Well. I’m still in an apartment in DuPage County, IL (I mention DuPage, because it’s where I’ve always lived.) For those of you who don’t know me, I hear, “So?” And I get it. But it’s kind of a big deal to me, because I’ve been in this apartment (and at the same full time job) for over two years now — after being homeless (in DuPage) for five years. And the awesome people at DailyKos were incredibly supportive during that time.
I’d spent the last few months of homelessness sponsored by DuPage PADS at the Red Roof Inn in Naperville, and now I live probably within a mile of that same location. I was able to purchase a bed right after moving in to the apartment, and about a week later a local charity provided a make-over, providing a table, chairs, a desk, dressers and art work for the walls.
I’m just happy to have a place inside where I can sleep when I want or watch The West Wing over and over and over again.
I’m not incredibly proud of the company where I work, so I’m not going to get too specific… I work second shift in a customer service role, and my week was recently changed so that I get the same two days of the week off, instead of it constantly changing. When they did that, they tried to give everyone in customer service roles a weekend day off. I requested Tuesday and Wednesday off, because I hate Tuesdays and I wanted two days off in a row. Let me also mention, working weekend days now SUCKS. Before the change, it just sucked because, “Hey! It’s the weekend, why am I here?” Now it sucks because of that still, but also because they can’t seem to assign enough people to work to cover the incoming work. In the past, working weekend days or holidays was almost relaxing. They pay pretty well, but not enough to put up with stupidity… The thing that keeps me here is remembering 5 years at DuPage PADS.
I am hoping to get a promotion to a supervisory position soon. I discussed that pay with my representative at the DuPage DHS, and she calculated that while they would pay a minimal amount each month at that pay (like, $35 a month…) at least I would stay on the program. Which is good, given that the supervisory positions on second shift have lost at least 10 people over the two years I’ve been here… So I’m not certain I’m not going to return to a non-supervisory role after a while… or just retire at some time in the not too distant future. (I’m 61.)
Here’s something else I wanted to share. Some of you may remember my nephew Danny — he’s the kid who at about 3 developed ATM and lost the ability to walk one incredibly awful day… And the people of Kos were so so so so wonderful and were cheerleaders and friends and I could almost hear the shrieks of happiness when Danny regained the ability to walk after 8 horrible days. Well, he regained the ability to re-learn how to walk, because he went through crawling and table surfing again, but by the time he was in school, he was darned near normal, which… given that he’s part of my crazy family is pretty amazing.
Danny is in his senior year of high school now, and is working on his Eagle Scout project, building a deck for the local VFW that has supported his boy scout chapter. (His older brother, Eddie, made flag frames for the same VFW, for his Eagle Scout project.) I’m so proud of both of them.
Oh, one other thing… I have no dog. You might remember Nietzsche (aka Professor Wackadoodle), the German Shepherd I had when I became homeless… and that one of the wonderful places where I’d taught K9 Nosework helped care for him and helped me to place him when it became clear that needed to happen. The owner of that location let me know last week that Nietzsche had just passed away. I’m just so glad that he had a stable home for that period. He deserved that, and someone who could love him without worrying about where they would spend every hour of every day. I’d like a dog, but… keeping the job is a requirement for me to be able to afford to live here, so it’s not an option for now.
I think that brings it full circle for now. I hope you are well, and happy. Peace.