Earlier this summer, I wrote about my on-coming homelessness.
After I wrote that article, I went into gear getting myself on the subsidized housing list, getting endless notes and forms from my doctors stating my disabilities, my accessibility needs, the fact that it was medically dangerous for me to either go back home, or end up in a shelter, not to mention looking for a place to go. At the start of August it seemed I had a place, then less than two weeks later it seemed that it was not to be, then it looked like I had found a place not just for myself but for two others – but they received over six applications and decided to go with someone else. For a month, what I was going to be doing for housing kept being jerked around. My landlord agreed to extend the lease two weeks to at least give me until mid-September to find a solution.
In the end, I was left with moving back to the Niagara Area, with my parents.
For Subsidized housing, the wait time can be between 4 and 8 years. All the forms and letters I was told to get filled out turned out to be useless, because even though they had a specific date at which point I would either be living in unsafe situation a or b, they don’t consider it a priority till you are physically in those unsafe situations. Similarly, it’s not considered medically dangerous unless you are terminal or going to become terminal. Exacerbating an illness to the point where it becomes terminal doesn’t count, not at least until you are actually in the process of dying, at which point it seems a little late to prevent it.
I was scrambling to pack as much of my stuff as I could before the move. I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring most of what I had, and so I tried to make judicious decisions about to bring. This was made more difficult by the realization of just how much shit various past residents of this apartment had left behind. Every time I thought I was done, I found yet more stuff to toss or get rid of.
At first, I tried to post things on Buy Nothing. As the time of the move drew nearer, I started dropping things off at Value village. Finally I just started throwing things out.
My dad came up to help with the move. One of us had to drive the truck and the other my car.
When he arrived, there was still so much work to do. We spent the next evening working diligently barely making a dent. The next morning, we woke up very early and got to work. A friend of mine joined in to help us, but after an hour, it was clear we needed more help. Two more friend showed up throughout the day, while my friend called in a friend of hers to come help.
We worked all day, and while we made significant progress, the job seemed never ending. Finally, none of us could foresee actually being able to finish. I found out that I could pay a fine for leaving behind a few items, something at this point that seemed like the better option. Instead we tried to narrow our focus to just the essential things I needed to bring.
On my way to ask the landlord about the fine, I discovered that in keeping with my luck of the last while, my car battery had chosen THIS moment to die. My dad drove me in the truck to the landlords office, then after confirming that no one there had any jumper cables, dad decided to take me to Walmart to get a new battery.
We got back, and I set to trying to replace a battery for the first time. This is when I found out about a unique feature of Hyundai’s. While most cars have a lift out battery, Hyundai locks theirs in place. While they provide you the tool necessary to undue the battery connections, their kit does NOT include the tool necessary to actually remove the part that locks it in place.
After a few minutes of hysterical laughter, another aspect of my luck of the past years came up and I was helped by a kind stranger. A group of young men from the neighbourhood were passing by and while none had the socket wrench I needed, one of them did have jumper cables and a car. They hurried back home and got the necessary equipment, then helped me give the car the jump it needed to start and a quick drive recharged it the rest of the way.
By this point it was late at night and we were all flagging. My amazing helpers helped us pack up some last items, all of us tired. So much more ended up being left behind than would have otherwise been necessary, some things simply because I was too tired to remember that I hadn’t already grabbed it. A moment of inattention caused my bird coop to come crashing down and breaking. Luckily my birds were already safely in the car. Some things there just wasn’t room for in the truck, nor energy to finish packing.
It’s weird starting over again, just like it’s weird being back here again. Things are both different and the same. I don’t know how to fit in here. I never did and being away all that time didn’t help. I can’t just pretend not to have learned the things I’ve learned over the years, that I haven’t seen what I have.
For now I try to concentrate on the mundane: unpacking, setting up my room and my few possessions. Then I figure out how to rebuild my life once more.