Search This Blog

Sunday, August 21, 2016

On Becoming Homeless (while deaf)

I asked Felicity, How did you become homeless? What was the lead up?
In 2011 I had been living in Allston with three guys. A cab driver/artist, a stoner who worked at the Tootsie factory, and a scumbag piece of shit who worked in sales at the Herald.

I had moved to Allston in February 2010. In 2009 I had a swift and drastic hearing loss in my "good" ear (already deaf in the other). I left Western, MA to be closer to MGH and the Neurofibromatosis clinic. I'd heard about a clinical trial for Avastin, which could possibly restore my hearing. I wanted to participate.

In 2008-2009 I was working at Springfield Public Schools as a substitute teacher. I had intended to go back to school and get licensure to become an actual teacher. I wanted to teach English as a Second Language. I had my preliminary teaching license and needed my subject license. My best friend's wife is a teacher and gave me tons of resources and study materials.Then when I learned the test was administered by audio, I bailed. My hearing was way too far gone.

At the same time the Springfield Public School System didn't ask me to return. My hearing was total shit and I had no control over the kids – I subbed at the high school level. I also required tons of days off for MRI's, Audiograms and other medical needs.

So when the school system didn't ask me to come back, I filed for unemployment but was told substitutes are not eligible for unemployment. I'd always been good with money and had enough savings to move to Boston and set up while I looked for a job.

I never found a job even though I worked tirelessly sending applications. I applied for sub jobs in Boston and Cambridge on a weekly basis. One thing about being deaf – you'll find most people will refuse email contact. This happens with apartment hunting as well.

I lived on the little savings I had. My dad told me I should apply for Social Security. The Social Security Administration had the audacity to tell me "you can hear," and they denied my application. I had sent them doctor's notes from MGH and audiograms from MEEI, and they had the fucking balls to call me a liar!

Editors note: !!!!!!!!!!!
I was in Allston for 17 months. Twice I almost ran out of money, and thought I was doomed. Once I made it through with funds from my tax-return. Another time, I "struck gold" when I remembered a little money I had stashed in a 401K.

Finally on July 1st of 2011, I was totally broke. The timing could not have been better because a couple weeks earlier my scumbag roommate assaulted his girlfriend in our apartment.

I was awoken, one night, by a deep, visceral growling noise. I got up to investigate and outside my bedroom door, scumbag John was growling at his girlfriend and she was bawling. I asked, "what's going on out here?" John just looked at me and they both moved up the stairs to his room.

I woke up the next morning and saw cop cars and a paddy wagon on the street below. I went outside my room and saw a trail of blood going down the stairs. I looked out the window again, and Johns girlfriend was crying hysterically talking to the police. Meanwhile John was in handcuffs, being led into the paddy wagon. The police entered our apartment and interviewed me. I told them what had happened the night before.

Later that day John returned to our apartment. He showed no remorse or shame for beating his girlfriend. I learned later that he also threatened to kill her. It was his girlfriend who had bailed him out.
Editors note: !!!!!!!!!!! Jesus. Typical and desperately sad.
I discussed the situation with my other roommates. The stoner roommate thought John deserves another chance. My artist roommate was more neutral and removed – he usually stayed with his girlfriend and didn't spend much time at the apartment.

I spoke to our landlord, who was utterly indifferent. I was adamant that one of us had to go. John refused to leave, and the landlord had no problem with domestic violence. So I left.

On July 1st I went to Rosies Place.
There's more to the story. New in town, without a safe home, job or solid friend and freshly deaf – how did Felicity navigate this challenging world? We'll find out!

No comments:

Post a Comment