, would you please be willing to help us out?  It doesn't have to be a large amount. Even if all you can spare is $1 than that is $1 closer. I have implemented a donation button from paypal that is directly linked to my account. It is located at the end of this post and also on my sidebar at the top right.   I have never had to resort to asking people for money in this manner and even as I write this I feel like a total failure, but this is our last hope.  As it stands now we won't be able to secure another home without outside help.

**UPDATE**

I just wanted to thank everyone that has either left encouraging comments, emails and of course for those of you that donated already. I can't grasp the support that has been shown to me and my family and it really shouldn't boggle my mind that there are people willing to give so effortlessly. If someone else was in my shoes and if I had the means, I would not hesitate. But still, it is a very humbling moment when it is me in those very shoes.


For those of you that I have not commented back on, please do not worry. I have read all my emails and even though I have teared up through every one of them, I will answer all of them here shortly.

Some of you came up with very good ideas and suggestions, but I think some of you have misunderstood our plight. It is not that we can't afford our rent, albeit it has been very tight some months, we have always managed to have the rent paid. Our plight is that we do not have any money in savings to be able to move and in such a short amount of time. My husband is unemployed and has been for quite some time. The sole requirement to continue receiving unemployment benefits is to show proof that he is seeking employment. We have a One Stop Center in our area that helps individuals seek employment and he has been utilizing that avenue already. He averages about 3 days a week actively searching for work in and around our area. He has also chosen to go back to school to get a degree in his field. Although he may have plenty of years of experience, most companies now are requiring that you have the degree behind it. I have a very small cleaning business that is slow due to it not being in season (meaning most of my customers live up north for the summer and come down here for the winter months) I have a very small customer base that I do on a regular basis. Our son works and contributes most of his paycheck to the household already. That has been by his own choosing and I can't be anymore proud of him than I am already.

I know many of you have given advice towards just staying beyond the notice we have been given. We have thought about doing that also. But, to do so, we would still have to pay rent otherwise it would be considered a means for the landlords to go ahead and file for eviction and we do not want that on our credit. It's bad enough that our credit has been affected already due to the economy. We have consulted with an attorney that understood our situation but had no positive solution in our favor. It is what it is and we have accepted that.






30 comments:

Avitable said...

Mindy, I'm so sorry to hear that you're in this predicament. I believe that under most laws, you are entitled to at least 30 days notice, and you may even be entitled to more because landlord/tenant laws favor the tenant heavily. Don't let them kick you out until you're ready.

Anonymous said...

Times are tough 4 so many people. won't you get your first and security back from the current landlord? Put stuff in storage and stay with friends or family until you get on ur feet? Good luck! We r struggling here too

Mindy said...

Anonymous: Believe me when I say that I know that we are not the only ones hurting. As I said in my post, we did not put down a security deposit, we only paid a non refundable pet deposit. I have never heard of getting first months rent back and if all else fails we will be putting our stuff in storage but we have no one that would be able to take us in. In which case we will be homeless. Thank you for your concern and I am truly sorry that you are having troubles of your own.

thepsychobabble said...

A situation that many of us are in, or near. But that really doesn't make it any easier when it's you living it, ya know?
Hope it works out for you guys.

Audrey said...

Mindy,

I look into the landlord tenant laws in your state and plead your case with your local housing authority and see if they can't help you buy some time. In any event, what we can offer is small, but I hope it's something useful. I hope you don't mind if I re-post this to my Facebook wall and tweet it?

I'll be keeping you guys in my prayers and close to my heart.

Mindy said...

thepsychobabble: Thank you for your support. We truly appreciate it.

Mindy said...

Audrey: Thank you for the tip, we will certainly check into that. Your donation may have been small to you but to us, it is big. Thank you. We would greatly appreciate any help even if it's just spreading the word.

Laurin said...

I'm sorry to hear about your struggle. Here from Avitable's blog. I'm a neighbor to the north in St. Pete. I would keep calling on rental houses and apartments and let the landlord know exactly why you can't pay last month and deposit. It may take dozens of calls, but I believe you will eventually find someone who will take a chance and let you rent. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your predicament. I wish I could offer you something more tangible than my condolences, but my seasonal job just finished and I don't know where my next paycheck is coming from.

If it were my ass on the line, I would try to contact a social worker who deals with this stuff... sometimes they set people up in cheap housing, or regular housing using section 8 or whatever. It might mean you have to go on welfare, but it's only temporary, and that's what it's there for.

If that doesn't go through, worst case scenario, you and the kids might be able to go to a women's shelter, but probably your husband would have to go to a regular shelter. It would suck to split up the family, but better than being on the street.

Good luck!
Cat

New York City's Watchdog said...

That's a really rough situation you find yourself in Mindy, especially with such short notice. I would definitely look into the law thing again, because it's one thing to receive notice and it's another thing to vacate, which there might be a different time table for depending on where you live.

You should know that this is not your fault and not your failure. It's a failure of the government to protect its people adequately from financial predators. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and everything to be proud of for not just laying down and rolling into a shelter.

I hope everything works out in the end for you and your family

Fantastagirl said...

Mindy -

I'm sure you are already aware of the Sarasota Housing authority - but just in case - perhaps you would qualify for one of their programs, sometimes you have to be willing to jump through hoops, but maybe they can help.

http://www.sarasotahousing.org/about.php


Much luck to you and your family.

Geeky Tai-Tai said...

Mindy, please don't feel you've failed. This kind of thing can happen to anyone.

I know that the generosity of the blogging community will rally around you and your family. I wish you all the best.

Geeky Tai-Tai said...

Mindy, I wish that you weren't going through such a tough time. It's not your fault and you're definitely not a failure.

Already, I see that the blogging community is rallying around you offering moral support, cash, and some good suggestions for you to check out.

I wish you all the best,

Mindy said...

Laurin: Thank you for your kindness and advice.In the last week alone we have talked to at least a dozen prospects about our situation and would they please consider working with us on making payments to the security and last months. So far nothing, but we will keep trying.

Anonymous: A very close friend of mine works for the Sarasota Children and Families that deals with welfare and housing. They have a three year waiting list for people that need help to secure low income housing. We have already taken into consideration that we may have to split up and stay at homeless shelters.

NYCW: I feel the same way about our government but it will take a lot of beating down of doors to make anyone understand that what is happening is just plain wrong. Thank you very much for you encouraging words and understanding. It really means a lot to me and my family.

Fantastagirl: We are looking into any possible solution. Thank you for your support.

Geeky Tai-Tai: I know that I really shouldn't feel like I failed but it's hard not to feel that way. I just never thought this would happen to us. But then again everyone feels that way when it does happen to them. It's very humbling. Thank you for your support. It's greatly appreciated.

Dyane said...

Hi Mindy, I'm a friend of Kat's & have seen your kind & generous nature through her blog for a long time. I wasn't able to give you much, but I gave you everything I had in my Paypal account. I hope it helps a little. Good luck!

Muskrat said...

Y'all may want to look at Section 8 options, too, if you haven't already.
How much do you think you'll need for the deposit, etc.?

Muskrat said...

Whenever I hear stories like this (and there are several these days), I like to think of the brilliant policy makers during the '90s who decided everyone needs to be able to get a mortgage and that half of them should be sub-prime. So sorry you got stuck in a situation caused in part because someone decided to become a real estate investor with inadequate cash reserves. Not y'all's fault at all...

Tracy Lynn said...

Sorry to hear about this. Know that people are rooting for you. We really are all in this together.

Anonymous said...

I know what your going through had to go live with family the end of last year. It was a hard time but we got through it. Saved and borrowed money to get a place of our own. I dont know If I could ask for money for help on my blog though I guess I have to much pride for that. I must of gotten that from my Mom.. who passed away last Oct. But thats me I would help you but I myself is just getting back on my feet hubby just got out of the hospital for having congestive heart failure, lost my job while he was in the hospital because I chose to stay by his side. So now neither of us are working he is home and needs around the care so that means I can't go find a job. I think I read in your blog back in feb that you had renewed your lease but could be mistaken. Anyway I hope you get the help you so deserve because all I ever hear about you is good from Kat's blog. I also hope that your donation button gets you the money you need to get a place. Keep your head up and remember everything happens for a reason it really does and something good will come out of all of this.

Mindy said...

Dyane: I can't thank you enough. It's not the size of the donation that matters, it the size of heart that gave it! Your generosity speaks volumes to us.

Muskrat: I hear ya with the whole housing crisis! To be honest, We are probably looking at around 3,000 total to be able to move and that's if they do not require a pet deposit.

Semky said...

Mindy ... I just sent a few coins your way at PayPal. I don't follow many blogs or Twitterers (is that a word???), but Muskrat's one I do and have, so he's how I heard about you guys. You're gonna do fine!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so sorry for this! I don't have anything to give right now but I will write this blog name down and come back to visit when I get paid next week! Hopefully I can give you something then.

jenniferro10 said...

For you and your readers, we can use this as a "teachable moment". The fact is that the huge majority of homeless people in this country look just like your family- they are not pee-soaked bums in the street. They good news is that that group is also usually transitional (meaning: temporary). The bad news is that it can also begin a long term of unstable, unsuitable housing (near-homelessness or living in decrepit conditions).

Help now: If you have a Red Cross, St. Vincent's dePaul Society, YMCA, or Jewish Family & Career Services Center anywhere around you, call or go there. All four specialize in emergency situations like this. Typical help from these orgs includes a one-time help of $200-300 paid directly to a landlord or utility company, plus a decent-sized grocery and/or gascard (which means more money for housing that month). Also, if you have any medical expenses, you can also save $ on those by going here: http://www.freeclinics.us/. Ask about food pantries.

Planning for the long haul, so this won't get out of control and start a spiral situation: If you haven't already, go and apply for food stamps (which gives you a little more $ for housing). It will take a while (2/3 months?) but you are planning for the future. Also, if you qualify, put yourself on the Sec 8 waiting list. Where Moebes and I live, the list is 12-18 months long, and you are probably looking at the same.

REMEMBER (yes, I am yelling, but in a sisterly way): you paid your taxes so that when you needed help it would be there. In fact, it could be argued it is your duty to seek this help and utilize it to stabilize yourself so that you can "get back into the game" sooner rather than later. The research says this: If you wait until you need them to ask for benefits it is already too late. The sooner they utilize the public benefits system, the sooner a family attains equivalent re-employment, the more stable their housing is, and they are less likely to need help again in the next 24 months.

And finally: I know FL law probably does say what you have reported, but many states have also put moratoria on these sorts of actions, and many counties and municipalities have also. Check if there is any temporary protection available to you. That's not something you might find in your internet research- but your local housing counseling agency might know about it.

Lisa said...

I came here via Avitable, and just wanted to say how sorry I am that you're in this predicament. This economy has hit so many people so hard. I work in the construction industry and have seen so many of my friends and coworkers face layoffs and downsizing. It's terrible. I firmly believe that those of us who can need to help when and where we can. I hope you get what you need and find a place soon. Best wishes to your family.

michael moebes, esq. said...

I think you'll get $3k easily. Give it a couple days and see how generous folks can be.

Kat said...

Mindy,

You should know that people do really care, they will help as much as they can, even if it's only a dollar.

You've never asked for help before, you're always the one helping, so it's your time to get the help you need right now.
The blogging community comes together in situations like this.
You will be amazed and humbled.

Stacy said...

I don't have a paypal account, but would like to contribute what small amount I can. Id there a way to do it without a paypal?

Stacy said...

I figured out how to make a small donation, even without paypal account. I wish you lots of luck. My husband just got called back to work after being laid off for over 10 months. I wish your family the best, and wish I could have given more.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a similar situation. I've been renting this condo since 2004 and was only recently notified that our home is in foreclosure. Our landlord claims that he is in negotiations with the bank, but of course we do not know what's going on for sure. In the meantime we have been trying to downsize and get rid of the junk. We've found an apartment we like but of course the moving costs are enormous. We're still here for now, but in a "get ready for anything" mode. We too fear that there is a possibility of us being homeless as well. I totally understand your plight and the worry of the uncertainty ahead. I pray that you and your family will get the help that you need and find an arrangement that will work for you.

Rambling Rachel said...

I was just thinking of blogging about the few hours I was sort of homeless, how I felt. I can donate a little on Friday.