I first met Mike when he set up a tent on our property.
He chose a very non-descript, out-of-the-way location. For quite some time, I never saw Mike at all. He just went to work, came home and went into his tent.
Mike came to our place to be with his daughter. She lives with us in our garage.
The thing is: Mike is dying of cancer. He came to us to be with his daughter.
Eventually, a room opened up in the house and he rented that room for $75/week.
Mike is a dishwasher at one of the downtown restaurants. I'd often see him running off to work to catch a double shift. He would walk the 2 miles each way every day.
Mike is a very proud man. We all tried to talk to Mike to see if he'd be eligible for disability because of his cancer. He refused. He didn't want to be on disability. He wanted to pull his weight and work.
He probably learned this work ethic in the military. Mike is also a veteran.
Two weeks ago, Mike had to put in his 2 week notice at his job. The cancer was getting the better of him. He was feeling too sick and too rundown to make it to work.
At the same time, I got this bill in the mail:
We now owe the city $877.85 for this month's water bill.
That's because of this:
The city of Akron water billing system had a major malfunction and now we are responsible for the mistake.
On top of this, our electric bill is about $250/month and it's going to get cold and then our gas bill is going to skyrocket.
We have 3 people who live in the house. Each person pays $300/month. That covers the utilities and taxes and some minor repairs. But now we have a problem.
Mike can't pay his rent. He has no income.
And so now we are coming to you. We need your help.
While allowing American citizens to starve and freeze on the streets of the richest, most Christian country in the world is a humanitarian nightmare in and of itself, letting our veterans live unsheltered is beyond imagination.
How can we allow this to go on?
The VA reports that over 37,000 veterans are homeless in the United States of America. This number is based on the annual January point in time count we do every year. Everyone agrees that this number is under reported. We just don't know by how much. (It's probably a lot! Have you ever tried to find homeless people in the freezing cold of January? It's damn near impossible.)
Simply put, we need to cover Mike's rent. We are in desperate need for people to sponsor Mike so he can stay in our house. He has surgery scheduled in December for his cancer.
If you are able to help with this, now is the time to help. We are thankful for any amount. We are particularly looking for monthly sponsors.
The Houseless Movement has no employees. All the money we make goes to sheltering homeless Americans.