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Chondromalacia Disabled Veteran Seeks Grant Money Help For Normal Home Life

by James
(Ruffin, NC, USA)

I'm a 59-year-old chondromalacia disabled veteran. I'm divorced with 5 adult children, 15 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild soon to be born.

On June 30, 1975, I enlisted in the United States Army with all the intentions of making a career of it.

My initial enlistment was for four years, but I was honorably discharged under medical conditions on October 6, 1975 with a service-connected disability of chondromalacia to both knees. This started when I finished my Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

I have tried (albeit unsuccessfully) since being honorably discharged to get my initial 20% disability rating increased to 100% because I have not been able to work a steady job since being discharged, and that's because the condition has worsened considerably.

I am unable to squat down, run, or walk for any length of time without being in excruciating pain in both knees. I want to work. I love working and doing things to help others as well as family, but I am severely limited because my condition has worsened considerably.

I recently had two surgeries: one on my right elbow, and the latest one to my right shoulder. Neither is service related. I am even more handicapped now because I am right-handed and cannot use my right hand because of the surgeries to that side of my body.

To top all of that off, in July 2005, I fell headfirst onto the concrete floor from a standing position after passing out from the heat.

As a result, I temporarily lost the sight in my left eye, damaged the C-5 and the C-7 vertebrae/disk. I can only turn my head to the left just a little because of the damage sustained from the fall.

Not being able to get/maintain a job due to my disabilities, I am forced to live on $1118 per month: $251 VA, $475 SSI and $392 Special Assistance Adult Fund (Social Services).

I cannot afford any transportation of my own because I do not have enough income.

I am forced to use food stamps just to eat; however, I can only qualify for $16 per month in food stamps because of the increases in my SSI check (from $451 to $475) and my VA Disability check (from $243 to $251) in early 2012.

I am on 18 different medicines. My co-pay is $4 for some of my meds that Medicaid will cover. I have to pay for the rest of them out of my pocket.

I am forced to use the County Transportation (CDOT) in Caswell County, North Carolina, and I depend upon friends to go places not covered by the County Transportation.

Most of the time, I am sitting in the house I rent for days at a time because I have no way to get anywhere.

I have to use a bedside commode, shower bench, raised toilet seat, shower wand and electric wheelchair.

When I was discharged from the Military, I was in a half-body cast on both legs, and once the cast was removed, I could no longer stand up because of the condition of my knees.

I was forced to use forearm crutches (Guardian 404) and have been on them the past 37 years. But with the surgery to my right elbow and right shoulder, I am once again stuck in this wheelchair.

I have tried earning money in any legal way I can. I do surveys (the pay is $1-$3 per survey), applied for jobs online only to be turned down because I don't have the qualifications for a particular job.

I have tried making occasional cards (birthday, holidays, etc. to sell), business cards, drawings, etc. Nothing works for me, but I keep trying anyway. I am trying now through this organization to get a grant.

What I need is a hand... not a hand out. I want enough finances to buy myself a home of my own so that I no longer have to rent.

I want to buy some good comprehensive insurance for myself and for the wife I hope to have one day.

I want to get off of Welfare, SSI, and I want to be able to (at least) feel as if I am making a contribution to the society in which I live.

I need transportation, food, clothing and Life/Dental/Vision Insurance.

At this time, I do not have any ideas as to any business I may wish to start. It is taking all I have just to live from one day to the next.

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Apr 28, 2014
Response to Senior Living Suggestion
by: James


Thanks so much for your suggestion on checking with the local Senior Living facilities here in my area. However; since posting my concerns, I am now the owner of my own home... no closing costs....no down payment (thanks to the VA), and my mortgage payment is almost the same as what I was paying in rent! I deeply appreciate your suggestion along with all the other suggestions that I have received. Take care and God bless you and your family.


Mar 24, 2014
Senior Living Community may be your saving grace
by: gn

You might get some relief in renting in an affordable senior community apartment home and take a few years to save up money for a home. They charge you by your income. You can usually make up to around $33,000 per year. Utilities are very low. These communities get money from HUD, so seniors can have some place decent to live. I would Google affordable senior living apartments in your town and see what you find. Best wishes to you and your family. There is a national program called NACCA. They help in home ownership. You need proof that you have paid your bills on time for 12 months. They pay for closing costs and attorney fees, and they don't charge for things in your loan as other banks and financial institutions do. They are always 1% less than what the bank charges. I would Google them and make contact.

Jun 28, 2012
by: James

Thank you for your suggestion. However, because I do not have ANY (not bad or slow) credit, it is proving to be an "uphill climb wearing greasy shoes" for me to find a lender that's willing to help me without my having a verifiable credit history. I always pay my bills in a timely manner; however, that does not seem to be enough evidence for any of the lenders that I have contacted. If I could get a grant to buy a modest home, nothing extravagant, my problems would be solved. The clock is ticking on my time to to vacate these premises.

Jun 28, 2012
HUD for rent
by: Anonymous

Can you look on HUD lists and get them to help you or get a loan to buy a house from a foreclosure on HUD list? If you are disabled sometimes HUD puts you on the top of list.

May 16, 2012
My own plight worsens...
by: James

My situation is becoming critical! Two weeks ago, the family home that I rent from my sister will no longer be my home as of December 31, 2012. My sister is evicting me; not because I have failed to pay my rent on time, every time, for the past three years, but because I cannot afford to pay the increased amount she is demanding from me beginning January 1, 2013. I need help, and I need it now! I will have no choice but to become a homeless veteran unless somebody helps me to get the grant money that is so desparately needed so that I can buy me a decent home to live in. Please, somebody... help me!!!

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