I’m sitting here in someone else’s house who despises the fact that I’m on the computer, despises me doing art anywhere even though I’ve been doing it away from her home, and despises that I play music / piano / keyboards, and despises the fact that I have online businesses. Apparently, she says I have no right to be doing any of those things since I’m homeless (except I’m paying $150 a month for her living room (not privately and I sleep on the floor) plus $25 a month toward the light bill and required to use all my foodstamps each month for food for the “household” and not for myself exclusively even though they don’t share their food with me – I mean, really. And, the only reason I’m not sitting in my home anyway is because “her community and neighbors” burned our house down including everything we owned and everything I had built towards having my own business but for some reason, she bitches at me every few days that I’m not supposed to be online making designs on Zazzle and spending any time with that until next year or at least until I have my own home somewhere. And according to this woman pitching hell at me even to the point of violence every few days, I’m not supposed to go to the art classes and studio time that has been given me through a scholarship at the ArtLab in Staten Island because I shouldn’t do that until next year or whenever I’ve gotten into a house and then try to do it after that even though it is only available to me right this minute and it is helping me get through this very difficult time as well. But no, she is hateful about it to me, screaming at me again today and strutting about with aggravation and acting as if it is getting on her last nerve that I’m doing these things, even though at the time she was bullying me about it today, I was online looking up apartments on craigslist trying to find somewhere to rent with a section 8 voucher which is the only funding I have available to pay for a place to live and nobody on Staten Island wants a section 8 voucher – not just mine, but any because it is a pain and doesn’t come close to paying the real market value of anything and they have to wait for the money to get started at the beginning and there are ridiculous hoops for the landlords and the renters to jump through before anyone gets any of it to work at all.
Okay, that isn’t all out of my system, but a little better I guess. This piece of nothing I’m writing is so serious that it is a matter of life and death, because for me being at the elbow of someone who holds me in no regard whatsoever and considers nothing I’m doing to be right or appropriate – it has already come to her holding me by the throat and waving kitchen knives in my face once and another time, threatening me with killing me as she ran into the kitchen to get her kitchen knives to cut me up when a roommate stepped in and told her no. Well, and helped her calm down – but it was the same conversation as tonight and the day before yesterday – across many, many of those in the last three months that I’ve been here. I can’t be on the computer without her getting in my face, standing over me and getting within striking range in a menacing way toward me as she demands that I should be walking to the realty offices instead of being on my computer – because she doesn’t understand anything about the internet or that I’m looking up apts there. She often hands me the local paper’s classified ads section, as if anything is ever listed there anymore and doesn’t get what is available online – on the computer. But, when I’ve offered to let her see it – or turned it around where she could see it, she turns nose up to the air and looks away at the wall as if she has no use for it and nobody is going to show her anything about it because it is nothing she needs to know about. And there we are again, with her leering over me as I’m trying to find places on the internet where they will take my section 8 voucher, calling them on my phone and she can’t stand another minute of what she perceives as me sitting doing nothing about anything.
Where she decided that she is qualified to make these kinds of decisions about my life is a bit strange – or where she decided that she must steer me away from using any of my time to do anything but wait to have an apartment while letting my online businesses go to dust after all the efforts I’ve put into them, and losing my mind rather than using the tool of doing art, painting, creating music, writing. Who does she think she is to believe she is so knowledgeable about me and what I should be doing or not? But if my computer is playing a movie or tv show that she can hear playing – well, that’s okay. Or, if I sat in her room on a chair in the corner for several days watching her tv as some of her friends do – that would be okay, but not being on the computer doing things – like business, and twitter and reading articles, learning, reading the news, doing art, making products, selling things and looking for apartments to call (and calling them.)
She often wakes me up about 4 am, sometimes at 5 or this morning it was at 6.27 am, and usually, most nights when she wakes me up to tell her about some box of cereal in the kitchen or whatever it is this minute, she wakes me up several times in the same night – rarely only once. And, to think it is not intentional – no, obviously it is very intentional as she slings stuff around the kitchen from pots and pans to opening her door so that her light is hitting me full in the face and then stomping through where I’m sleeping in the living room on the floor – then slinging stuff around the kitchen like a mad 12 year old who was asked to wash the dishes or something and is having a raging fit. But, in this case it isn’t because there are dishes to wash or anything else, she finds something wrong to have a fit over when there isn’t anything, when others have cleaned, when she has cleaned three hours before she went to bed and she seems to be doing most of it when she has company over sitting in her room. Maybe it is a show, to make them feel some particular picture is true when it isn’t – or something. She walks around saying she’s tired then explains aloud the thirty things that are wrong this minute, none of which are actually out of place, or wrong – and then repeats throughout it that she’s tired, as if that is supposed to mean something everyone else must dance to fix, or do, or make up to her somehow. It seems more like it is bad behavior on her part, though she probably is tired considering the extent to which she is dancing, stomping, pitching hell and being genuinely a jackass to others, and especially to me. But, I’m supposed to be grateful to be in a place where I’m paying to be treated with disregard and contempt constantly, starved from my own limited resources, stolen from (too often to name all of it), talked downs to, threatened, bullied, not being allowed to sleep, and mentally berated almost regularly considering how often every week it has been happening in an all out hell pitching session at cricket.
And, none of this would have happened and put me under this constant threat and extra stress if NYC’s Housing Preservation and Development that was supposed to help me had given me a reasonable accommodation for my disabilities and let me stay in the homeless shelter at the end of the street where my house burned down. They said I had no proof of my disability and would have to get a doctor’s note to be considered disabled despite being on SSI because of my disabilities since 1993 and tested and seen by qualified professionals dozens of times within these years since then – and considered to be disabled from these disabilities by everyone from professionals to my family members and friends. It is only in NYC, that proof from those with disabilities that are not obvious, must be sent through the hoops of getting doctor’s notes, even though the law and the Americans with Disabilities Act says –
The federal Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601-3619, 3631) forbid discrimination of tenants or prospective tenants because of a disability or the disability of a person associated with them. The law protects the following people:
- A person with a mental or physical disability that substantially limits a person’s ability to perform one or more major life activities; or
- A person that has a record of the disability; or
- A person that is considered by others as having the disability
I looked it up on the internet – but there are no attorneys that will help me with it and advocacy groups for people with disabilities have not returned my calls nor responded to my emails. Senator Schumer’s office said that it is not something they can do anything about and doesn’t believe it is a federal issue, the Human Rights Commission of NYC said it is not in their jurisdiction and disability rights attorneys not involved in employment issues – have said to make the complaint to that same NYC Human Rights Commission.
It also says this –
Prohibited disability discrimination includes not only intentional prejudice based on disability, but also actions or inactions that operate to deny people with disabilities equal access to the same services, opportunities and benefits that are available to people without disabilities.
So, here I sit at a neighbor’s house up the hill from where my house burned down so that I can be in an area where it is familiar to me and I know how to use the buses and go to the store and what my name is and what has happened. There is a house for rent down the street but section 8 will only pay $1650 a month for a two-bedroom and that house on the same street decided they want $2,000. So, there it sits empty and I can’t have it – can’t pay more than the $1650 which is impossibly low for a 2 bedroom anything in Staten Island and in New York City, and the HUD and NYCHA representatives who have called me after my daughter emailed them to tell them what is happening, said they would call back after I spoke to them and they haven’t. There is supposed to be some help with getting a reasonable accommodation and this is reasonable, but there is nothing that works.
And after losing everything I had worked to create over the last 32 years, plus all the records of my art and music, my research, everything I and my daughters and grandchildren owned, plus our cat, Batman – and stressing out trying to find a place to live in a time when nobody wants the guaranteed money from a section 8 voucher – I’ve got to put up with someone screaming at me, threatening, waking me up several times nearly every night, and can’t get one thing that would help from the community at large, from NYCHA and HUD – from Housing Preservation and Development that was supposed to help, nor from the HRA if I go over there because they figure I have a section 8 voucher and SSI – so until some apt gets inspected, I can’t even ask for help from them to get it – or to get somewhere else to stay. That woman I’m paying to sleep on her living room floor is tired because of her own damn orneriness and focusing on minute, petty crap all the time from there being drops of water in her kitchen sink that she thinks is the reason there are roaches in her kitchen, to somebody in the house getting an extra few boxes of cereal from the pantry (which wasn’t me but she kept me up asking me about it after waking me up on the occasion earlier this week when I had an early appointment to see an apt the next day.)
I’m tired because this stupid woman has been waking me up most nights several times a night and because this entire situation has been made incredibly harder than it ever had to be and certainly a good deal harder than it should have been – NYCHA has required me to come back to their office five and six times to turn in the same papers – and sent me away five of the six times without taking the papers even on the day I got there at 11.30 am when they told me to be there before 12 noon. They had decided that was enough taking of those kinds of papers / packets that day and cut it off supposedly just before I got there with mine at 11.30 after I had already tried to turn them in three other days before that. It is damn obscene and certainly they know I have disabilities, my house has burned down, I’m coming over two hours to get there to the Brooklyn office from Staten Island and believe it or not – I can’t take subways and the ferry and the buses when they are covered over during rush hour because I can’t process that much information without losing my way and ending up confused because of my head injury and ptsd from years ago that simply still affects me.
I’m beginning to think that a lot of these people in these agencies as well as the lady I’m renting her living room – are doing this stuff with intent and malicious intent at that. And, it does certainly look that way, though I’m not entirely sure why they believe they should be doing it this way.