Category Archives: poverty

Incubating Reality | When Dreams Come True

I’ve been seeing this picture every time I turn on my laptop since it’s been my desktop background for many months.

It’s a gem, isn’t it?

However, it’s more than just one of my favorite images from a pool photo shoot last year with my friend, Bryan Allo (he’s awesome, by the way).

Several months ago, when I first made this my desktop background, I found peace and power in its resignation. A sort of calm strength as I resigned myself to sinking deeper into my life as a poor, disabled person without much agency over my future. I saw it as a letting go – an acceptance of my hard life and a determination to maintain grace despite sinking.

I knew I would keep dreaming, doing, being. But I also knew there would be no housing stability. No living wage. No permanence in my independence. I knew my future was only as strong as my frugality to maintain a facade of stability for as long as my dollars lasted over and above the meager Social Security Disability income that didn’t match my survival budget.

I was holding my breath here. Holding my breath so I could maintain a pose for the outside world to see my hold-it-togetherness, something I’ve gotten quite good at while being impoverished.

Continue reading Incubating Reality | When Dreams Come True

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I’m Impoverished & Disabled. I’m About to Be a Homeowner in California.

I moved to Sacramento in 2011 because it was one of the most affordable big cities in California. The cost of living was fairly similar to Raleigh, NC at the time (where I lived before moving to California). In recent years Sacramento has faced one of the fastest climbing housing booms in the nation as a result of Bay Area residents moving in. Rent has climbed at astronomical rates, and so has the price of homes. Low-income and affordable housing has not been a priority to the city and region, and homelessness has grown as a result.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with the same disease that killed my father, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). My health deteriorated and I became disabled and impoverished as a result of not being able to work.

Ten days ago, on January 23rd, 2019, when I woke up I didn’t know I would be writing an offer on a house that night. I didn’t think it was even possible.

But when I saw a listing pop up in the MLS search that evening for a house I could afford, I told my real estate agent (who also has AS), “I want a house more than anything. I want to move on this.”

Continue reading I’m Impoverished & Disabled. I’m About to Be a Homeowner in California.