Bipolar Disabled Female Cancer Survivor Seeks Grant To Help With Housing
by Cassandra Kelly
(Bronx, New York, USA)
I am a 56-year-old woman living in New York City. I have lived here all of my life. I live with my 30-year-old daughter and my Chihuahua, Dixiee, which is my baby.
My parents and brother are deceased. I am estranged from the rest of my family due to personal family issues.
I worked from the time I was 14 until I was 45 years old. I was an executive secretary and sometimes worked as a legal secretary.
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In 2002 at age 45, I was diagnosed with Stage Two breast cancer on my right breast. The cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes in my right arm. I had a lumpectomy, and also a removal of the malignant lymph nodes in my right arm.
Then I endured six months of grueling chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation. In 2004, my doctor informed me that I was in remission. Thank God, I am still in remission at this time.
I have also been diagnosed as bipolar, which manifests itself with suicidal tendencies and depression.
I also have fibromyalgia, hypertension, vertigo, scoliosis, hypothyroidism and migraine headaches. I am legally blind in the left eye and I am a borderline diabetic.
Since I can no longer work, I have experienced much financial hardship. In 2010 my daughter and I were in a homeless shelter. Then we were given rental assistance, which would help pay a portion of the rent where we live now.
After six months, the program that was proving the rental assistance stopped due to lack of funds. We could not pay the rent. I struggled, but managed to pay back the arrears.
We are now facing eviction because the landlord does not want to renew my lease. He said that the program that was helping me to pay the rent caused too many problems. This matter is out of my control.
I took my landlord to court several times over this issue but have not yet received sufficient assistance. This whole ordeal was, and continues to be, mentally draining and physically painful. Due to all this pressure, I attempted suicide and was hospitalized. Financial Hardship
I cannot work and have not been able to work since May 2003. Since I had to fight for my SSD after being denied three times, I was awarded Disability in 2008. However lawyer fees left me with very little.
I receive $1,138 in SSD. My rent is $962 each month. I get $177 in food stamps per month. My daughter is currently laid off. I need a special prescription of eyeglasses, which my health insurance does not cover.Income Efforts
I tried to find work that I could do at home through the Internet. I don't have the money that most work-at-home programs require. I can only do light secretarial work for a short time.
Other than my daughter, I don't have family to help me. Due to my illness, I have very few friends. Specific Needs
I need a grant in the amount of $50,000 to pay for my rent, clothing, utilities, personal items and dental care.
I also need a SSI lawyer who can help me navigate through the legal system. I am seeking assistance to sue my landlord. I believe, that according to the Disability Act, it is illegal to evict me if I am disabled and he is taking federal money. Business Idea
I would like to start my own at home telephone answering service in which I can help small businesses with their overflow work. With this business, I could take phone sales and messages, set appointments, and handle their mailing campaigns.
To do this, I would need a computer with high speed Internet and a large screen monitor because of my eyesight.
I would also need office supplies including, but not limited to: printer, fax machine, telephone system, copier, stationery. I would also need clerical supplies such as pens, pencils, phone log, message pads, desk chair and filing cabinets.