Hello (again), Dear Reader. It’s afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida, and I’ll tell you, it’s yet another scorcher here.
How hot is it, you ask? Well, per my phone’s AccuWeather app, the temperature in my area is 91˚F under partly sunny skies. The humidity is down a bit; 53% versus this morning’s reading of 91%. Nevertheless, with a east-southeasterly breeze barely blowing at 4 MPH (with maximum gusts of 9 MPH), the feels-like temperature is 100˚F. I am dressed appropriately enough to go out in public, but I don’t willingly go out in 100˚ heat unless it’s a matter of life and death. (When my late mother was sick between 2010 and 2015, I often went grocery shopping or ran other errands, most of the time without assistance, because it was, as I say, a matter of life and death.)
Since we last crossed paths, I took a quick shower, got dressed, and…did absolutely none of the things I’d hoped to do. I didn’t take a nap. I didn’t read a book. I didn’t try to watch Star Trek: Picard. I didn’t even try to lie down on my new sofa. Hell, I didn’t even sit on the sofa.
I guess I’m bummed out because yesterday I received an email from an organization called GoSection8.com, which, per Google,“is a website for landlords, tenants, and housing authorities who participate in the Section 8 program.” As a result of the changed dynamic between The Caregiver and me, I have reluctantly been considering moving out on my own. However, since I am disabled and my chances of finding a good job outside the house are slim to none, I can’t afford to simply look up houses or apartments for rent – here or even back home in Miami. I’m not without some financial resources, but they would run out quickly unless I suddenly became a wealthy author on the same income tax bracket as Stephen King, James Patterson, or Rick Atkinson.
As a result, I would have to rely on public assistance in order to move out of where I live now, and if I were to rent a modestly-sized house or a two-bedroom apartment, I would either have to rent from a friend who might be willing to rent it at bottom bargain prices or, more likely, go to a county in Florida where the Section 8 waiting lists are not insanity-inducingly long.
The problem with those two ideas is twofold: I have no friends in Miami (which is where I’d have to move back to in that eventuality) who are that generous. One of my best friends from college owns several rental properties, but he wouldn’t rent one to me at a price that I could afford and yet net him a reasonable profit. And according to my research, getting on the waiting list to become a Section 8 tenant takes months, even years. So, even if I did get on a waiting list and the county housing authority had houses or apartments available, my moving-out party would not be thrown for another year.
I had given GoSection8.com my email address to get at least the get-on-the-waiting list process started. Or, at the barest minimum, to get information about income requirements, possible locations of available rental homes, and things of that nature.
Well, yesterday morning I received three emails from GoSection8.com. The first one was a “Hey, we got your request to be put on our email list. Please reply to confirm that this is you,” kinda message.
Okay, I did that. I hit reply and wrote a brief note along the lines of Per your request, I am replying to confirm that I am interested in applying for Section 8 somewhere in Florida.
A couple of hours passed, and when I checked my email in-box again, I saw that a GoSection8.com rep had written back. After the usual pleasantries necessary in a bureaucrat’s (or semi-bureaucrat’s) replies for information requests such as mine, the rep asked, “What cities or counties are you looking to rent in?”
I replied, politely but succinctly: “Well, I’d prefer to find a rental in Name of County Where I Live, but if push comes to shove I’ll take a place in Miami-Dade.” I would, of course, not willingly move back to South Florida under most circumstances, but if I had no other alternative….
Well, less than 30 minutes later, the same rep wrote back. Sorry, but we don’t have those counties in our area of operations. You’ll have to contact the housing authorities in those counties directly. Good luck!
So…GoSection8.com was a bust.
Ugh. So. Not. What. I. Had. Hoped. For.
I hate dealing with local government agencies. I am still traumatized by the incompetence and unfriendliness I got on the phone when I called the Miami-Dade County Courthouse between October of 2016 and January 2017, when I was looking for information about my probate case during the period when I was between attorneys.
At the time, the State of Florida had cut the operating budget to the Clerk of the Court’s office, so if you needed to call them on the phone, you had to do it between 9 AM and 12 PM. As a result, the lines were always busy, and when they were not, the people in the Phone Center were either downright rude or they’d simply not answer the phones at all, especially if it were 11:30 AM or shortly after.
Anyway, I am reluctant to move out as it is. As difficult as I believe the situation to be at present – and remember, I am looking at things from the perspective of a guy with a broken heart, which isn’t exactly a good frame of mind to be in when making decisions – moving is not exactly fun.
I still remember how emotionally taxing the process of packing up my belongings for the move from Miami to New Hometown, Florida was for me. Then, too, I was fogged by the grief over my mother’s death, as well as by the excitement of a romantic relationship with the woman I must address now as The Caregiver. (That’s not her name, but I can’t and won’t ID her in a public forum.) And in 2016, I wanted to move here and make New Hometown my “forever home.” But the move itself was not fun, and because it was not done in one single passage between Point A and Point B but rather in several stages, often weeks apart, it was emotionally hard on me.
And I really hate the process of moving. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
So…I’m going to stay put – for the time being, anyway.