Recently, we have successfully defended against a “Termination of Parental Rights” attempt that was initiated by DHHS.
Instead of the dark forces that are rumored to exist in the courtroom, I found a troubled, but very forgiving system of checks and balances.
Just because DHHS has one opinion on a matter, does not mean the Attorney General's Office and The District Court is going to agree with them.
You can read about our experiences at Mainely Love: Beginning an Adventure
I have decided to publicly thank everyone involved with my case.
So here is: “Thank You Letter #4: AIO (Area Interfaith Outreach)”
AIO (Area Interfaith Outreach)
Dear AIO Volunteers and Contributors:
In spite of common belief, not everyone trapped within homelessness strives to be in their predicament. There are many reasons for homelessness; loss of a child or spouse, loss of a job, mental illness, or any number of circumstances that do not involve laziness or lack of motivation. Some of those homeless have the ethical and moral fortitude to achieve a home, but sometimes it is society that throws problems along the way.
My reason? Taking a job in Rockland that never opened for business. This company even gave me a $1000 sign on bonus. I was to take on a supervisory role in regards to utilizing advertising and social networking. I was in the middle of a transition, and was happy that I had a bit in savings that would help us. Little did I realize how grossly wrong things would go.
Firstly, the company never opened. I, being a constant optimist, understood the ins and outs of the business world, had faith that the company would open. I was thankful that I could afford to stay at the “Trade Winds” until the company would open.
Still, the Company Never Opened.
Another issue that developed was the need to find another job. The first thing I did was get a PO Box. I needed an address so I could have correspondence and pay my bills. I had ‘about a week’ to find new work, we had already stayed one week in the hotel, when I was notified by the hiring company that it would not open.
I must say that my resume was impressive, and it seemed no one had interest in hiring me. I had references from Microsoft, Sierra, Source One Business Systems, and many more. I had worked in the computer industry, even as a child. My first computer and software experience involved an Atari 800 XL (computer) and a copy of ‘Byte,’ with the game “Moon Patrol” written in BASIC.
Then I found out what the problem was. I had no “real” physical address. You cannot use a PO Box Number for a physical address on a resume. I had never even considered that would be an issue. It took me many months, sleeping in the Walmart Parking Lot, until a prospective employer notified me of that.
My bank account was sucked dry by the expenses of living in a hotel, eating out, and keeping my bills current. It had gotten to the point that I had no idea what to do about my situation. That is when we were told about “AIO.”
It was in the middle of a snowstorm in October 2015, give or take a month. We were living in my GMC Envoy, with 2 laptops, coffee maker, burner. I had attached an inverter, so I could power various appliances. I also had an emergency jump starter with an inverter for “back up.”
Most importantly, I had my printer and I had my resume. I had not stopped looking for work. Due to my packing arrangement, all my clean clothes, my suitcases, and my linens were lining the floor in the back of the Envoy. It was rather warm and hospitable. I could even serve a good cup of tea.
But…. the expense and upkeep when living in a truck is not all that one could imagine it to be. Our power and heat was dependent on the gasoline engine staying on.
One night of heat cost us $10 in gas, about 3 Gallons. One month of that would cost $300 by itself. Then, if you include $120 a month for full coverage insurance (at least my house and stuff is covered in my car), an extra $10 in gas to find somewhere inconspicuous to be, meals would cost roughly $15 a day (I am diabetic), $50 for my cellphone, $80 a month for a storage unit with more of our belongings, and many other expenses that I care not to remember. The business of homelessness is a rather expensive venture.
I want to “Praise” Area Interfaith Outreach for their effort, which was above and beyond that from the commendable “Hospitality House.”
Within weeks of contact with AIO, we were guided by them to “Ledges By The Bay,” where I was spoke with the manager of the issues going on, how we were homeless, how I lost a job that never started, how I cannot get a new job because of the address.
Immediately, like any excellent manager would, she gave a very good “per week price,” of which I am very thankful for. She informed me of various resources in the community, and (of which I am most gracious) she let me use their address on my resume.
To everyone at AIO (Area Interfaith Outreach,) I am deeply thankful for your advice. I am extremely thankful for your generosity. I am extremely thankful for your humility. At no time, did I feel “looked down upon,” simply because I was in a tenuous situation. I found their hosting most gracious. Most importantly, from the beginning, your donations of food to my family allowed me to afford the “Ledges by The Bay.”
Money that was/is diverted because of your charity, has/is allowing me to afford many a good thing.
Then, it was food, petroleum, a cooked meal, and contacts to help pull me out of the rut.
Now, I have a good economic foundation because of your charity. I have purchased my “soon to be wife” an apartment full of new furniture (of which she has never had done before.) We have successfully defended against a “Termination of Parental Rights” action from DHHS.
Most importantly, the kindness and faith that your organization exhibited every time I took Tricia to AIO have inspired her to Faith. She believes in GOD now, a big part because of your respect for us.
I would endure the hell we went through many times over and not have the same success as the “Fruit of your Organization’s Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faith.” Your organization inspired her to faith.
I make it a point to pray for your continued success against the beast of poverty!
“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah