I will start of with our current situation. My husband and I our currently $10,000 behind on our rent. Now, I know many of you will say, “Oh my gosh!! How did you let yourselves get so far behind?” I will explain everything, I just ask that there be no judgement as I thought I was making decisions that were best.
I will give you a peek into our current lives.
I am a mother of three, ages 15 (on the 27th), 13 and 11 (tomorrow, the 13th). I am currently 33 and my husband is 44. I work at our local hospital as a CNA, 24 hours a week. I do plan on picking up more shifts now that school is coming to a close for me. Yes, I am just finishing my third semester of a four semester RN program. I only have one left, graduate in December and then it’s off to take my NCLEX-RN. Hopefully.
My husband was laid off from Walmart, he was a greeter, in February. The thing is he has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is pretty bad for those of you who are not sure what this disease does. He had his hips replaced in his 20’s and has had both of his knees done as well. His shoulders are shot and need to be replaced now too. He can’t lift his arm more than 45 degrees. He struggles to wipe after going to the bathroom as well. His elbows also are fused so he cannot turn his hand palm up. He has multiple spots in his spine that are fused and his spine is curved. Before you ask, yes, we applied for disability. He was denied because he can still use his arms and legs. Granted not well, but he can. We are appealing.
Next, my two oldest are amazing and really help out a bunch. My youngest, my son, has a disease called Bartter Syndrome. His kidney’s do not reabsorb potassium, and for those of you who do not know–potassium controls everything inside your body. Everything, not a cell inside you can function properly without potassium. Sodium as well, but his sodium is only slightly low. Mainly, he lives at about 2.5-2.7 for a potassium level and normal is 3.5-5. That is considered a critically low potassium for everyone else. The main thing that potassium controls is our hearts pumping action. Low potassium can mess with the rhythm and prolong the QT wave. When this section is prolonged there is a risk that one beat will begin before another beat is finished and can cause a fatal arrhythmia. His QT wave does get prolonged when his potassium falls below about 2.1-2.3. He takes 30 20 mEq potassium horse pills a day in addition to a few other medications. He has secondary failure to thrive and weighs only about 56 lbs and is only just barely 4 ft tall. He is seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN every six months.
Okay, now that you understand our current situation I will try to sum up how we got here.
Our rent is $800 per month and we were struggling about two years ago trying to make ends meet with both of us working. We were the epitome of the working poor. We did not qualify for any financial assistance through any government agency. No food stamps, no rent assistance, no energy assistance. I also pay for ALL of my utilities as well. Anyway, I was thinking how much I always wanted to be a nurse and how I had made dumb decisions in my past. Working as an RN I would actually make a living wage too! How exciting!! Maybe… been struggling for a long time!
So I leave my full time $11/hr desk job at a company that couldn’t always pay me on time for a nursing home with assisted living apartments attached. I made $12.50 and was part time (was able to pick up/be mandated enough to work full time). They paid for me to get my CNA license and I moved over to the care center after five months. I worked there for a year while I took my TEAS (entrance to the nursing program) and became accepted to the nursing program where I live. I then decided to apply at our local hospital because I wanted to have the experience and to learn as much as I could while attending school. I worked 32 hr/wk up until this last March when I could no longer keep up with the course work.
Okay, now for what went wrong. I went to school a million years ago during my first marriage and racked up a hefty bill with student loans. Because of that I no longer could receive financial aid through the government. So for the last two years (a semester of pre-req’s) I have been paying $400/mo to my landlord (rent is $800) and now since my husband lost his job nothing. I kept telling myself, “things will get better when I am an RN.” We now qualify for assistance, but that takes time. We made too much money in March, so we received no assistance in May, and I am unsure just how much we will get in June. The work force center will pay for my last semester of nursing school, but I can’t go if I am homeless. I have no family in the area–I am in MN and my husband’s family is from CA and FL. Our only option is to move to Florida if we are actually evicted and I am not sure if my program will transfer to a school in the area. A gal I work with said her program from FL didn’t transfer to our program here in MN and she had to start over. I will if I have to, but I would rather not. We are also on the list for the MN housing authority’s choice voucher program. We just need this help to get us through so that we can be productive members of society once I graduate!
I really hope you all can look inside yourselves and see that we are struggling and help us out. I am asking for the full amount of $10,000, however my landlord said anything towards that will help. He wants it this week, but If i can get the full amount within 21 days (usual amount of time it takes to formally evict someone) then I can stay.
My landlord is amazing and I know he is struggling too and wouldn’t normally evict us, though he has every right to do so.
Thank you to everyone in advance!!