I am writing for those who linked to this through GoFundMe. Previous links have been disabled from here.
We are in need of help and we have nowhere else to turn. And we are desperate. All three of us – Will, our wee Service Dog Andy, and me, aka “Grace”.
We are in a very poorly maintained building owned by slumlords – and it costs us money, emotional perseverance and all sense of quiet enjoyment. We have to hear the BART train 18 hours a day, the traffic soot from the BART track and the freeway and all the traffic outside our building which coats our floor and belongings, and neighbors who are packing their apartments with roommates who have rent-giving ability and who fight in the common area to the point of violence. There has been a rise in murders in Oakland this year, beyond riots over George Floyd and in East Oakland where we live. Oakland PD and Oakland Chinatown are blocks away. Minorities already risk their lives here. Two car crashes in the closest intersections to our building, one fatal and another between a Lexus and a new BMX X6 totaled and who knows what that man has suffered as it took 45-minutes to extract him with the jaws of life and the ambulance took him away. Or the shooting of a bus 3 miles from here on the freeway killing a 17-year old girl out celebrating her high school graduation. Or the woman killed and dumped in a neighborhood park within a short walking distance. Andy loves that park. Lots of smell-mails from other dogs.
Driving here is dangerous with drifters doing burnouts and speeders running lights. Crossing a street while walking in a pedestrian crosswalk just means you are playing Russian Roulette with cars even in broad daylight and when you’re using a cane. You’re slowing THEM down and they will honk at you. Or scream profanities. Hell, strangers will harass you while walking a little dog because you’re not wearing a mask even though you’re vaccinated and OUTSIDE. And that you’re. next to Andy’s favorite dog store in another city while Will was waiting for a car wash which the car desperately needed and we had a coupon and a few extra bucks for a change. Goodbye happy afternoon! Hateful 20-somthings just have to show off their superiority because that’s what they will do!
We need to get out of here and enjoy what time we have left, however long that might be. We live in a non-ADA apartment with a broken window, minimal heat and no circular air service as the heater is broken. Our home is so drafty, our usual $30 gas and electric bill was over $100 a month for December -March and the Maintenance staff did nothing to fix this EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW. Our one and only window can’t lock since the track is screwed up and can be opened by anyone in the courtyard. You can see the outline of the doo (whiler in daylight when it’s locked. All screens have fallen out – due to the “tracks” – with the ones for the glass sliding doors in our bedrooms just falling out in a strong breeze. It was a very cold winter when your bedrooms don’t have any heat.
My hearing is very sensitive, more so since my stroke and my in ability to get any testing since it happened in November 2016. The amount of alarms in this building bothers other tenants too, but Andy and I are left physically paralyzed – with him trying to hide and me screaming into a towel while crying unable to handle the piercing alarms. Will had to disengage the smoke detectors as they go off anytime I turn on the oven. There is no consideration for the disabled here. When the Maintenance man put a dumpster next to the handicapped space in the garage where we park, he had an attitude and his associate threatened physical harm to Will after we moved it when it was blown into our car due to a strong gust of wind, which a neighbor witnessed and told Will (when witnessing undercover cops taking down a known drug dealer exiting the building using “flash bangs”), we broke “house rules” and we were given a warning by their attorney’s. Will is threatened with bodily harm, yet even though they have cameras, no one watches the tape to see what happened or who the non-employee was. We asked repeatedly for that person’s name for the police report. None was forthcoming.
I have reported them to the Housing Authority and several other agencies, but we have to get out of here. We can’t live here anymore. We enjoy greeting our neighbors, but there will be construction starting this summer on the adjacent lot and the Property owners will be replacing the front windows and all entry doors of the apartments in August. This place was built in 1959 and remodeled in 1992 (following Loma Prieta earthquake that decimated East Oakland?) and they are doing repairs to the water barrier as businesses downstairs have water leakage in their space and we have to live through the jackhammers and electrical repairs since it doesn’t impact us in nearby units. We hear and feel it. Through the walls, floors and windows. Yet WE have to request Reasonable Accommodation THEY have to approve. If they could dismiss our letters for an ADA apartment, why should we expect reasonable accommodations now?
We expected to have a home with the same expectations of any renter. We were thankful to have a home after living in a car and being homeless for 4 years. Will is surviving cancer and living with PTSD after taking care of his mother who succumbed to Alzheimer’s and Pancreatic cancer. He had no help at all from his brother, even as he used his life’s savings to keep his Mom at home and happy and had to remodel and pay for the repairs to her home after a suspicious garage fire that almost ended their lives. The insurance company didn’t pay full replacement costs and Will’s sister-in-law pocketed many of the checks. His brother even offered to house many of Will’s packaged purchases in his garage. Will and his mother went to his brother’s house for the holidays where they saw how the packaged goods were now unwrapped and the $15,000 worth of furnishings were in Gary’s home being used by Gary and his sister-in-law.
And his brother, in a fit worthy of any sociopath, had Will evicted from the home he had lived in for 20 years. Why? Will believed his niece and understood why she filed for emancipation when she was in Jr High. He couldn’t provide her a home while taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient. Thankfully, her volleyball coach was there for her. Will loves his niece, but didn’t realize how her father was “loving” her. Will has been subjected to Gary’s sick thoughts since they were teenagers. Why Will has PTSD and took years to allow himself to be who he is, a proudly Gay man. Something Gary is vehemently against. Like poor people and minorities. He and Will are still dealing with probate, and their mother died in 2012. Gary wants to steal as much as he can – even his mother’s ashes that Will paid for and knows how his mother would want her ashes spread. Gary has no clue and would probably just spread them in the garden mulch to get rid of them. He didn’t steal from any family member who could speak up for themselves without using lies or coercion. Or threats.
We can be found via the following links or address. Thank you for your understanding or donations. We have an old car that is still running. How much longer? I don’t know. How much longer can we expect a ’99 Oldsmobile Cutlass with 200,000 miles to last? We are supposed to get Will’s furniture and household belongings back from his brother which a storage unit will be needed for, but I have two already and one we share as this space won’t fit most of my things that I had to store after taking care of my Dad’s wife who succumbed to Alzheimer’s and who ultimately caused my stroke, leaving me unable to return to my $100k per year job in Corporate Finance and living on $21,000 per year Social Security. I am physically unable to sell what is in storage. Boxes are too heavy and I sold what I could when closing up her house and returning to my home. My ex-husband and I having divorced when I moved to take care of her. Like Will, I had no help from any family member to care for mother. Will didn’t have a Mom who tried to kill him- twice. He was so lucky to have a mother who loved him. I would have enjoyed knowing Dorothy. We like to believe she and Dad are waltzing together in Heaven.
POB 748, Livermore. CA 94550