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Jun 16 2013

Help Celia and son keep their home

One of the best and simultaneously worst aspects about having a voice on a reasonably popular blog network is that I can direct my meager audience to good causes. Why’s that bad, you ask? It’s not, in and of itself. The problem comes when people I know come to me with good causes that break my damned heart.

DuWayne Brayton, a long-time friend and a very good man, pointed me to a mini-fundraiser he’s running for a friend of his. I know DuWayne to be measured and almost obstinate when it comes to asking for help. So when he asks, it’s serious.

And yeah, this is pretty damned serious.

Celia is an awesome woman with a goofy, wonderful son, both of whom have autism spectrum disorders. She has struggled a great deal of her adult life to maintain a reasonable living situation for herself and since he was born, her rather silly son. Unfortunately she hit a major bump in the road that started when a combination of her and her son getting sick and her car breaking down rather cut into school and work. She lost her financial aid, her job and her best means for finding a job in a town with limited public transportation.

She almost lost her apartment and power last month. Now the situation is even more dire. She has no food, no power and ten days to come up with *this* months rent. Her son is staying elsewhere, but she is stuck in a house with no power and a whole lot of worries. She is in desperate need and has talked of very a very permanent solution to her problems. It is *that* dire.

The individual story is one thing. The fact that this happens over and over, that people are living that close to insolvency and that any single event with a financial impact could throw a child’s world into chaos, is something completely different. It’s galling. It’s demotivating. It’s heartbreaking.

We can fix this one. But how do we fix them all? What’ll it take to convince people to fix the nearly non-existent safety net, the massive gulfs of inequality between the rich and the poor? People like Celia and her son don’t deserve this kind of turnabout, caused by no moral failings except our society’s. To put Celia in a position where she honestly feels that the last resort of suicide is her best option — that’s damning of all of us.

Isn’t the point of society to help one another, to keep this sort of tragedy from playing out over and over again?

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Elly

    Thanks Jason – donated.

  2. 2
    DuWayne

    I am working on something more, the development of a general fund for emergency coverage of basic needs. You are correct, this does play out – over and over again. There are a lot of folks on the fringes, getting left behind. There are even people who are active in secular communities who need help. My experience of the secular communities I participate in, has been to see us very willing to help and care for each other. The problem is that our communities don’t really have the infrastructure to do so on a larger scale.

    I aim to change that.

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    I stand by my words. You are indeed a good man.

    Ya lousy bastard.

  4. 4
    badgersdaughter

    Donated. Wish I could help in a more material way. I’ve been there… both at the bitter edge of homelessness, and in utter despair because of it. My husband is from the UK and just got his green card, and while there are many things he likes about the US, this is one of the things that makes him upset. How a so-called civilized country… but yeah.

  5. 5
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    I have been told, in no uncertain terms by a Pharyngula regular who treated themselves as an economics expert, that the sort of monetary policy that would easily solve these problems — the one where the government grabs the proverbial bull by the horns in terms of its money-printing power and has the central bank loan to all levels of government at no interest like Canada did from 1938 until about 1974 — would result in Zimbabwe-like hyperinflation, full stop.

    There was no accounting for the fact that, say, Zimbabwe is a dictatorship and the hyperinflation also coincided with a drop in GDP associated with a well-intentioned but…at the very least ill-executed land redistribution program. It doesn’t matter that money is a human invention that serves as a proxy for resources, we can’t just create the money we need to access said resources when we need them; if we actually listen to the poor and try to solve their problems, it will be disaster because of magical limits on money that require us to beg the rich for it. The rich are above society, because capitalism is awesome and There Is No Alternative is totally skeptical. Real Skeptics™ do not question Sophisticated Economists and their Complicated Math that Proves Socialism Wrong. And none of these demands that we defer to the well-off are in any way classist.

  1. 6
    Around FtB » Pharyngula

    [...] Jason has put out a call to help a woman and her son save their home. [...]

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