Chasing home

Late last year I wrote an essay for this blog called I Remember Homelessness. In it I said, among other things, hunger is a harsh master.  So is the notion of finding a home. If you’ve ever been homeless, or on the street as well called it during my days of homelessness, the fear it will happen again never leaves you. It certainly ebbs and flows, depending on life’s circumstances, but once it has happened, once you walked hours on end with no place to go, it’s possibility never entirely dissipates.

While I am not homeless, I am again looking for a home. I must move from where I am now no later than May 1 and am able to move as early as April 1. I am on disability, make some money from writing, and have a Section 8 voucher which on the one hand contributes towards the rent and on the other, limits the places one can rent. Because I live alone I have what is called a one-bedroom voucher which means the rent amount Section 8 will recognize is based on the expense of a one-bedroom dwelling. You can rent a two-bedroom if you want, but they lower the amount of rent they’ll approve because the utilities for a two-bedroom are more expensive than they are for a one bedroom. The unpleasant part of the equation is this; if you rent a two bedroom your portion of the rent goes up and the amount they’ll help you with goes down (and the 1% is whining about class warfare?).

And so the hunt is on. I’m looking in a variety of New York Counties as well as Western Massachusetts, parts of New Hampshire, and maybe even Vermont. The New York Counties include Delaware, Otsego, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer, Columbia, Washington, Schoharie, and Westchester. A couple of times I thought I’d found a place but, alas, not yet. My hope is for a cottage or cabin, even a mobile home, quiet setting, and dogs allowed. My old German Shepherd and my young Black Lab mix are family; we be in it together.

I’ve been on my own since I was 16. This is not the first time I’ve been chasing home. God willing, it will be the last.

5 thoughts on “Chasing home

  1. Hi Peter,I'm not sure if I would say homelessness, but during my last year of high school I was kicked out of my dad's house because I got in a fight with his wife. This left me without a place to call home. I stayed with friends and camped out in the back of my dad's van, took showers at the local campground and took turns with different family members for food. Of course, I since then graduated from high school, completed my BA in Anthropology and have a beautiful family. Most importantly I provide them with a home. Homelessness or not having a place to call home is a life changing event and sometimes I wonder how different things could have been if I was allowed to stay in my home until I graduated. I often wonder if things could have been worse and with this I remind myself everyday that it definitely can be. My thoughts are with you as you and your companions journey out to find a small cabin that fits your needs. A place to call home.

  2. Hi Peter, I had to leave my mother's house when I was 17 for my own self preservation. Fortunately, my dad took me in. He has Lewey Body Dementia now and he has come to live with us on and off over the past several years. For his self preservation, I moved him out of his home. Regrettably, I was unable to keep him home with us. He is in assisted living now. I visit almost every day. Best wishes on your search for a new home. Spike


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