Grant To Help Accident Disabled Man Build Foreclosure Cleaning Business
by Robert Murray
(Garden City, Georgia, USA)
I am a 36-year-old single guy with no children. I have a wonderful mother and father. I also have one brother, and four sisters.
I don't take anything for granted. I love life and all that it has to offer. I understand that life is truly a gift.
I do my best everyday to forgive, love and live. I've learned that what doesn't kill you makes you live hard.
I was 32 years old when I became disabled. It was September 12, 2009. The day was bright, sunny and beautiful. It was a day that I would never forget.
That was the day that my life took a turn for the worse, spiraling downhill, with a series of events that I could have never foreseen.
I had shown up for work early, and in a good mood as always. I started and ran the Atlanta Georgia division part of our company.
I only had about an hour and a half of work to do that day, which only involved getting some paperwork together to send to the North Carolina office.
Since we had been having a few carjackings in the area, I had parked out front, by the security cameras. Usually on the weekends, besides the clean-up guy, I was the only one there.
Sometimes two or three of the import export people would show up to tie up any loose ends from the week before.
As I walked into my office, I had noticed that my drop box was full of driver's last minute paperwork. So I started right away. The faster I could get started, the faster I could get on with my weekend.
After about an hour into my paperwork, I heard that old familiar tune from the janitor. It was Ike, whistling his way down the hall.
Good morning Mr. Berto. Hello Ike, how is your day going? I asked. "Another day, another dollar, and we could use more dollars." Ike replied. I know what you mean Ike, I said as I laughed out loud.
You have a nice day Mr. Berto. You too Mr. Ike, and don't work too hard. He gave me a wave, and whistled as he pushed his cart down the hall.
Usually on the weekends, we would have a driver come down from the main office to get our paperwork. He did not call me this morning, so I thought he was probably taking a nap at his usual spot.
Since I was almost done, I figured that I would just take the paperwork to him. I reached in my desk and pulled out the keys to my truck.
Whenever I had a job to do for the company, no matter how big or small, I used a company vehicle. That way, if anything came up, like picking up an extra trailer or load, I would not have to double back to get my truck.
It was one of those "just in case" things. I was taught to always be prepared for anything. So, with my paperwork in hand, I was on my way.
While in route, I noticed that the traffic was minimal. It was a beautiful day with wonderful conditions. About two minutes away from my drop-off, I came upon the "rattler."
It was a really dangerous curve that I would have to slow down for. Since I drove this way almost every day, I was comfortable with this road. Therefore, I did not slow down much.
Once in the curve, I noticed a fast two-door coupe that zipped up behind me. The car came closer and closer. Before we could get out of the curve, the car started to pass me.
Since I sat up high in the truck, I saw the oncoming traffic in the opposite lane. I tried to slow down so the car could pass me. But it was too late. The car hit my front bumper trying to get over.
It pushed me about an inch to the right. Nevertheless, it was an inch too much. My right tire had hit the sidewalk at fifty-five miles an hour. I could not steer to the left of me. There were people walking with children on that side.
Somehow, from that one inch, I lost traction. It sent me soaring in the air, along with my livelihood. I have often heard people say, that during their near-death experience, they've encountered angels or bright lights.
Even though I know there have to have been angels with me, fact is I never saw any, or the light. It was weird in a way. Everything slowed down around me as if I was in a matrix of some kind.
I even had time to think. I thought about my family, and how they would feel if I never came back home. I thought, if I lived through this, would I still be able to function as I used to.
As my truck flipped, tumbled, and rolled, I wondered: was God really done with me. I could hear my bones cracking, but I could not feel much. All of a sudden, everything stopped. I slowly opened my eyes, and thanked God that I was still alive.
When my eyes came into focus, all I saw was blood and glass. I tried using my arms to pick myself up. I realized that I was lying on the roof of the truck. I tried to sit up halfway and look around for my phone.
That is when the real pain started to kick in. By that time, I could barely breathe. Moving little by little, I was able to drag myself out of the truck. That is when I truly realized how blessed I really was.
I saw my engine on the outside of the truck. The windshield was completely gone, and both fuel tanks were busted in half.
With each passing moment the pain got worse. I started to get dizzy. Looking around, I saw no one.
The other vehicle kept on going.
While I was trying to make my way to the street, a car had pulled up. It was a middle-aged black woman. She got out of the car and walked toward me with a terrifying look on her face.
"My Lord Jesus!" she shouted. Young man, are you okay? That's all I remember.
I woke up in the hospital. The doctors explained to me that all the bones in my chest were broken, some of my organs were torn, the gas pedal had gone through my ankle, my back was broken and that I would probably never walk again.
It took three years to have the surgery I needed to be mobile again. Now that I'm able to walk, I had to get a prosthetic leg. My right leg had to be amputated.
The doctors told me that since I was a diabetic my wounds were getting worse. I still have a number of conditions that are a result of the accident.
But I am so grateful that I even survived. There are so many that don't make it out of a situation like that.
Since my accident I have lost my house and cars. I didn't have insurance at the time, so I quickly went into debt. I'm still thankful though.
I was awarded Social Security Disability, with Medicare. I didn't work long, and most of the time that I did work, it was as an independent contractor. So I don't get much in benefits.
I just got my new prosthetic leg, and am learning to walk over again.
I currently don't work. I tried to apply for jobs, but was rerouted to the vocational rehabilitation program. I start that training in a few months.
It's a bit overwhelming though, because my bills total about $500 more than what I receive in benefits.
As far as transportation goes, that's hard most of the time. Getting around in a wheelchair on public transportation is rough.
My family help out when they can, but when they can't, I just have to work around the situation.
For extra income, I've been trying anything I can think of.
I've applied for jobs. The complications from the accident prevent me from being able to perform most of them, but I apply anyway.
I've been doing a lot of work-at-home research, and find that many are scams.
I was able to write a training manual on freight brokering. I'm still working on advertising that.
My friends and family have helped as much as they can.
I thought I had exhausted all possibilities until I found this site. So now I'm reaching out to anyone that knows anything about obtaining grants for help, or any other resources.
As I have mentioned, I have Social Security Disability income. It's simply not enough to live on. So now I'm reaching out for help.
I've been researching the foreclosure cleaning business. Some of the things I will need are:
I have already started just in case I can obtain funding. I have taken the test for the preservation companies. This is where your work comes from.
Once you have a business license, and your insurance in place, they will give you work orders.
I am currently working on a business plan, and hope to be finished soon.
I'm also learning the HUD guidelines tables. This will help in being able to price up foreclosure cleaning bids.
I have also found the contractors, or cleaning crew that I will need to get the jobs done. But I understand that my most important to do right now is a business plan. So, my next step is to finish that.