Feeling stressed as I completely forgot about filling out financial aid forms for school. I stayed up late to fill them out but what if I get denied? I will have to immediately repay the loan in the amount of $88.00 a month which I just can’t afford to do right now. Once I get rid of the storage unit that would free up the measly $60.00 my youngest gets in child support every two weeks but I don’t like the idea of child support going to pay for MY student loan. Time to put some stuff on Craig’s list since I was planning to do that anyway.
My youngest daughter found a nice leak on the left side of the van where she was sitting. I can’t put sealant on the roof as it is pouring down rain today and it will cost money to buy the sealant so I will have to come up with another way to plug up the leak for now. I think the van also needs a tune up as I noticed that when I step on the gas pedal, it takes a minute for the van to speed up. More money I don’t have yet the engine must be kept up or we will be in a worse predicament than we already are. I still have tabs to renew at the end of October and at least out here, it’s only $76.00 but it’s $76.00 I don’t have yet.
I met with my friend “D” at the McDonald’s in Ballard. I talked to her about how things were going and told her about my blog and what I’m trying to do. She told me that although she has two jobs, she isn’t too far away from being homeless herself. One job makes $1,300.00 a month and the other $1,200.00. Out of that she pays $1.025.00 in rent, $75.00 – 300.00 in utilities depending on if the rates went up during the winter, after school child care = $275.00 a month per child as she has two and that’s with a subsidy from the city which by the way, is only available to her as long as she is working. She ended up with a bill for $3,300.00 for child care during summer vacation. None of this includes food or bus money. I thought it odd when she told me that she couldn’t qualify for state funded childcare but qualified for city subsidies. Interesting logic if you ask me.
I asked her about local homeless people and if her friend still lived in a park. She got a little sad when she told me about “S”. He was an older man who used to come into the cafe where she works during the day, that’s how she met him. He had mental health issues but never bothered anyone and was always polite to her. When the bad weather set in, he would come in and drink coffee and if he didn’t have the money, “D” would buy his coffee for him. “D” said that he went to this place downtown that gave him a stipend and his medications but many times, his ration would run out before the end of the month. “S” lost all hope and drank himself to death.
Then there’s the van people that she pointed out to me that we could see from across the street. “D” is a great source of information because she volunteers a lot to help the homeless and single mothers. “You see that parking lot right there? Well that’s only one place the van people live out of because they can’t stay parked for too long. People living out of their vehicles also park around the DSHS building.” Oh yeah, I tell her. I’ve seen that since that’s the office I went to in order to apply for food stamps for the kids. “D” told me of all the places she knew of that homeless families were parking at and I have to admit that I don’t recall there being so many before. And we’re supposed to be out of a recession?
On the way out of McDonald’s, I met a couple getting ready for their daughter’s birthday party. They told me they were afraid of being the next family to live out of their vehicles, especially since they had a cute baby girl sitting in the stroller next to them. My youngest just had to say hello to the baby and the baby’s smile was too much to resist. They told me that for their three girls, they paid over $1700.00 a month in child care and that’s almost more than their rent! They said that this was the first time in a couple of years their oldest child could have a birthday party and McDonald’s was the cheapest way they could do it. I smiled at them both and thanked them for their story. My kids haven’t had a birthday party in years.