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Stability starts with a Home.
$290 raised
1% of $20k goal
9 contributors
4 Years running
My house is scheduled for demolition, and I am unemployed. My children have special needs, so I need to keep them in the same school, but we cannot afford to rent a home in their district.  While my wife is working and I am looking for a job, ...

My house is scheduled for demolition, and I am unemployed. My children have special needs, so I need to keep them in the same school, but we cannot afford to rent a home in their district.  While my wife is working and I am looking for a job, her health is failing, and we need to buy instead of rent if we are ever to turn our lives around.

Here's my story...

I worked for ten years as a material handler for a plastic injection molding plant in Windsor, Ontario.  Like many in Windsor's auto industry, the recession affected the  company that I worked for, and while they had plans and programs in place to weather the hard times, the grandest was to sell half of their company to a foreign investor.  

This investor had a reputation for 'turning failing companies around'.  What they did not have, was any knowledge of how a plastic-injection molding shop (or any shop) was run.  After making many more poor management decisions, they made the one that affected me the most - they decided that one person could run the shop's material handling duties instead of two.  This decision was arrived at after they fired the lawn service and repeatedly sent my partner out to mow the lawn instead, leaving me struggling to do the job of both of us.  And instead of rewarding me for my heroic efforts, they decided that since I had the most seniority and therefore the higher paycheck, letting me go would save them the most money. The shop had no union, and I had no recourse.  Ironically, the company went bankrupt seven months later, which does little to appease my hurts.

The long and short of this story is that I was downsized.  I immediately started looking for work, but all my experience was in the auto sector, and for some reason, no one else wanted to hire me. I knew that the option of changing careers was open to me, but I couldn't figure out what to retrain for.  To save money, we moved to a farmhouse, which had a low rent ($450/mth) in exchange for a limited landlord presence.  I figured I knew enough to change lightbulbs and furnace filters on my own.

My wife picked up the slack, putting in long hours on midnight shifts at the local Tim Horton's.  But she has deep-vein thrombosis in one leg from a failed pregnancy, and working on her feet is slowly wearing her out. She has spoken of going back to school on numerous occasions, but our goal is to raise money for a down payment for a home of our own, a goal which cannot be achieved while one or both of us are going to school.

I have medical issues of my own, but not sufficient to collect disability. Whenever I get a job, my employer only keeps me for 89 days, and then lets me go with no reason given, no doubt to avoid spending money on insurance.  My wife's health insurance does not cover the total cost of her medical needs, or that of our two children, both of which wear glasses and have ADD medications and needs.

My extended family has remarked that 'should a calamity happen, it will happen to us.' Unexpected car repairs, illnesses that require hospitalization, you name it, it seems to befall us, and we can never save up any money. We marvel at how others can so blithely throw parties that cost so much, while we do our best to scrimp and save, and still accrue credit card debt.

The final straw happened recently, when the landlord pumped out our septic tank, and discovered that the tank was cracked and crumbling. Since the shareholders only bought the farm for the land, they have been reluctant to spend any money on upkeep of the house, and repairs to a septic system are not on their agenda.  We received written notice on Nov 22nd that we have 120 days to vacate the house, so they can bulldoze it.

We have been trying to find a place to move to for years, but being unable to save up money for a down payment means we have been unsuccessful.  Most houses in the area cost over $150,000, or else are too small for our family of four.  My children, a boy and a girl, need separate rooms, and three-bedroom houses do not come cheaply.

Now we have located a house for $80,000, which we believe we could get a mortgage for.  But thanks to recent changes in Canada's morgage laws,  any down payment of less than 20 percent of the cost of the house requires the buyer to also purchase mortgage insurance, which drives the monthly mortgage payments up.  We have $1500 saved, which by rights we should put on one of our credit cards, since we currently have about $6000 in credit card debt.

When both of us are working, my wife and I are able to stay afloat, and even slowly pay down the credit card debts. In the past we have even consolidated to take care of these debts - but this can only be done when I am working full time.

Christmas looms, and my children already know that this year's celebration will be a frugal one.  I am hoping I can find a job soon, and by March know finally that I will not be let go from that job because of economics.  My daugher has lived in three houses, my son two, and both are upset that we are being uprooted once again.  I never had to deal with these problems when I was a child - my family home was always there for me.

If 2000 people see our plight, and find it in their hearts to each send $10, then we will finally have a place to call home. Please, be generous this Holiday season and give generously. There is no more precious gift than having a home for the holidays.

PS: The reason that the deadline for this fundrazr campaign is the end of this month is because our bank told us the money has to be sitting in the account for three months before they'll let us use it for a down payment. That means that if we make the deadline we'd still have to wait to get the mortgage at the end of March, which is cutting it pretty close to the wire.

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