By Miriam Raftery
May 29, 2013 (Lakeside) – Clad in pajamas, Karen Goodman broke down in tears as she told me her story today.
We met with her at the request of Walter Choate, an advocate for the homeless who told us that without immediate help, this bedridden woman who relies on a caregiver to survive could be homeless by Friday--and lose all of her belongings as well.
“I own a mobile home I’ve been there 18 and a half years,” Goodman began. “I lived there with my mother, after her husband died of cancer.”
But two years ago, her mother began showing signs of dementia in her 80s. “She pushed me on the ground, broke several of my teeth, and damaged several vertebrae,” Goodman said, recalling that she cautioned her mother that such violence was illegal. “So she abandoned me and took my money.” The traumatic experience still brings pain. "Why? Why did she just leave me?" she asks, her expression haunted at the memory.
Goodman, who is bedridden, survives on a small $866 SSI disability check, but fell behind on payments for her mobilehome space. According to Goodman, she had a roommate for nine months but after coming home from having an MRI medical procedure, she found that her roommate had “robbed me – she took my laptop, jewelry, everything.”
Goodman says she needs surgery for fractured vertebrae in her back and cannot walk without assistance. “I’m so sick,” she said, her voice breaking.
Earlier this month, when a wildfire roared through a riverbed area near her residence, friends urged her to evacuate. “I didn’t care,” she said. Fortunately, the fire that killed a homeless woman did not reach Goodman’s home. But she soon stands to lose it anyway.
“Now they are throwing me out of my home. They gave me three days notice,” she said, adding that the deadline is this Friday.
“I need help to pack up and move my house,” she told ECM, adding that a buyer has come forward-- but if she can’t get help to move her belongings out by Friday and find a place to go, “the property owner will call an ambulance to get me out and I will lose everything.”
She tried to get a loan but couldn’t. “I have a $95,000 mobile home, but I can’t get a $2,000 loan,” she said.
She seeks help to pack and transport her belongings into storage short-term, as well as a "couple of hundred dollars" to cover these costs. Long-term, she hopes to find a trailer to call home.
If you can help, please contact Walter Choate at email@example.com.