To whomever reads this I am grateful that such a site exists and that I have the opportunity to, if nothing else, at least vent about my unfortunate situation.
It would more satisfying to say that I am a victim and lay blame at others but the truth is that every decision, however misguided, was all down to me. There have been some insinuating and unpredictable circumstances along the way but that does not alter the essential truth.
I was living in Illinois and had just been “downsized”. I actively sought employment but was unsuccessful. To make it more difficult, my knee started “acting up” which gave me a limp.This turned out to be a a huge deterrent which I could see in the faces of would be employers. This was especially frustrating since the employment I was seeking was in the technical help desk field and did not require much use of my legs.
After a few months, and since I was recently divorced, I decided to move back to New York. I have a daughter and was not going to leave if she wasn’t alright with my decision. It met with her approval and with the help of a friend, I moved back.
During this time my leg became increasingly worse. Finding employment was even harder than before. I decided to see a doctor.
The doctor discovered that I had gout. I would see him over the next few weeks to have my knee “drained”. The pain lessened somewhat but the limping remained. Because of this he told me that he thought that “there was something more going on” and had an X-Ray taken. The conclusion was that I had Osteoporosis.
Since finding work continued to be futile and unemployment had run out I had no recourse other than applying for and receiving Social Security Disability. This was to the start of my bad decision making.
Despite receiving this money, I still would have preferred to be working . After mulling over a few career possibilities I thought I would try voice over work. With the help of a friend I had a voice over demo created. I sent the demo via the internet with no results.
After a few frustrating months I decided, for a number of reasons, including my all time love of London and with the help of a lump sum SSI payment to move to England and attempt a career in either voice overs or as a “translator” of American to English for the BBC. I know this last one sounds strange but there is a difference in the language that could cause issues if not aware.
The first drawback was that the monthly SSD payments were essentially halved after conversion from pounds sterling to US dollars. This was during pre-Brexit time. Also, I could not afford the exorbitant London rent so I had to settle in Northern England which was awful.
Cost in England was too high for me so I had no choice but to move back to the US. I thought that New York would be too expensive since I had been living in a friends basement when I was there and this was no longer an option.
I am now in Portland, Oregon. I was here about 3 years when I discovered a site called NYC Housing Connect, which provides subsidized housing for low-income individuals such as myself. I have been on the list and registered with a few Apartments in Brooklyn but unfortunately having an out of town address is not helping.
I was well aware that since the apartments are set up on a lottery basis and that it could be awhile before I had any results. Under normal circumstances I was willing to wait however long it might take but those circumstances have altered dramatically and the need to get home is more severe.
This area has become increasingly dangerous. About a year ago there was a shooting a few blocks away. I have interrupted two drug deals in a public elevator as well as inappropriate behavior in the same elevator. There are discarded needles throughout this area and the apartment complex now has armed guards for security.
I will not say that I fear for my life but I do feel unsafe in this environment. My family and friends in fact my entire support system is back in New York. My income now consists of Social Security and two meager pensions resulting in approximately $2000 monthly. The apartments in my desired area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn range from $2000 to $3000 monthly.
I will not say I regret many of my decisions but do feel sadly disappointed. Now I just want to go back to New York and feel safe and at home.