Saturday, May 5, 2012

How the Economy Changes your Home

What happens to your identity if you are homeless?  We all share what we are doing in our houses, apartments and  dwellings but do we think about what it would be like to live on the street?  I have friends that had to forclose their home and first moved into a motel and then a camper and then apt.  They ended up being homeless again and have their 16 year old daughter living with friends.  When I first met these people they had a lovely home in California and I never would have beleived that then years later they would be homeless.  They work but the husband got too caught up in the credit card and refinance game that they ended up with nothing.  I have had those things happen at my house and a lot of it had to do with my husbands and my estrangement.  Now that we are on the same "page" we are working on getting our financial life back on track.  Money doesn't make you happy but it's easy to say that when you have a home, clothes, food and all your basic needs taken care of and more. If you end up with nothing it's almost impossible to get it all back again.

To a round about way to get back to him.  I didn't have a $1 bill so I gave him a $5.  Before that Natalie was saying if he doesn't say thanks I'm going to be upset.  I think what really got her, besides the tears, was that he had a little dog with him.  We gave him the money and he thanked us and said God Bless You.  I don't give out money to every homeless person I see because there are just too many and I can't afford to.  How do you know they aren'this morning I was driving my daughter home after a sleep over.  We came around a corner and Natalie said, Mom we have to give that homeless guy money, he's crying.  We were in a town that has no U Turns and had to g going to spend it on drugs or alcohol?  We saw it that he needed the money more than us and I was proud of her compassion.  

My husband has been out of work two different times in our married life.  Thank God the 2nd time was just a few months but the first time, 1991 to 1993, was so hard.  We got married in 1988 and after a year or so we decided that I would go back to school.  After a year going part time I quit my job to go full time.  The week before I was to start school, full time, Kurt lost his job.  He sat me down and said I lost my job but I want you to stay in college.  Besides the entertainment industry the largest employer in Southern California is with aerospace.  There were a lot of cutbacks and many lost their jobs that made the early 90's recession worse.

In the meantime he did many long term and short term freelance jobs.  In 1992 we got a $6000 loan so we could buy him a Macintosh Quadra 700.  The computer was $6000 and then he had to spend another $2000 for software. Kurt is a graphic designer and if he didn't learn how to use the computer graphics he would have to change his career. Now we laugh at the amount of money we had to spend back then.  My computer needs to  be updated from a VISTA to a Microsoft 7.  It will cost about $200 to do that.  If I was still teaching I could get it cheaper, but I'm not.  Normally I'd just got out and get the stuff and put it on my charge card but we are trying to live the old fashioned (better) way of not using credit to get the things we need.  I can't use my scanner because it's not compatible with a  VISTA.  Ok..where was I...   My point is that you often need money to improve your life and it's frustrating when you have to wait for something that should be basic.

In the early 90's our Church was helping a huge Church, in Hollywood, to feed the homeless.  This was shortly after Kurt had lost his job and I went one time and he went a few times.  After that one time I came home and kissed my little apartment's rug.  I was so grateful for the home we had.  My 1160 square foot house, that I live in now, is a mansion compared to our one bedroom apartment.  We lived there for 9 years till we bought our house in 1997.  Since we were scared cause of Kurt's work situation it was too hard for me to work with the homeless.  Kurt and I did ok.  We knew how to stretch a dollar.  We never used a Credit Card unless we had to and then paid it off.  We got our house for an amazing price but our mortgage is much bigger now because of refinancing.  Looking back I wish I had done things differently but I have to live with what we have.  Like the saying goes, you made the bed now you have to lie in it.
We helped a group like this.

Our house is our home and is so much more comfy since Kurt and I got back together this past November.  We lost 10 years of our marriage but we still lived together and still coparented our daughter.  I'm not going to cry over past times because there were issues that he and Ihad to work out and are still working on.

I'm grateful for what God has provided and am working on improving my health and my finances.  I know that I will never be homeless because my family would take me in.  I would hate that because I'd loose my autonomy.

Extra Articles for subjects covered in this post:

Here is an article about why people chose to sleep on the street than live in a shelter.

The 2008 Financial Meltdown explained to a 14 year old.


1 comment:

Lisha @ 1house1couple said...

I often think about people in other parts of the world (and even here) when posting updates on my house. I always feel guilty for having something that's "too" nice. Like, "Why do I deserve it and not others?" I don't have an answer to that question. All I can do is try to help as many people along the way as possible.

My husband and I have struggled through this current economy downturn. I've always had it tough financially growing up. When I married Kyle I kind of thought we were going to be financially stable because we both had jobs. But I lost my job and he sells motorcycles off commission only, so when the economy went down, so did motorcycle sales. Things are getting better now, but we definitely downgraded from 3 bd house to 1 bdrm apt. Which is totally fine! Less to clean! lol!