Disability Grant Money To Help Mother And Autistic Son Avoid Homelessness
by Maralia Nance
(Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
I am a 49-year-old mother of one dependent son who is 33 years old. Neither of us has any military experience.
I am a phlebotomist, medical assistant and CNA. I have inactive Hepatitis C and seem to be pretty healthy.
I'm willing and able to work and just recently lost my job again and I have lost my home too.
I am not disabled, but my son is. He was born deaf (but can hear now) and with brain damage and was diagnosed as an infant with autism.
Despite his disabilities, he is high functioning and employable.
He works two jobs and is having a hard time with the changes that we are going through. Still, he remains pleasant and continues working through this to keep us smiling and together.
A year and a half ago lost my job and couldn't seem to get another no matter how hard I tried.
Amidst all this, we had our light gas and water disconnected and had to sleep at a friend's house for three months.
We also almost lost our house then, but I had a wonderful landlord who kept my house for me till I got back on my feet and caught up on most of my bills.
Things were getting back on track and I lost that job just recently. It wasn't a good one, but it kept us living even though somewhat paycheck-to-paycheck.
Because it was a very low-paying job though, I did start to fall behind again in my bills. Then they let go the last 25 people hired. I was one of them.
This time I had to leave my home for good because I was out of work. I was ineligible for unemployment because I was told I owe back money to unemployment.
I do get SSD for my son, which has been cut to $609 a month because social security says he was overpaid in 2004-2005. I wasn't able to pay everything plus rent and food on $609.
My son is only allowed to make a dollar an hour on his five day a week job and he makes seven dollars plus change on his two day a week job.
I put what I could salvage from our house into storage and we are now staying at a friends place in her living room.
We buy a bus pass and we share it because I was working weekends and only Wednesday night and my son works Monday to Friday during the day. We are improvising to survive.
The Autism Society had no means to help us financially.
Catholic charities have told us to keep checking back, as no funding is available at the moment.
The Red Cross gave us numbers to other places that may be able to help us.
Just Harvest can help me get food stamps as soon as I find a place and get an address.
Life's Work, which is where my son works, gave us more numbers of places to call.
Saint Vincent de Paul gave us some clothes and a food voucher.
Jubilee Kitchen will help us with the lights when I obtain a place.
Section 8 told me when I sign up I would be put on a one-year waiting list
We have been able to go to food banks.
I am applying for jobs all day every day even out of town as far as Ohio, which is where I plan to move as soon as I am back on my feet.
1. I need a rental home for my son and me.
2. I would like to find a stable job.
3. I would like to simply maintain our source of living, and to survive.
We want no sympathy, just a little help to get back on our feet and live in our own place again.
I would like to think about starting a business after I get my son and me stabilized.
If I'm lucky and the Lord permits, maybe having my own business will be a part of my future.
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