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09 March 2014

Why fight eviction if I don't want to be here anyway?

You know, it's odd. Other residents of vets house tell me that they've heard the case managers here talking about me openly in the chow hall, yet no one has stepped up and said "Hey Opus, whatever happens with your eviction hearing we're behind you." I don't really expect that they will, no matter what happens in court. The case managers work for Porchlight. Whose side are they going to be on? Especially when once I ultimately move out there will be another veteran moving in who won't be such a pain in the ass.

Do I owe back rent? I'm still gathering paperwork. but I'll have it figured out by Tuesday's mediation hearing. I don't have a problem if it turns out I'm wrong and I need to pay up. I'm not trying to cheat anyone. 

I do want to note that I don't have to pay rent. Rent here is income based, so if I didn't have a job I wouldn't have to pay rent. It would have been easy to say that I couldn't handle working any more-- I could have quit my job, and had no income at all for the year and a half it took to get approved for disability payments. That's actually how the program works here. No one gives a hot shit if you want to go to school and better yourself. Let's get you on disability. 

There are millions of Americans who would be shit outta luck without things like Social Security. For the moment, I'm included in those millions. Some people are disabled and in a place where they can't do much, and I'm not trying to start a discussion on who is riding the system and who is not.

With medication, therapy and support from the VA, and some accommodations from my employer and my university, I am pretty productive. I think it says something that I can hack for 36 hours alongside a room full of hackers half my age, and stand at a expo table next to those same hackers pitching the app I just wrote to companies like Google, Apple, GE, and so many others.

At work, I oversee, train, and work with people who are, again, half my age. They oversee, train, and work with me.  Teamwork applies across age boundaries.

I'm available if anyone is looking for an intern this summer, by the way. ;)

All of this is why I'm standing my ground against Porchlight. My world is full of the brightest, hardest working, most awesome people ever. Porchlight has given me a place to live, yes-- but at the price of stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights that no one is willing to acknowledge. Porchlight thinks it's okay to have maintenance people in my room without telling me (which is illegal here), and they think it's okay to blow smoke up my ass and tell me I made more than double what I made last year. Porchlight thinks it's okay to bill me for a month of back rent for a month when I lived on the street that month.

When I get to my room, the first thing I do is look to see if anything has been moved, which would suggest that someone had been in my room. I jump when I hear noises outside my door. I avoid talking to people when I'm home. I'm afraid when I'm home. 

When I'm in vets house, I feel like I'm back in the Desert waiting for a SCUD. On edge, ready to run for the bunker. Afraid. The PTSD is there when I go to sleep, and it is there when I wake up. It is there when I get back from work, from class, and from anywhere else I go.

I'm not fighting to stay. I don't wat to live here, and I never did. When I do move out, I won't look back and I won't let the door hit my ass on the way out.

I'm asking for one thing-- show me an accurate and verifiable accounting if what you say I owe. Be accountable, and know that not every veteran you try to fuck over us going to just let you get away with it.










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