Becoming Homeless

The last couple years have been a bit rough, poor health, work slow, we lost our home in December 2003 right before christmas, a friend let us camp on 3 acres of his property for six months so we could get on our feet.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I am embarrassed, humiliated and humbled.
I'm a single parent of a great sixteen year old girl. I've always been proud of the fact that I've been able be self reliant and continue to make an income (about $1750.00 a month) after becoming handicapped 18 years ago. Due to poor circulation I have to elevate my legs for 2 hours midmorning and again mid afternoon, then sleep with my legs elevated. I take medication for pain that leaves me slow witted or just puts me to sleep.

I work from home on a commission basis helping to raise funds for local nonprofit civic groups. This is getting harder for me to do each day. My daughter works with me a few hours each week after homework and chores are done to make her own spending money. We raise a few goats for meat & milk, turkeys, chickens, a guard donkey & a twenty-nine year old horse, using all organic methods.

Over the past seven years we have hired hire guys from the local homeless mission to help out around the place. Sort of a “Fresh Start Home Base”. Non religion, and no drugs or alcohol allowed! Sometimes they only work out for a day, others that are really trying to better themselves have stuck around for months. They trade work around the place for room and board. Some have worked with me, fundraising, to build up the cash they need to get on with their life. We would like to continue this type of help for people. We just need to get a piece of property.
The last couple years have been a bit rough, work slow, etc.
One guy I hired worked for almost a year, built up my trust, then in Sept. 2002 stole my van, and some tools and took off. The cops still haven’t found him or my van. I guess I almost lost faith in people about then.

We lost our home in December 2003 right before Christmas.
A friend let us camp/rent ($200.00 a month) on 3 acres of his property for six months so we could get on our feet.
It took all of our resources to make the move. We carry in water, had a port-a-potty brought in.($71.00 monthly) We used a battery bank and inverters for 2 months until we put up an electric pole to get electric service. ($800.00) We use wood and propane heat.($50.00 monthly & 200.00 hookup).
Now we have a $600.00 car repair, medications $67.00 monthly, $355.53 propane bill, $107.00 power bill, $259.00 for the phone to stay on.
At the end of March 2004 the county notified him that his property was only zoned for a single family residence.
We received a 30 day eviction notice on April 6 2004.
My income is down to about $500.00 a month. I finally broke down and filed for Social Security. I was told this could take 3 to 4 months or more.
We have 2 fifty foot mobile homes and all our critters, with no place to put them.
I've contacted all the agencies that I can think of to try to get help. One agency offered to put us up in a motel. I told them that money could be used for better uses. They told me that was their policy and could do nothing else.

We found some property (20 acres) but need $500.00 down.
As soon as we get back on our feet we intend to continue and even expand on having a “Fresh Start Home Base” to help those others in need of help to get back on their feet.

Then about $300.00 per month for 15 years. We can handle that.
It's 50 miles away and my daughter will have to change schools. Now we just need to come up with the down payment and the cash to move again.

If you have a piece of property we could live on till we get our resources together, or some money you don’t need for a while, please contact me.
Help us out and you will have a place to visit and/or camp out in the big sky country of Montana.
Any ideas and/or help would be a godsend.

R.L. Grams
PO Box 9823
Helena MT 59604
phone 1-406-594-0620

posted by Rick  # 11:05 AM


04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004  

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