Today was no exception. I had to deal with The Church People, aka, The Landlords. Shawn had a 7 week layoff over the holidays. There was also that bit of nastiness when Jessie was in the hospital. We survived on food bank fare and donations from a church. There wasn't even bus fare to go around. It was bad, but we made it.
The result of the lay off was that we fell behind on our bills, rent included. We fell behind to the tune of $1200 (this is on our $300 a week agreement). Last week, I paid off that $1200, which was no small feat, believe me. We were not able to pay THAT weeks $300, however. We did pay THIS week, which means that we are, still, one week behind.
Now here's where it gets tricky. We have SEVERAL landlords here. Our place is owned by a church, and everyone has their fingers in the pot. On more than one occasion, we have had several different members of the church come to our door to collect rent that had already been paid. When we fell behind, we were told by one person to "catch up as soon as you can." This is the guy that we were told to deal with. We'll call him 'John.'
John told us to call when we had the money.
I tried to call him all week to make arrangements to pay the money.
I got no answer even after I left a message. Or two. Or Three.....
The following Sunday I am given papers by the treasurer of the church, giving me a new Tribunal date. I have only met this person ONE other time, and I have never dealt with her on this level. She tells me that I should have called. I tell her that I DID, more than once. She tells me that I should have called HER, because John is in Africa.
Hmmm....Ok. So I tell her that I can borrow the money, if she writes me a letter that saying that I owe X amount, as proof that I do, indeeed owe the money. She tells that is MY problem, and I should solve it on my own.
(This is where I remind you that I am dealing with a church)
I promised her that I could have it by the end of the week, with a little co operation.
Anyway, I DID get the money, and by the middle of the week. I had to call THREE different numbers to get the money picked up.
A DIFFERENT person came to get the cheque.
So, the next person that I am dealing with, the guy that picks the money up, tells me that they have no intention of kicking us out. They just want the money. He PROMISES me that if we pay, everything will be fine. We'll call him 'Stinky' - cuz he is.
So, I get my reciept and I am told that I have to wait for John to get back from Africa before they can withdraw the Tribunal papers, because he is the one in charge.
Ok, I DO owe the money. I have worked my tail off getting them the $1200 that they asked for. Although we do have arrears that we are clearing off, all that we are behind on our agreement is the $300..We have paid $1500 in 2 weeks. I think that shows good faith.
I told Stinky that this $1200 is all of the money that I have, and PLEASE don't screw us over. If they DO go ahead with the Tribunal date, then we WILL be evicted and we might only have ONE week to move. There is NO way possible for us to this since we have just given them all of our money.
I am assured, by this Church Guy, that they would never do that...
Keep in mind that Shawn has not yet had a full week back at work. If he misses one day, not only could he be fired, but we won't have enough money at the end of the week to pay rent and buy groceries. Our budget is THAT tight.
John is back from Africa. Now, he is all powerful man that can stop this process. That is what we have been told.
I just got off of the phone with John.
They are going ahead with the Tribunal.
If we don't go, the Adjudicator will make an automatic judgement in the favour of the church. Typically, you are given 7-10 days to leave.
If we DO go, they may find against us, because we are in fact, ONE week behind on our agreement. Shawn WILL lose a day pay, and he COULD be fired.
I explained all of this to John, and asked if we could just arrange a move out date, because I don't want to be homeless in a week with my kids.
"That's up to the judge."
I said that we would happily move, if that is what they want.
He says that no, they just want the rent.
I owe one week. They just got a pile of cash outta me.
So, I guess that we are moving. There really is no way for us to go to the Tribunal. We can't afford to risk Shawn's job. We just can't.
I know that we owe this money. I know that we have been behind before. I also know that we have moved Hell and high water to make things right. It feels like the church is screwing us over. It really does. I wonder how people that claim to be Christian can do this? They know that we have no money, they know that you can't find a place/pack/and move in a week, especially when you have ZERO money.
I just feel defeated. I feel like I tried to do the right thing, by paying off the back rent, even though I knew that it meant we would not be able to move. I feel like the church took that money, knowing all of this, and had every intention of kicking our asses out.
This is the first place that has really felt like home. The kids have played here.
We grew the most beautiful Morning Glory's ever.
We buried our Pork Chop in the back yard.
We have also done countless small repairs, at our cost. We had to put in taps the first week that we moved in, because the ones in the kitchen were TAPED on. We cleaned for TWO weeks before we moved in, cleaning up after the shlubbs that lived her before us. We even replaced the carpet this past summer.
We rehung the gate, planted shrubs where the old ones had died, and replace all of the locks, also at our expense, because Stinky and the FIRST landlord lost all of the keys. We even mowed the lawn when the previous occupants were still living here, because the church asked us to.
We have never asked to be reimbursed for any of this. We just did it because we love our little home. We had to deal with church members walking into our home, on more than one occasion, without being invited (this past week, infact), and having people call us names (in German, but hey, both Shawn and I are part German..we understand more than they know)....
I think that I am DONE. I have no idea HOW we will do this, but we are outta here. My stress level is CRAZY bad, and I can't do this anymore.
If anyone knows of a place for rent, gimme a call. I'm looking.