I bought a duplex a few years ago to help my kids out during their trying and growing times. They have diligently paid their rent up to April 2020. They are both studying online and working in the service industry in various roles. What this means to me is I am carrying the weight of the mortgage now. The mortgage, the city utilities, and randomly sending them items to keep them comfortable and going.
I am blessed because I am still employed, but this extra cost is still a struggle. They are blessed because I bought the duplex for just such an occasion. Never, ever expecting such an occasion. I know I am blessed and do not take it for granted. They know they are blessed and do not take it for granted. We are lucky. Not everyone is so lucky.
I watch the news and see families getting evicted from their homes because they cannot work. There is no safety net for these folks. I hear people bastardizing landlords for evicting people who can not pay their rent. That’s not fair. The average landlord (like myself) is not rich. The average landlord did not spend their life savings to purchase a house to keep random folks afloat. COVID is not the landlord’s fault. COVID is not the renter’s fault. We are all caught up in a horrible situation. There is no safety net for these folks.
The average person out there has no safety net. I hear blame going around. “Well they should have saved more money for an emergency.”; “Landlords are beasts and should not evict their tenants.”; “Tenants should not take advantage of their landlords.”; “Why do so many people need to get free food?”. The questions and the blame keeps on escalating because this is an unexpected and never-ending situation. There is no safety net. All we seem to have are political figures who have A LOT of money (not their fault) holding back for political reasons in providing even a small safety net for the people who are really trying to stay afloat. Really good people who are really trying hard to just stay afloat.
I really empathize with these folks. There was a time, not so long ago, that as a single parent who was trying to put myself through university and only living on about $7,200 – $17,000 annual income for close to 15 years. I also had no safety net. My house was robbed 2x in six months and I was advised to move from that neighborhood. I had no safety net and had no way of moving. I had 2 small children and ironically had nothing really worth stealing. Blaming others for their situation is so unfair. I luckily and eventually moved away from that situation but it took over 15 years. I cannot imagine how it would have been had COVID occurred on top of everything else going on in my life. I would have drowned. It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying. I just had ZERO anything set aside for an emergency. I CANNOT IMAGINE.
So I encourage others to not pass blame or judgment on folks standing in food lines, evicting others to save themselves, losing their homes and needing more help. Becoming homeless, hopeless, and helpless. Where ever you are .. whatever you are doing .. give something. Even if it’s just a smile or some form of recognition for the struggle that folks are feeling and going through. Give people some dignity. There is no safety net out there and sometimes it’s no one’s fault. Sometimes it is (VOTE VOTE VOTE)!
I am blessed and it’s tough for me. I don’t have a lot extra to give and living in Africa right now, it’s tough to support my local businesses. I want to emphasize that supporting local businesses during these trying times is so important.
My current favorite is a local artist from Spokane, Washington. I have received a specially drawn Christmas card for nearly the past10-15 years. He just put these cards on ETSY and I think you all should check them out. I have also purchased some of his bigger art pieces (below). I am a fan of Dali and Dr. Seuss so you can see why I’m a fan of Billy.
One thing I really like about his work is if you look closely at the art and the cards, you will see that he has some reoccurring characters. The art represents the people that have been in his life that currently are now permanently residing in his fantastical worlds.
I hope you enjoy.
My favorite cards
Even if you do not want to buy, stop by and comment on the newest cards. If you love them. I’m sure you can comment that you want a bigger print. You can visit his ETSY site here: THELOUNGEGALLERY