Friday, February 17, 2017

Original GoFundMe Housing Post

​Hi, Friends,

Here is what my original post said when I was seeking to raise funds in late 2016 at http://gofundme.com/CXHousing. As you know, I am often changing my mind and desires, but one thing that remains is I wish my writings to be seen as they are written. So enjoy, or not, but here it is!

WHO I AM & WHAT I DO:
I am a performing and recording singer-songwriter-guitarist, a longtime publishing multi-genre writer, and an award-winning ($15,000 Leeway Transformation Award) community arts organizer in Philadelphia, PA who has recently become disabled and homeless (1 year in shelter, and the past 7 months on the streets).
 I have kept "my condition" secret until now (except to very close friends and family), but now is the time to be askin' for help from my appreciators far, and wide, longtime familiar, and also new like you! 
 I am trying to raise funds and build resources to rent motel/hotel rooms, and move into a house or apartment as soon as possible. I've been secretly living on the streets since June 2016, and was in a homeless shelter before that for a year. About my work:
Since 1991 I have released 9 recordings, several chapbooks, presented several workshops and classes, and created several support groups, wrote, directed and produced one play, and founded and produce arts events for the community. I sing, play the guitar, write songs, write essays and poetry about humor, spirituality, addictions/abuse/recovery/sobriety, mental health/illness/managment, erotica/sexuality, self help/personal growth/self-actualization, and love/romance/relationships.
A child sexual and physical abuse survivor, I was diagnosed in 1993 with Bipolar 2 and Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) disorders. Off and on since then I've been in therapy and on medication.

MY CRISIS:
After 20+ years of living with my symptoms caused me to be chronically unemployed for the last 10+ years. This caused me to lose the ability to obtain independent housing, and begin to depend on relatives and romantic partners. The death of my financial and housing-providing partner of 4 years, in March 2013, paired with my illness-caused inability to earn sufficient and steady income, began a cycle of neediness that burdened friends and family members.
In June 2015 I entered an emergency women's shelter.
In June 2016 I was discharged and had no place to go. Since then, with the exception of 3 weeks at the home of a mental health program peer (a former drug addict with mental illness who later proved unstable with uncontrolled anger issues), I have lived without a residence. Since June 2016 I have been what is called "street homeless" *(as opposed to "shelter homeless"). I sleep on public transportation, at transit stations, and when I can get it, a hotel or motel room. I rely on occasional income from my digital music sales, and the conveniences of being a woman who dates men. On average I am able to sleep in a bed 1-3 a week.
As a result I have added health issues like edema (swelling of the legs and feet, very common among homeless people, who find it diffult to find places to lie down to sleep), and worsened symptoms of my obstructive sleep apnea (due to not being able to use my CPAP breathing machine enough), and negative impacts to my mental health recovery and management. (I also have hypertension and the added stress of being on the streets is not good for me, my mental health, or stress.)

WHAT I NEED & HOW YOU CAN HELP (WITH OR WITHOUT MONEY!):

$$$$$ MONEY!! $$$$$
I need immediate funds to rent a hotel or motel room at least 3 times week, and soon rent a room ($400/month).

RESOURCES/TEMPORARY LODGING:
1) A place to sleep. It can be once a week, or more than once a week, or just one time. Guest bedroom, couch, even floor with soft bedding or sleeping bag in a safe environment will be much better than what I've got now. I do not need to shower there (YMCA membership!) nor eat your food (EBT card, and if needed, food pantries!). I just need a place to sleep horizontally, with my breathing machine attatched. I am child- and pet-friendly, non-smoking and non-drinking, and can provide references of friends and concert promoters who have hosted me before. I am a quiet houseguest and even wear earplugs regularly for peaceful solitude.

2) Legal and social service help to apply for Social Security disability benefits. With continued self-care and support, until I am stable enough to perform enough concerts to pay my way (something that hasn't happened in over 10 years and that I'm not sure my mental health could support at this time), I could really use the $700/month SSI/SSDI for rent. With it, I could have a place to live whether or not I am able to work (and I haven't been able to, for several years).
I am turning to you, my friends, family, and audience of readers, listeners and appreciators of my work, for this assistance, because in my 1+ years experience, the people who are paid to help someone with my needs are not generally interested in helping me, because I suppose they think I have it together enough to not need their help. My appreciators outside of the social service sector won't have that issue. Even in my busking (subway performance) days I have met attorneys who are now fans. Regardless of how it comes, I will have income to not live on the streets anymore, disability beneftits or not. But it comes after asking for help, not before :)

A NEW BOYFRIEND? :)
A heterosexual male therapist of mine urged me to add to my list of qualifications on my dating search, someone I could move in with. I think this is a good idea and he made it sound like a very reachable task.
So, if you're a guy who is seeking a gal and you have a place with space you wish to share with a live-in girlfriend who wouldn't be required to pay rent, read my list of preferences - perhaps we may be a match!
PERSONAL AD TIME!
I am a vibrant and youthful 47 year-earned SBF BBW who is very kinky (sensual, domestic D/s) and in general does NOT engage in what is commonly thought of as conventional "intimacy" (I'm being very subtle in my language here because I want to keep my campaign as acceptable and shareable as possible!). I am polyamorous (long-term committed non-monogamous/open relationships) and naturally Dominant.
My type of man is: White, age 40-60, receding hairline/bald, wears eyeglasses, average build, intelligent, patient, non-smoking, submissive or very accommodating, very kinky, and has space in his public transportation-accessible home (I don't drive) as well as in his heart for a sweet, funny, highly energetic (yet also quiet and mellow) take-charge type of woman.
My severe mood disorder and PTSD symptoms do not seem to hinder me from forming sexual or romantic relationships, although, like employment - perhaps because it also involves regular contact with many folks, I haven't been able to have or keep a platonic relationship for several years.
My symptoms have been managed for the last 2+ years with medication and 2-3x weekly group and individual therapy sessions. My creative endeavors also are very healing to me (writing, singing, performing).
I am often very irritable, but I know when it's happening, and take appropriate action, such as finding a place to be alone for a while.
Okay! With all of that, and now addressing any potential mate(s):
If you'd like to meet Me and see if W/we're a match to start dating, with the prospects of My moving in if you and I click, then either privately message Me through this post, or through another email address you have for Me. If I don't know you, I will ask that you send me 2-3 current face pics before W/we continue. When you write, you will address Me as "Goddess". That is all. :)

WHAT I AM OFFERING AS THANKS:
For all donations of $30 or more, and while supplies last, I offer to mail you a copy of one of my musical or spoken word guided meditation CDs (US Postal service to the domestic USA). If you'd like me to send you the music digitally, you can inquire but I can't guarantee I'll be able to do that. Feeling pretty overwhelmed these days and can only do some things. That one's not easy for me to do. But that could change by the time you ask. So ask away!)
For all donations of $75 or more, plus a meal at your place, I offer you an in-persun spiritual/angel reading. This involves my writing down the divine guidance I receive as you speak or after you have answered a few questions I have. I read to and hand you my writings when we're done. You can record the session if you wish. People LOVE these and consider them to be not only helpful but very accurate. Loving spirit always amazes! :)
For donations of $150 or more I offer a house concert at your home, coffeehouse, house of worship, or community center. I will also sing at a nursing home, shelter, or wherever I am invited that is safe and appropriate and may be a blessing to people (it always is to me!). (References for house concerts and house of worship performance are available upon requestification. :) )
Donations of more than $150 are highly welcome and I haven't figured out anything for that. I find that larger donations are made without need of any more reward than knowing they helped. But if you would like an arts-related reward for your donation, please let me know, thanks!

In spite of what I have written above, all but the CDs are also available for free if we negotiate a mutually beneficial compensation arrangement - such as I do a house concert that you don't pay for, but you get 20 of your friends to pay $10 each, and so forth. Or you put me up for a couple of days and make me dinner and I give you an angel reading, etc.! We are amazingly gifted and abundant creators - let's think outside the box and make a deal!

WHAT I HAVE DONE TO HELP MYSELF (AND MY COMMUNITIES):
1) Housing attempts: 2015 convinced then boyfriend to let me move into a vacant property of his and rent out rooms and live there. No one was interested, and I lost that residence. 2015 lived for many months or over a year with relatives. Had to move out when they were expecting their 3rd child and needed the space. In shelter I had regular meetings with case managers and filled out countless applications and went to do errands to get housing. Nothing ever came of all of my efforts over a year period and working with 4 case managers. I spent weeks trying to rent a unit using a rapid re-housing voucher I head. Nothing panned out and I lost that opportunity. With my last $500 I went to look at a $300/month room but passed on it because it was slumlord heaven and I'd rather ride the subway all night to sleep than be in house full of loud people getting high off of drugs and alcohol all night.
2) Self-care: While in shelter I took care of several health issues such as researched and participated in a sleep study which got me my official diagnosis of sleep apnea (although I knew I had the symptoms for over 20 years), got a CPAP breathing machine, which I borrowed for a year and earned it with proper use - now it's mine free and clear! I got my eyes examined for the first time in many years. I kept my usual therapy appointments and took my medication regularly. I met with everyone I was supposed to meet with all the time, and I continued to research, find, and use all the resources I used, including the sleep center.
3) COMMUNITY SERVICE: Kept a vibrant and positive presence on social media. Came to be known as the self-care goddess. Wrote articles monthly for Wisdom Magazine, including my popular series: "Soulmate Attraction for the Rest of Us: Dating & Relationships for the Polyamorous, Recovering, Survivor & Tantric," and "Living with Bipolar Disorder." Blogged more spiritual and sexual/erotic writing under my names Amrita Waterfalls and Endowed Goddess. Write my weekly "Goddess Sundays" series. Organized and produced the 10th Black Women's Arts Festival (Philly 2016). Released my well-received and reviewed 7th album "Hope". Did spiritual readings (angels, ancestors, spirit guides) for folks, paid, and unpaid. Blogged poetry. And more!

PROSPECTS, HOPES & EXPECTATIONS:
I just learned that a check will soon be mailed to me for my work on the 10th Black Women's Arts Festival. Once that arrives, it should be enough for me to rent a room for at least one month. So, I expect to receive that at some point - it could be weeks, but it shouldn't be months.
I expect to keep meeting and dating (interviewing!) potential long-term partner(s) for the usual good stuff PLUS HOUSING!
I expect to keep making the art that I make (writing, music) even when I'm living on the street. NOTHING can stop me! I'll be doin' it from the clouds, yo!
I expect to keep working on the last 2 of my 4-part "Affirmations for Survivors" guided meditation series: "Sexuality" and "Life Skills" (first two, "Self-Love" and "Spirituality" were released in 2007).
I expect to keep up with that great spiritual practice of gratitude. (And I have so much to be thankful for!)
I expect to keep staying strong and getting better and better at self-care, asking for, and receiving help!
My hope is that more of you will buy my music at Spotify, CD Baby, etc.!
My hope is that the love and inspiration I've put out over the past couple of years in all the ways that I have will come back to me in completely wonderful and often surprising ways!
I hope you are inspired by my asking and are emboldened to do the same whenever you need to!


LINKS FOR FURTHER CONTACT OR ENJOYMENT:

Official/primary website: http://cassEndrExavier.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cassendrexavier
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CassendreXavier
Erotic blog: http://amritawaterfalls.blogspot.com
Listen free at Bandcamp: http://bit.ly/21ba7UE
Watch my videos at YouTube: http://bit.ly/1LFXsN2
Buy CDs and Downloads at CD Baby: http://bit.ly/1STG2Es
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K7zV5g
and most of my income from my music comes from Spotify.  http://bit.ly/1VeaieF

I can't thank you enough... but I'll try :)

Thank you thank you thank you for being yourself and for doing what you can, even if that's a prayer, one of the greatest gifts of all.
Please hold a vision of my success and comfort, as I do of yours.
I thank you in advance for your time, consideration, and generosity of positive spirit!

Blessings in art and community,

Cassendre Xavier
aka Amethyste Rah, Amrita Waterfalls, and Endowed Goddess
renaissance negresse (musician, writer, fine artist, actress)
Multi-media healing artist
Founder of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (est. 2002)
Founder & Executive Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival (est. 2003)
http://cassEndrExavier.com

P.S. Just because I'm cheery and grateful, doesn't mean my situation isn't dire and I don't need your help. It is and I do! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment