“Why Are You Here?” by P.C.A.W.

How do I address the reason(s) for coming to Grit Uplifted? Yes, in the mid-1980s my family was homeless under the definition of ‘no fixed address.’ I paid rent on a storage unit for the big items and on a motel room accompanied by my two sons and my daughter in the month of March. Supper was at my parents’ home. We were in this situation until May when lodging that was more permanent presented itself. At that time, I vowed not to be in that position ever again.

Guess what might happen again? The rent is going up to an amount that is becoming too much to handle, even on our combined incomes. As of yet, something we can afford that fits with all the needed requirements–no stairs, on a bus route, must have an elevator if not on the ground floor, laundry facilities or near a laundromat, ‘no kids area’–has not revealed itself. I had inquired about two different places, but have to count them out because ‘my primary caregiver’ is not old enough to live in either of these buildings. Talk about discrimination!

My baby of 35 years (my primary caregiver) still lives with me. He would be on the streets if this arrangement were not in place. He lost his job in 2006, and has not yet been lucky enough to find another volunteer position that Ontario Works approves. He had one, but ‘used up his hours.’ He is trying to pay off his student loan, but for some strange reason, the Federal and Provincial branches do not seem to understand “I’m doing the best I can with what I have.” This is so disheartening for him. He is not really talking about doing anything extreme, but I do have him on a suicide watch. His income is going to fall short of ‘half the rent’ (he is at the maximum shelter amount allowed right now), so I will be picking up the difference.

Neither one of us eats properly. Partly by choice, but mostly because the food we should be eating costs so much. So, as I sit here trusting him not to contemplate anything other than what to eat, I enjoy my ‘me time’ away from him and write about anything, everything, and absolutely nothing.

So why am I here? Because I am not somewhere else.

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