You women inspire me so much that you give me hope. I was diagnosed with several illnesses at one time and was rendered to Social Security Disability after having to leave my job as a Neurology nurse (RN). I gave up a beautiful 6 y/o 3,000 sq ft home and downsized to my mother's home as she had recently passed away to 1280 sq ft scattering my furniture amongst various friends and family . I have always been extremely independed and was known to be able to do any project that could be tackled on my own. These were large projects might I mention, My siblings and I did not realized how many hidden problems there were with this house. It was built in the 1940's. I began repairing the walls and painting them after hiring 4 painters who took over $4,000 from me and never finished 2 rooms. I successfully finished the first room, my bedroom down to stripping the floors, but this increased the muscle problems I suffered from. The other problems began to manifest. Shorts in most of the electrical outlets and plumbing which failed. I was without the use of my kitchen plumbing for over 6 months until 2 of my brother n laws came to my aid. A few months later the water came gushing out of the walls in the kitchen as there was now a pipe broken inside the wall. The bathtub soon began to back up into the bathroom sink and mold started to manifest on the walls around the bathtub. I noticed some advertisement on the internet regarding a program called "rebuilding together". There are several uses for this program and I applied for the "preservation of homes for disabled persons who are unable to and cannot afford to do the proper maintenance on their homes." I received a visit from 2 representatives who interviewed me and my medical condition and with the application took a look at the repairs to be done. They sent out a contractor next to verify these repairs and decide the necessity. I then received a phone call several months later stating I had qualified and work would begin in the fall. All of this is documented. In the middle of the spring to fall when they were supposed to begin work, we were hit by Hurricanes Gustaf and Ivan and was forced to a mandatory evacuation. I had to leave my home and could not return for nearly a month. It had rained all over the inside of my house. The carpets were saturated and mold along the wall was beginning to build. The roof was leaking causing all the insulation in the attic to put pressure on the ceilings which began to fall. I pay my insurance carrier almost a $140 premium per month out of a $1206 salary from Disaiblity to be told by them that the ceilings needed replacing, the insulation needed replacing, all of the wall had to be resurfaced (drywall) and painted but they would not cover the roof because they stated it did not seem to be leaking and this was a 4 y/o roof. I then called FEMA to come out and I was told I should be able to pay for this myself. I was not even compensated for the expense it took me the 30 days I was gone. Rebuilding Together returned with a different person and two volunteers to tell me I had never applied the first time therefore I could not have been approved. I have all of this on paper. They sent me a letter telling me to call a HELP line which forwarded me to Habitat for Humanity who stated they felt very sorry for me but had no funds at the time and no volunteers. This was only 1 year ago and still a dead end. It continues to rain in my home, the ceiling tiles continue to fall off and the mold continues to spread. I have no where else to go and cannot start over and do not have the capability to perform all of these repairs. There is now rotting caused by mold along the window panes causing the air to escape. My utility bills can run as high as $400 and I run the AC no lower than 75 degrees.... I have tried to find some fairness in all of this as I see how many homes are getting makeovers in my area alone. I do not expect to have crystal chandaliers but it would be nice to keep the integrity of the house so that I may continue to live here until I can no longer. Maybe someone reading this will have experienced the same thing and have worse problems than myself.... Debbie V Romero
When the weather gets colder and the overnight temperature dips below freezing, safeguard your plumbing by unscrewing your garden hoses. This prevents water from freezing in the hose and pipes from bursting.