Everything starts from somewhere.
Whether it’s my job search, working temp jobs and gigs, raising awareness about my situation, it all comes from a single source: a roof over my head and a good night’s sleep.
Without it, I can’t effectively continue my efforts to return to financial reliance and self-sustainability. Woe be me if I were to ever lose the place I’m in right now.
I always thought I’d lose shelter if my family announces one day they can no longer financially sustain payments, which is perfectly understandable. I always stressed this was a temporary arrangement while I search for work.
I never expected my landlord to be the cause.
My landlord has announced he wants to sell the group home I’m in. Why he wants to sell is not important, since it’s trumped by more pressing questions, such as “how will this affect my tenancy?” or “what will happen to me if the new owner does not want renters?”.
I asked the landlord and the property manager to keep me up to date on any news about the sale. I also want them to copy members of my family, one of which is the leaseholder, on any correspondence to me. I’ve already informed them of what the landlord has planned, and could continue to update them when I hear anything, but I prefer them to know the moment the landlord or property manager presses SEND on their email or text.
Even though I’m not the leaseholder, I still can ask questions about the lease. I learned that my lease went from a yearly to a monthly one after the first year of my tenancy. Why the leaseholder decided not to renew as yearly is unknown, but it does introduce a problem.
Because I’m on a monthly lease now, as stated by my landlord:
“if the new owner decides he wants to do renovations he would have to give you 2 months notice prior to eviction”.
In other words, I might not make it to the fall as originally expected.
It’s also possible that even if the house is not sold before my monthly lease ends in September, the current landlord could choose not to renew with the leaseholder so renovations could be done to my room. This means I’m out in the fall, even if the family collective wants to continue my tenancy.
It’s still the same outcome regardless. The chances are VERY good I could once again be a couchsurfer or full-bore homeless.
It would be back to sleeping in a different home every few days, or napping in a park or a bus. It would mean being exposed to the elements, and at risk of being mugged again, like I was once mugged nearly two years ago.
Where I would do all of this is uncertain. Would I stay in the Region of Waterloo where products and services are more affordable, but with little networking options, or make a stand in Toronto where my social network is huge, but things are much more expensive, including public transit?
It would impact my ability to do the things I mentioned before. It’s hard to look for work, go on interviews, and do part time work when you are fighting poor nutrition and lack of REM sleep.
It doesn’t stop there:
- People who are homeless are more likely to be arrested for something they did not do (or needed to do, such as trying to get some sleep in a non-residential area, or seek shelter from the elements).
- They are more likely to face discrimination by society, thus being blocked access to opportunities that could help them get back on their feet.
- They are more likely to be assaulted or be a victim of other forms of violent crime.
- They are more likely to be victims of fraud.
- They are more likely to suffer mental illness.
- They are more likely to get sick and become hospitalized due to lack of sleep and proper nutrition.
- They are more likely to commit suicide.
- They are more likely to die at an earlier age from causes other than suicide but from the effects of being homeless that could lead to death, listed above.
This is what I could face.
In addition to letting my friends and family know of my status on a regular basis, I plan to prepare myself for the worse and hope for the best.
I’ll keep you posted, and thanks for reading.