“Her income changed just the slightest bit and… it just kicked the underpinnings right out from under us.”
This story is from the Invisible Project, a collaboration between the Welcome Project and Porter County Coalition for Affordable Housing, Housing Opportunities, Gabriel’s Horn, Dayspring Women’s Center, and Porter County Museum.
Transcript for Tailspin
Speaker 2: When we first came back to Indiana, we went to his sister’s, and she let us stay with her for a little while.
Speaker 1: And we got a place.
S2: And we both got a job, and from there, everything seemed like it was going pretty good. And we had been here four years when his sister passed away. And so…
S1: And that was, like, the final straw for me. I was broke.
S2: I was working. My hours got cut. Mitch had developed a lot of physical limitations, and his depression was, like I said, still there–underlying, but started coming out a little bit more when he wasn’t able to work, and that kind of threw us in the position where we became homeless.
S1: Bit of a tailspin. It was just, in a very short time, we went from like, being level, and then her income changed just the slightest bit, and that–that was it. It just kicked the underpinnings right out from under us.
S2: Right. When you’re living, like I said, paycheck to paycheck, you know, by the time it would get two or three days before payday, and, you know, I wouldn’t have a penny in my pocket. And when, you know, my hours started getting cut due to the economy–you know, business wasn’t as good–I was working at a restaurant, you know. It’s like, I’m driving eighteen miles one way to get to work, and eighteen miles back. Well, that’s, you know, taking a lot of gas–I need something closer to home. Due to my age, people kind of were more looking at me not as an asset, but as a risk. “Wow,” you know, “She’s not gonna be somebody long term. She may develop health issues. She may call off work. We don’t know what’s gonna go on.” And I think that was where I started having difficulties finding employment. So, when we couldn’t pay our lot rent, they, you know, basically–you have fifteen days to either pay or evacuate. And not having any immediate family or anybody that could help us, or provide a place for us to stay–you know, our children were in Wisconsin, and neither one of them was really in a position to do anything for us. It was kind of a snowball effect. We did live in our vehicle for approximately four months before one of my coworkers had told me about Housing Opportunities. We checked into that, and took us about another month, and they accepted us into their program, and provided us with a place to stay.
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