July 30th, 2012

“Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.” Dale Carnegie

My family and I are SO close to being able to take care of ourselves, and we desperately need just a little more help to make it to that goal.  My wife begins paid training for her new job next week, and I have work lined up for later in the month.  I am so extremely grateful to everyone that has helped my daughter, my wife and I so far and given us your prayers, support and advice.  We’re still at a hotel, trying to hang on and keep our family together until we both get paid.  We are still very financially unstable though, and we’re still looking for any employment and/or help we can find.  We are still in dire need of immediate financial help, to keep us in the hotel and off the streets and to hopefully find some more permanent housing quickly, so our PayPal account is still open, and if anyone would like to send us some more monetary help in any amount whatsoever, they can do so at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

However, I can’t stress enough how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said before, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and our young daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

We’ve been here for almost nine weeks now, one day at a time, and I think I’ve got at least another day or two covered for sure right now.  After that, we’ll continue to take things one day at a time, like we’ve been doing.  We’re very grateful to have been able to stay here this long, since every shelter in the county here is completely full and not accepting any new occupants, so if we lose this we’ll be on the streets with no car and no pets.  My family has been so wonderful, coming to give us rides even though we live way on the other side of the county from them, and loaning us money when they have it.  I’ll never be able to repay them for how much they’ve gone out of their way to help us.  Angy starts the paid training for her new school driving job next week.  I’ve had to delay starting my training classes for H & R Block to be a tax preparer from late July until next week as well, so that we can coordinate our schedules and make sure that one of us is able to be with our daughter all the time.  Once Angy starts working, Jobs & Family Services has a program called PRC that we will be eligible for, which will give us a one-time lump sum payment of an additional $1,000.00 that we can use to get ourselves into an apartment, but you have to be already be working to get that.  And I’ve worked parking for Ohio State during football season the last three seasons, and I’ve confirmed that I’ll be working for them again this season.  The first game isn’t until September 1st, but then the first four games are all at home, and they’re pretty long days – you start at 4 or 5 in the morning, and you go until after the game starts, and for night games you’re there for all day long.  So basically, IF I can keep us healthy and together just a few weeks longer, things will start to get better and we should slowly get back on our feet on our own.  IF . . .

I saw a couple of things on television yesterday that caught my attention.  Both of them happened to be on CBS.  During “CBS Sunday Morning”, there was an editorial piece by Tavis Smiley commenting on the rise in the number of Americans currently living in poverty:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7416508n

The other was a report on “60 Minutes”, concerning families in Florida living in their cars.  I don’t normally care for Scott Pelley, but this piece really hit close to home for me.  If it weren’t for all the wonderful people who have helped us because of this blog, this could be us . . . Or worse, since we don’t even have a car to live in right now:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7416542n

We lived near that part of Florida, in Brevard County on the coast east of Orlando near Kennedy Space Center.  That county got hit with a double whammy, because the construction industry collapse hit right when the space shuttle program was ending, and the bottom of the area’s economy literally disappeared.  In less than a heartbeat, the unemployment rate went from under six percent to nearly twenty percent.  One of my jobs when we lived there (I had three, plus went to school full-time) was as a video photojournalist for Florida Today, the area’s main newspaper.  I was laid off, one of hundreds of people at the paper who lost their jobs because of budget cutbacks when their advertising base evaporated overnight.  I watched that “60 Minutes” piece, and as much as I loved living in Florida, I’m thankful that we left when we did.  Even though our situation is still desperate, I feel for those people, and I am so grateful that we have what little we have.  There’s an old saying that says, “I complained about my shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”  I hear these parents talk about how they’re sacrificing and working so hard to make things better for their families, and I can feel the same fears and pressures bearing down on me.  I see the faces of those crying children living in their cars with their parents, and I see my daughter.  I’m a grown man, and I had to leave the room because I don’t want her to see me crying.

I’m trying so hard to keep us here at the hotel because, unfortunately, there is really no place else for us to go.  As I’ve said earlier in this blog, we’ve been in contact with every family shelter in the county repeatedly, and every one of them is over-capacity and not accepting any new intakes right now.  Right now, we don’t even have a car to sleep in, so we would be on the streets.  We’re so very close now to being able to completely take care of ourselves.  We still need immediate help, to keep ourselves together and get ourselves into a more stable housing situation.  We’re ready to accept any miracle that might come our way, so anyone who wants to help can still send us something via PayPal:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

However, I want to once again state how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said repeatedly, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

And if any of you are interested, continue to follow this blog and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.  I sincerely believe that God has a plan for my family and I, but I also know that God helps those that help themselves.  Right now, I continue to think that this blog can be a powerful tool for helping us.  And maybe it can help someone else, as well.  Stay tuned, help us if you can, continue to keep us in your prayers, and may God bless all of you . . . Peace!

Von Regan Davis

(614) 390-1086

helpmyfamily.wordpress@gmail.com

;~}

July 6th, 2012

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Albert Einstein

We need more assistance from anyone who can, and we need it as soon as possible.  We are so grateful to everyone that has contributed to aid us so far, in large ways and small ways, because every little bit truly helps.  Life has been difficult for us lately, even in comparison to the last few months.  Oppressive nonstop heat, a violent storm, no electricity, asthma attacks, a stupid bank, unhelpful politicians,  worsening health concerns, and a transit bus strike.  We are still in dire need of immediate financial help, to keep us in the hotel and off the streets and to hopefully find some more permanent housing quickly, so our PayPal account is still open, and if anyone would like to send us some more monetary help in any amount whatsoever, they can do so at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

However, I can’t stress enough how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said before, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and our young daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

We need help still, and we are praying for some sort of a miracle soon.  Almost every day, I think it’s going to be our last day here, but then something comes up or someone steps up, and we get another day or two.  We’ve been here five weeks today now, one day at a time, and I think I’ve got at least another day or two covered for sure right now.  After that, I’m really not sure.  We’re very grateful to have been able to stay here this long, since every shelter in the county here is completely full and not accepting any new occupants, so if we lose this we’ll be on the streets with no car and no pets.  We’ll get our cash assistance again from the county on the first of August, then Angy starts training and working at her new school driving job in August.  I start my training classes for H & R Block to be a tax preparer in late July lots more hours and lots more money per hour next tax season.  It doesn’t help us right now, but I’ve got to keep an eye toward the future while I’m focused on right now.  Once Angy starts working, Jobs & Family Services has a program called PRC that we will be eligible for, which will give us a one-time lump sum payment of an additional $1,000.00 that we can use to get ourselves into an apartment, but you have to be working to get that.  A number of my contacts have referred me to a local agency called COWIC (the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation) which currently has job openings.  Problem is, they only take new intakes Monday through Wednesday.  I was all set to go this past Monday, but we don’t have a car right now . . . and the drivers for COTA (the Central Ohio Transit Authority) went on strike early Monday morning, so I couldn’t go anywhere.  They’re back to work now, so I can hopefully get downtown to COWIC the beginning of next week, but it’s very annoying (can’t I catch a break at all?).  I’m still sending out resumes and checking out Craigslist and Linkedin and hitting the temporary employment agency websites and the various job-hunting search engines every day, so hopefully I’ll find something sooner than August.  And I’ve worked parking for Ohio State during football season the last three seasons, and I’ve confirmed that I’ll be working for them again this season.  The first game isn’t until September 1st, but then the first four games are all at home, and they’re pretty long days – you start at 4 or 5 in the morning, and you go until after the game starts, and for night games you’re there for all day long.  So basically, IF I can keep us healthy and together through July, things will start to get better and we should slowly get back on our feet on our own.  IF . . .

As I’ve said, we’ve been in contact with every family shelter in the county recently, and every one of them is over-capacity and not accepting any new intakes right now.  Even if they did, I’m not sure if I could handle that with all of the health issues I have related to my pituitary brain tumor, and with everything going on with my wife healthwise, I’m fairly certain that she couldn’t survive it.  Not to mention that we would undoubtably lose our pets, which would emotionally destroy all of us.  The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority is finally taking new applications again, for the first time in months, but their waiting list is so extremely long that they won’t be any help to us at all for quite some time.  So we’re trying to survive here at the hotel as long as we can.  Although we are very aware that this is our best overall option right now, the logistics of living in a fairly small hotel room for the last five weeks with myself, my ill wife, our nine-year-old daughter, two fairly large dogs, and two cats, are a constant struggle to say the least.  The room has a small refrigerator (but no freezer) for us to keep food in, and we have a large cooler that we keep some other stuff in with ice from the hotel lobby.  We also have a small microwave in the room, so we can heat food up.  The room’s desk has become our canned food shelf, so a stack of boxes is serving as my temporary laptop workstation.  Our dogs are very friendly, but they’re pretty big and the housekeeping crew are afraid of them, so we’ve been trying to keep things clean ourselves.  With no car and no extra money, we’re staying in the room except to go to the nearby park or pool that we can walk to.

That part of our situation has been worsened by the extreme heat that has settled over the Columbus area during the last few weeks.  Every day lately, like so much of this part of the country, there have been excessive heat warnings, air quality alerts, temperatures near or over one hundred degrees every single day.  Izabella and Angy both suffer from asthma, so in order to keep them from having respiratory problems, we’ve been staying in the room as much as possible.  It’s a balancing act, with so much of our stuff here that we’ve just got a small walking path from the beds to the bathroom.  Although it’s emotionally hard on all of us, it’s probably the worst on Izabella.  Angy and I are old enough that, despite being depressed about things, we know that things will get better once we start working again, and that life always has its ups and downs.  Bella is young, and doesn’t always understand why she has to stay stuck in the room so much.  Her and Angy have already had a few asthma attacks during this heat wave, so even when we’re in the room, the inhaler stays close.  But ‘cabin fever’ has been a big struggle lately.  Bella still manages to come up with the bright side to almost every situation, though.  We saw a news story yesterday about it being hot enough here in the Midwest to cook eggs on the sidewalk, and she immediately says, “At least that will mean more food for the homeless people, right, Daddy?”  I felt guilty for laughing, but I laughed anyway.

Just when I was wondering how things could get worse, a killer storm with hurricane-force winds came raging through this area last Friday evening.  It was bad enough being stuck in this hotel room when there was power, but then we had to go for almost an entire day without electricity.  As the old saying goes, “I was complaining about my shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”  It was an extreme struggle getting through that long, hot night in the darkness, with the howling of the the wind and the uncertainty of not knowing when it would end.  Of course, there’s also the adage that misery loves company.  It’s been a week since the storm, and most of the people without power were down for days, and there’s a lot of homes that still don’t have any.  When this hotel got power back after just one day, it got completely full immediately with families from all over the county looking for relief from the heat and the outages.  As for us, we’re already very tight on our money, and an entire day in the dark meant now refrigerator and no ice, and that meant a whole lot of our food and milk had to be thrown out.  Like I said, sometimes it feels like we just can’t catch a break.

Of course, there have been good things going our way, as well.  Our case worker from W.A.R.M. (Westerville Area Resource Ministry), Lynda Chambers, connected us with a church close to us in Westerville, Chapel On The Vine.  One of the members has been nice enough to give us a ride to and from Sunday morning service the last two weeks at a local American Legion post where they hold their services.  Pastor John Moriarty, his family, and the entire small congregation have welcomed us warmly.  Especially at this point in our lives, there is a great deal of comfort and relief in being able to get out of this small room and be with others, fellowshipping and worshipping together.  One of the church members heard Angy talking about our situation two weeks ago, and without saying anything to us, sent us a big contribution to help us out.

But, sometimes it seems that for every step forward, something knocks us a step back.  I’ve been keeping track of our debit card balances online, and I noticed earlier this week that the Mastercard that our cash benefits from the county get deposited on had two charges on it that I didn’t recognize.  I called customer service for Comerica, the bank that the card is issued through, and their first reaction for anything involving potential fraudulent charges is to cancel the card and send out a new one.  Problem is, that means that we don’t have access to any of the funds on there until we get a new card sent out to us, and since all of our mail is being forwarded to a P.O. box now and I’m not sure if they’ll forward something like that, who knows when we’ll get the new card.

I’ve been sending updates on our situation to every politician I can think of, and it’s been a total waste of time.  Out of the literally hundreds that I’ve been in touch with, only two have contacted me, and not even personally, just via someone in their offices.  We got a letter from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown a few weeks ago, whose office sent us a form to fill out to formally ask for assistance from his office.  We filled it out and sent it back right after Father’s Day, but we haven’t heard anything else from them.  A legislative aid from the office of Ohio State Rep. Mike Duffy called us a couple of weeks ago, just to ask us how we were doing.  No advice, no referrals, no help of any kind.  Just, “How are you?  O.K., well, goodbye.”  Total waste of time.

We still need immediate help, to keep ourselves together and get ourselves into a more stable housing situation.  We’re ready to accept any miracle that might come our way, so anyone who wants to help can still send us something via PayPal:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

However, I want to once again state how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said repeatedly, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

And if any of you are interested, continue to follow this blog and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.  I sincerely believe that God has a plan for my family and I, but I also know that God helps those that help themselves.  Right now, I continue to think that this blog can be a powerful tool for helping us.  And maybe it can help someone else, as well.  Stay tuned, help us if you can, continue to keep us in your prayers, and may God bless all of you . . . Peace!

Von Regan Davis

(614) 390-1086

helpmyfamilynow.wordpress@gmail.com

;~}

June 18th, 2012

“Good things are coming down the road . . . Just don’t stop walking.” Unknown

My family and I are still living in a hotel.  Quite frankly, I didn’t expect us to be able to stay here anywhere near this long.  So many people have helped us, and I just can’t begin to express my gratitude at being able to keep our family together this long.  But we are still in dire need of immediate financial help, to keep us in the hotel and off the streets or out of a shelter and to hopefully find some more permanent housing quickly, so our PayPal account is still open, and if anyone would like to send us some more monetary help in any amount whatsoever, they can do it at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

If someone wants to help but doesn’t want to do it online, our post office is holding our mail for us, so if you prefer, you can continue to send us anything you’d like through the mail (although PayPal gets to us much quicker):

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

However, I can’t stress enough how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said before, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and our young daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

We need help still, and we are praying for some sort of a miracle soon.  I am so grateful to have been still together with my family for Father’s Day.  My nine-year-old daughter Izabella took some blank paper and her crayons and drew me a card.  On the front was a giant heart.  Inside, she drew our whole family . . . Mommy, Daddy, our cats Buckeye and Morris, our dogs Dizzy and Duke, and Izabella.  She wrote, “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.  Love, Izabella.”  When she gave it to me, she kissed me and whispered in my ear, “Thanks for keeping our family together, Daddy.”  It took me nearly a half-hour to completely stop crying.  I start crying again every time I look at it.

I’ve been trying to shake every tree I can think of.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t think that I was going to be able to keep us here and together for more than a week.  We’re at a fairly decent hotel, and they’ve been very good to us here.  They don’t charge any extra for the pets, they’ve given us a pretty reasonable weekly rate, there’s a free continental breakfast every day, and there’s a small refrigerator, a small microwave and, most important of all, free high-speed Internet access.  We have food stamps, there’s a Kroger Marketplace that’s fairly close by, and there’s a park nearby, which helps to keep Bella from going stir-crazy.  Almost every day, I think it’s going to be our last day here, but then something comes up or someone steps up, and we get another day or two, so we’ve made it to the 18th now one day at a time, and I think I’ve got at least another day or two covered for sure right now.  Plus, I’m in the bonus program for this hotel chain, so we should have a free night or two coming soon.  The daytime manager has been checking us out every day and then checking us right back in, without changing rooms, so that we get credit towards our free nights right away.  I spend all day on the phone and all night on the computer . . . Being homeless and poor is actually a lot of work.  We get cash from the county Job & Family Services every month on the first, so we’re trying to keep it together until then, which will take care of the rental of our storage unit for July and give us another week or so here, plus a free night or two.  After that, I’m not sure.  We’ll get our cash assistance again the first of August, then Angy starts working in August.  I start my training classes for H & R Block to be a tax preparer in late July – lots more hours and lots more money per hour next tax season.  I was just basically office help/greeter last tax season, but my office manager and district manager loved me and gave me the highest reviews possible, and they’ve promised me a spot for next season in the same office, which is very close to here.  Once Angy starts working, Jobs & Family Services has a program called PRC that we will be eligible for, which will give us a one-time lump sum payment of an additional $1,000.00 that we can use to get ourselves into an apartment, but you have to be working to get that (something about not throwing good money after bad, the case worker says . . . They want to know that they’re not going to give you the money, then have you right back in the same spot in a month or two, which I can understand).  I’m still sending out resumes every day, so hopefully I’ll find something sooner than August.  And I’ve worked parking for Ohio State during football season the last three seasons, and the supervisor there loves me too, since their turnover is pretty high, and I’m one of the few that have stayed with them so long.  The first game isn’t until September 1st, but then the first four games are all at home, and they’re pretty long days – you start at 4 or 5 in the morning, and you go until after the game starts, and for night games you’re there for all day long.  So basically, IF I can keep us healthy and together through June and July, things will start to get better and we should slowly get back on our feet on our own.  IF . . .

I don’t always know what to say when I write these blog entries, so I’ve decided to answer some of the questions people have been asking.  Some of the same questions are coming up a lot, so I figure that everybody probably wants to know the same things about what’s going on with us.

–“You may get more help if you find a family shelter that has counselors in house.  I know this is not an option you want and I don’t blame you in the least.  But investigate the shelters and see who has help on site.”

Even if I thought that we could do better at a shelter, it’s not an option right now.  I’ve contacted every single family shelter in the county, and all of them are over-capacity and are not taking any new intakes right now.  The best that any of them can do right now is offer us some cots in the hallway, and only for a short time.  Angy can barely get comfortable enough to sleep in a regular bed because of her fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy, and with her sleep apnea, she can’t sleep at all without her breathing machine.  I honestly believe that going to a shelter might kill her.  I’m afraid that I might lose her anyway, even if we’re able to stay here, because her arthritis and her depression are getting worse, as well.  It doesn’t do us any good if I’m able to keep us together until Angy’s job starts, and then she’s not physically able to do it anymore.  This is a major source of stress for me right now, and that’s not even mentioning what lack of sleep and stress are doing to me and my brain tumor.  I try hard not to let them see how it’s all affecting me, but they’re not stupid.  All three of us have appointments with our family doctor this Thursday afternoon, so we’ll see then how we’re all doing.  But for Angy and I especially, it’s not good.

–“The sad fact is Angy & Izabella would probably get more help if you weren’t with them.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t see them and spend time with them, it’s just how jacked up our system is when it comes to families and how they are helped.  This sucks mightily but sometimes you gotta play the game.”

Believe me, I am painfully aware of the inequities of the system out there.  I am a human man in the United States with a family, who has never abused alcohol or drugs, never been to prison, with a high school diploma and two college degrees, who has never physically or emotionally abused or molested my child or my wife, willing and able to work and trying desperately to keep my family together.  All of these would seem to be good qualities in a person, and yet these are the same things that seem to put me at the very bottom of the priority list as far as who people want to help.  If I couldn’t read or didn’t have my high school diploma, I could get plenty of help.  If I was a recovering addict or an ex-con or a veteran, there is lots of help for me.  If I left the girls or if I had abused them in some way, they could get lots of help.  If I was completely disabled, I could get help.  If I lived in a Third World country, I could get help.  If we were dogs or cats or some other kind of homeless animal or an endangered species, I would probably have been helped already.  I’m not saying that none of these other groups deserve any help, not at all.  But it seems like there is absolutely nothing out there for a regular, decent, educated, responsible husband and father who just can’t find a job right now.  It is EXTREMELY frustrating, in a way that completely boggles the mind and irritates me to no end.  The girls are very aware of this as well, but despite my best efforts to try and convince them repeatedly that they would be better off in the long run if they tried to go it on their own, they want us to stay together.  Partly because they’re not really all that sure that they could do any better without me, and partly because (again, despite all my arguments to the contrary) they are very afraid of what might happen to me if I was all by myself.  We’re a family, and we’re in this together, and we’re going to find a way to get through this together.

–“Have you called your congress person for help?”

Not only have I contacted our congress people, I’ve contacted all of them.  Literally.  The Internet is a wonderful thing.  I have contacted every single member of the Ohio Senate, the Ohio House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, the White House, the Ohio governor, the mayor of Columbus, and every single city, county, state, and national cabinet member or department head I’ve been able to find email contact information for.  The only one that I have heard from recently is Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, who sent us a form to fill out to formally ask for assistance from his office (apparently, they need an actual signature, not an electronic one, before they can look into our situation on our behalf).  Other than that, nothing.

–“See if there is anyone who can keep your animals for you while you supply the food for a period of three months, where you guys could visit them.  See if a humane shelter will keep them for a fee.  People love animals more than they like people.  See if someone who fosters animals is will to do this for you with a written contract to get them back.”

We’ve made lots of phone calls and sent out lots of emails about this, and haven’t found anything yet.  It seems that the people that help animals in this area are pretty overwhelmed right now, too.  Every time someone gets foreclosed on or evicted, their animals are put out as well.  The family shelters are way over-capacity, and so are the animal shelters.  Plus, I’d be pretty worried about Duke and Morris.  Duke is a rescue, from the ASCPA in Titusville, Florida six years ago.  His mother was tied to their door on Christmas Day, right after giving birth.  She was tied so tightly, she couldn’t lay down to nurse her puppies.  By the time someone came in and found them, only four puppies survived, three girls and a boy.  My standing rule on pets, in a house full of girls, has always been that any pet we get has to be a boy, just to help even out the hormones in the family.  Duke has always been nervous and scared of his own shadow, except with us, and I’m not sure if he could handle being with anyone else.  Morris is a really good cat, but he’s really old.  We got him from an adoption service, after an elderly couple gave him up because they just couldn’t take care of him anymore.  The adoption people thought that he was three or four years old then, and that was ten years ago.  He doesn’t even have all of his teeth, and he is very attached to Angy, and she is very attached to him.  Like Izabella says, they’re all part of our family, and we’re all in this together, at least for the time being.

–“Have you approached any churches?  I know many churches have members who help people incognito.”

Again, not only have we contacted the church we were going to, we have contacted all of them.  Literally.  I have contacted every church, every synagogue, and every mosque in the county that I could find email contact information for, and every national and local charity I could find.  We’ve had a couple of phone calls, a few small donations, but not much else.  The big exception to that is an incredible person named Lynda Chambers, who is our case worker at the Westerville Area Resource Ministry.  The churches in the northeast area of Columbus were overwhelmed with the number of requests for aid that they were receiving, so they have joined together into one office to pool their resources and help people more efficiently.  Lynda’s actually been our caseworker there for about eighteen months now, and I really don’t know what we would have done without her help.  Job leads, help with getting benefits, gas cards when I was having trouble getting back and forth to work . . . She’s even brought us stuff from the food bank on a regular basis ever since we lost our car.  I don’t have the words to describe how wonderful she has been to us.

–“I am in your corner praying for you and trying to give you any suggestions I can think of, but I’m having trouble myself, so I can’t help you financially right now.”

I still appreciate it very much.  Prayer is a powerful tool in any circumstance, so I’ll take all the prayer I can get.  I’ll take all the extra brains thinking about how to help us I can get.  And I’ll take all the friends I can get, too.  When we get out of this . . . And we WILL get out of this . . . I promise to return the favor.

We still need immediate help, to keep ourselves together and get ourselves into a more stable housing situation.  We’re ready to accept any miracle that might come our way, so anyone who wants to help can still send us something via PayPal:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

Our post office is holding our mail for us, so if you prefer, you can continue to send us anything you’d like through the mail (although PayPal gets to us much quicker):

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

However, I want to once again state how extremely important it is to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I said earlier, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

And if any of you are interested, continue to follow this blog and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.  I sincerely believe that God has a plan for my family and I, but I also know that God helps those that help themselves.  Right now, I continue to think that this blog can be a powerful tool for helping us.  And maybe it can help someone else, as well.  Stay tuned, help us if you can, continue to keep us in your prayers, and may God bless all of you . . . Peace!

Von Regan Davis

(614) 390-1086

helpmyfamilynow.wordpress@gmail.com

;~}

June 12th, 2012     Image

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” ― William James

My family and I are still living in a hotel, thanks to the generosity of the many good people who have helped us so far.  But we are still in dire need of immediate financial help, this time to keep us in the hotel and off the streets or out of a shelter and to hopefully find some more permanent housing quickly, so our PayPal account is still open, and if anyone would like to send us some more monetary help in any amount whatsoever, they can do it at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

If someone wants to help but doesn’t want to do it online, our post office is holding our mail for us, so if you prefer, you can continue to send us anything you’d like through the mail:

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

However, it is extremely important to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I have said before, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and our young daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

We need help still, and we are praying for some sort of a miracle soon.  My wife’s birthday is today, and unfortunately all that I can do for her is a small cake from Kroger.  I’m hopeful that I will have the opportunity to make it up to her later.  She is in a great deal of pain, aggravated by the stress of our current situation.  Angy already has issues with depression and sleep apnea and diabetes and high blood pressure and chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy, and this whole experience has been extremely hard on her so far.  Her pain makes it difficult for her to walk, even the short distance from the bed to the bathroom.  She spent years as a school bus driver in Ohio and Florida, and she is looking forward to a new job that she is scheduled to start in August, driving a van transporting special needs students to and from school.  But we’ve got to figure out a way to keep ourselves together and off the streets until then.  I’m going without sleep and driving myself crazy, contacting every charity and social service agency I can think of and find on the Internet, but so far I haven’t been able to track down any help for us.  I’m trying desperately to keep us out of a shelter, partly because they don’t allow pets and we would have to give up our animals, and partly because I don’t believe that Angy can physically handle being in that sort of living situation.  I am in constant extreme fear that, if we don’t find some kind of a more stable answer soon, we will lose her.

I have been amazed by the support that we have received so far from people, but I’ve also been dismayed by the fierceness of the attacks on me personally because of this blog.  I’ve tried very hard to not criticize anyone, just tell the truth about our circumstances and how we ended up here.  I hold no animosity whatsoever against any individual or any office that can’t help us.  I know that times are tough for a lot of people right now and there are a great deal of hands out for help, and that everyone has their own lives and their own difficulties to deal with, and my family’s problems shouldn’t be anyone else’s responsibility.  But I’ve had a few condemnations of me personally and the way I’m trying to find help for my family, and I feel like I should respond to them.

There are people that have called me a ‘freeloader’ and ‘lazy’, a ‘liar’ and a ‘scam artist’, and they want to know why I’m not working to take care of my family myself.  There is a common misconception that anyone who wants a job can find one, and that anyone who doesn’t work obviously doesn’t want to.  I have to admit that, once upon a time, I believed this as well.  And maybe, once upon a time, this was actually true.  But it’s just simply not the case anymore.  I hear stories in almost every nightly national newscast of individuals who have been looking for work for two or three years, some of them for longer than I have, and I simply can’t buy into the mass delusion that every single one of these people are lazy freeloaders.  I worked three jobs at the same time when we lived in Florida five years ago, two of them full-time, all while going to college full-time on an academic scholarship with a 3.95 GPA and dealing with treatments for a brain tumor.  I spent all of last football season, still recovering from a car accident and still dealing with my tumor, standing on a cane outside in the weather selling parking tickets at Ohio State University for minimum wage because that was the only job I could find to take care of my family.  I’m a lot of things, some of them pretty bad, but I am NOT a freeloader and I am NOT lazy.  I don’t expect ANYONE ELSE to take care of my family, and I don’t begrudge ANYONE ELSE anything that they’ve worked for and earned.  I can’t stand for very long, and I can’t do any heavy lifting.  But offer me a job that I can actually do, and I’m there in a heartbeat.

I suffer from a pituitary brain tumor, discovered about ten years ago but probably in my head growing and affecting me ever since I started puberty.  This is some information about what I’m dealing with from Wikapedia and MayoClinic.com:

“Pituitary adenomas are tumors that occur in the pituitary gland.  Tumors which exceed 10 mm in size [like mine, which is approximately two cm] are defined as macroadenomas.  Hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas cause one of several forms of hyperpituitarism.  The specifics depend on the type of hormone.  Some tumors secrete more than one hormone, the most common combination [like mine] being GH and prolactin.  A pituitary adenoma may present with visual field defects, classically bitemporal hemianopia.  It arises from the compression of the optic nerve by the tumor.  Also, a pituitary adenoma can cause symptoms of increased intracranial pressure . . . Signs and symptoms of pressure from a pituitary tumor may include headache, vision loss (particularly loss of peripheral vision), nausea and vomiting, fatigue, weakness, cold intolerance, constipation, sexual dysfunction, and unintended weight gain . . . Various psychiatric manifestations have been associated with pituitary disorders including pitutary adenomas.  Psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, apathy, memory loss, emotional instability, easy irritability and hostility have been noted.”

Now, I’m not making excuses.  My life and my family are ultimately my responsibility.  But I dealt with every one of these symptoms for years before finding out why ten years ago, and for the longest time everyone in my life thought I was just fat, moody and depressed.  It took years even after first being diagnosed for my treatments to get any of these symptoms under some kind of control.  Even now, I deal with most of these on a constant basis to one degree or another.  I couldn’t work at all for a few years, and because of that I fell behind on my child support payments for my two oldest daughters, arrears which I’m still making payments on.  When I’m working, I make my payments.  But I can’t give anyone money that I don’t have.  Eventually, I will find work, and when I do I will finish paying off my debt to child support, and to an old student loan which is currently in default for the same reason.  But when these show up on my credit report, there’s no explanation of the circumstances involved.  It just says that I owe, so my credit rating is lowered dramatically, and this may have something to do with why I’m having trouble finding work, since so many employers check your credit rating these days.  And the spiral continues, outside of my control.

It’s amazing what shows up sometimes when you Google your own name, and how it can be misinterpreted.  Google my name, and quite a few good things show up, but you also see a couple of things show up which, on the surface, make me look pretty bad.  I did not realize that I have a warrant out for my arrest in DeKalb County, Indiana.  As it says above, memory loss is one of the things I deal with because of my tumor.  The link says that the warrant is for “Failure To Appear – Criminal Deception”, but a phone call to the clerk of court there yesterday revealed that this is the name of the charge when you don’t show up for court for any reason.  Apparently, when I was working in Ft. Wayne twelve years ago, I got a speeding ticket and my license at the time was expired.  I had completely forgotten, and the warrant has been active ever since.  The court there knows my situation now, and unfortunately there’s no way for me to go there and clear this up at this time, so the warrant will stay active until I do.  I haven’t been to court yet, so even though it shows up on Google, I’m still supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.  But it’s still there, and most people don’t subscribe to the whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ concept.  Since a few people have brought up that they found this on Google, I wonder how many jobs I’ve applied for and haven’t gotten because of this.  I wonder how many people might have helped us with our current problems, and didn’t because of this.

The other thing that shows up when you Google my name is an old mugshot of me, on a website called MugshotsOnline.com from eight years ago.  It says that the charges against me at the time of my arrest were “Display of License; Failure to Display License When Demand is Properly Made – Domestic Violence – Musical Instruments, Radios, Etc.”  Basically, what happened is that my ex-wife used to call the police whenever I came over to pick up my oldest daughter for my court-ordered visitation and told them that I threatened her, so they would come and arrest me until I could get bailed out.  I’ve got a few friends, people I’m still friends with, and my current wife, who had to bail me out of jail repeatedly for this crap.  That particular day, I had accidently left my wallet at home, so I couldn’t show them my license when they asked me for it, and they said my radio was too loud.  As soon as I went to court each of these times, the charges were thrown out because of lack of evidence.  But the arrest still happened, and the mugshots are still a matter of public record.  Here’s the really crazy part.  The company that runs MugshotsOnline.com goes through the public record and finds mugshots of all kinds of people.  Now, let’s ignore the fact for a moment that simply being arrested for something doesn’t make you guilty of ANYTHING.  If you scroll down on the page of their website where my mugshot is, and read the small print, it states:

“An arrest does not mean that the individual has been convicted of the crime.  Individuals on this website are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.  The information related to charges and arrest or booking information is provided through publicdomain and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.”

Of course, this print is extremely small.  Right under my picture, there’s a link entitled “Remove This Mugshot”, and if you click on it, you find out that this company has posted your public domain mugshot, which they got for free, on their website, set it up so that it shows up in any Google search of your name without any regard for whether you were actually guilty or not, and if you want to have it taken down, you have to pay them sixty bucks!  What a racket!  So much for ‘innocent until proven guilty’, huh?  Again, since a few people have brought up that they found this on Google, I wonder how many jobs I’ve applied for and haven’t gotten because of this.  I wonder how many people might have helped us with our current problems, and didn’t because of this.

I’m not making excuses for anything.  I’m not an angel, and I’ve done things in my life I’m not proud of.  I’ve got two older daughters who don’t talk to me at all, because their mothers kept them from me their entire childhoods.  I love them both very much, but I admit to not knowing them very well, and they don’t know me either.  My stepdaughter, Angy’s oldest daughter, blames me for our current situation and the way I’ve gone public with my efforts to find a solution, so she’s pretty upset at me right now, too.  But even if I were to believe that I’m being punished in some fashion for my past transgressions (which I don’t), it still doesn’t explain why my wife and my beautiful, innocent nine-year-old daughter are being forced to go through all of this.  I’m just a regular guy, trying to overcome the mistakes in my past and take care of my family.  I don’t drink, I’ve never used drugs, I’ve always tried to be honest and hardworking at all of my jobs.  And nothing in my past is serious enough, in my opinion, to keep me from being able to take care of my family.  I personally know of former drug dealers, people who have served time for theft and drunk driving, even convicted child molesters, who are able to find jobs.  Why can’t I?  I’ve sent out literally thousands of resumes in the last few years.  I’ve sent out over two hundred just since our eviction twelve days ago.  I still truly believe that God has a plan for my family and I, and that there is something positive waiting for us on the other side of all of this.  But I admit to feeling immensely frustrated and overwhelmingly scared and, ultimately, very alone.

We still need immediate help, to keep ourselves together and get ourselves into a more stable housing situation.  We’re ready to accept any miracle that might come our way, so anyone who wants to help can still send us something via PayPal:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

Our post office is holding our mail for us, so if you prefer, you can continue to send us anything you’d like through the mail:

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

However, it is extremely important to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I said earlier, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

And if any of you are interested, continue to follow this blog and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.  I sincerely believe that God has a plan for my family and I, but I also know that God helps those that help themselves.  Right now, I continue to think that this blog can be a powerful tool for helping us.  And maybe it can help someone else, as well.  Stay tuned, help us if you can, continue to keep us in your prayers, and may God bless all of you . . . Peace!

Von Regan Davis

(614) 390-1086

helpmyfamilynow.wordpress@gmail.com

;~}

June 4th, 2012

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.  But it ain’t how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.  How much you can take, and keep moving forward.  That’s how winning is done!” ― Rocky Balboa

My family and I are homeless.  The eviction happened a few days ago, on June 1st, but I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the reality of it.  I’ve been homeless before, but it was a very long time ago, more than twenty years, and quite a few things were different.  For one thing, back then it was my fault, because I was young and stupid and stubborn and pigheaded.  Back then, I was in a much younger, much more resilient body, not as sick and punished as it is now.  Back then I was completely homeless and broke and on the streets for a while, not sitting in a hotel room like we are now, although if we don’t get some kind of help soon, we won’t be able to stay here for very long.  But most importantly, back then I was alone, and the only one who had to suffer because of my stupidity and/or bad luck was me.  Now, I’ve got a family to be concerned with . . . a sick wife, a small child, plus two dogs and two cats.  So where do I begin?

Let’s start with why I think it’s important to continue this blog.  I’m actually normally a fairly private person, believe it or not.  I tend to keep a lot of things in my family’s life to myself, both positive and negative.  And I’ve caught a lot of grief recently from some people, especially a few in my wife’s family, for putting so much of my personal business out there for all the world to see.  Essentially, it came down to a rather simple choice.  On one side of the scale was my enormous desire to keep my business private and figure out a way to solve my problems on my own.  On the other side of the scale was my gargantuan love for my daughter and wife, and my crushing realization that I’m just not able to take care of them on my own at this point in time.  Ultimately, it was no contest.  And for those that don’t understand or agree with that . . . Oh, well.  You know the old saying . . . “Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.”

But why keep it going now?  The whole point, originally, was to try and raise enough money to keep us from being evicted (although, it turns out that God does work in mysterious ways, and it might actually be a good thing that we’re not there anymore . . . More on that topic in a bit), and that ship has metaphorically sailed.  The deadline has passed, and even though I am immensely grateful to everyone that sent us money and prayers and good thoughts, it turned out to be too little, too late.  And, every time we talked our landlord or the county bailiff into giving us more time, I had quite a few people who pointed out that repeatedly pushing back the deadline made it look like the whole thing was just a big scam.  We are still in dire need of financial help, this time to keep us in a hotel and off the streets or out of a shelter and to hopefully find some more permanent housing quickly, so our PayPal account is still open, and if anyone would like to send us some more monetary help in any amount whatsoever, they can do it at this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

But getting donations is not the primary focus of this blog anymore.  And perhaps, in some sense, it never was.  I’m keeping it going because I need an outlet for the thoughts and emotions that our circumstances are causing to percolate inside of me.  I’m keeping it going because I need a forum to reply to everyone who says that this situation is somehow my fault.  I am painfully aware of my shortcomings, and I have no delusions about the mistakes I’ve made in my life.  But it’s not my fault that I have a pituitary brain tumor which slows my metabolism and screws up my immune system . . . It’s not my fault that I was in a accident with an uninsured driver that totalled our only car, couldn’t stand for months, and still have trouble walking even with a cane . . . It’s not my fault that my wife had to have reconstructive surgery on both her hand and her ankle . . . It’s not my fault that my wife has diabetes and fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy and sleep apnea and depression . . . It’s not my fault that I’ve got two college degrees, graduated top of my class for both of them, have always been a hardworking and talented employee, and have sent out literally thousands of applications in the last three years and still can’t find a job.  I’m keeping the blog going because sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees, and if I’m still making mistakes, I’m hoping that someone will see them here and let me know so I can fix my behavior before I make things worse.  I’m keeping it going because people need to know that the stereotype of the poor as lazy, stupid drug addicts trying to cheat the system is not the reality.  I’ve never been a heavy or regular drinker, never even tried drugs, and would love to find a job of any kind where I could earn enough to take care of my 9-year-old daughter and my wife.  I’m keeping the blog going because our communities are full of good, honest, hard-working families that have done nothing wrong, but are still struggling in this economy, many of them in far worse shape than us, and they need a voice.  I’m keeping it going because someone else out there might be experiencing the same type of circumstances as us, and maybe this will help them find the strength to get through, or the belief in God that will help them keep going, or show them something they can do that they hadn’t thought of, or just let them understand that they are not alone.  I’m keeping it going because I know that God will help us get through this, and one day my daughter may want some kind of a record of what happened and how hard I fought to keep us safe and together.  Maybe, more than anything else, I’m keeping this blog going because it’s important that everyone else realizes how blessed they are, because . . . It could happen to any one of you.  Whether you believe it or not.

We needed $2,500 to stop our eviction from happening.  It wasn’t the total amount that we owed, but it was a pretty big chunk of it, and if we had gotten that together, the property manager would have been willing to work out a payment plan with us for the rest.  Our original deadline was May 26th, but a lot of begging and a little bit of holiday weekend luck had given us until June 1st.  As I said earlier, we are so incredibly grateful to each and every person that tried to help us.  The response was astonishing, and we were especially touched by the comments of the people who sent us something.  An old friend from high school actually drove to our home and brought us a large amount of money.  Joe Bradley, producer and co-host of The John Corby Show, heard every afternoon in Columbus on NewsTalk 610 WTVN, sent money, called me by phone to let me know personally that there were people out there working on our behalf, and featured a link to our blog on their blog:

http://www.610wtvn.com/pages/pp_johncorby.html

Some sent money anonymously, with only the postmark to let us know the city they lived in.  One unsigned envelope had five dollars inside with this note:

“Sorry it couldn’t be more.  I am in a tight spot myself.  But no one is currently calling me for this.  God bless.”

Another person wrote:

“I hope this is not a scam.  But only you know the truth.  Here is two dollars.  I hope it helps.  I’ll say a prayer.”

Another old friend from high school, whom I haven’t actually seen in more than thirty years, wrote this:

“I’m just glad that I’m in the time and place to be able to help out a little bit.  Being a dad myself I can empathize with your situation and knowing how we want to provide for our families.  I’ve personally found that the more I turn things over to God and rely less on myself the better my life becomes.  I’d encourage you to turn your concerns and worries over to God and be ready to be amazed.”

The entire time that our original plea for donations was out there, we were still working the phone and the Internet, looking for work or assistance or something that could help us.  It didn’t work out, however.  The total amount we had by the morning of June 1st was just over $1,000 and that was not enough to stop the eviction.

During the night before, when I finally accepted the reality that we weren’t going to get any kind of a last-minute reprieve, my wife and I stayed up making plans to use the limited finances we had to make sure we didn’t lose all of our belongings and end up on the street.  We talked to Izabella the evening before about what was about to happen and what it meant, reassuring her that things would be okay and that we would protect her no matter what.  We found the cheapest truck, the least expensive movers, storage, hotel.  If you look hard enough, it’s amazing what kinds of deals you can find online.  The morning came, we sent Izabella off to school, and got ready to face a stressful day.

And that’s when everything started to get screwed up.  My cousin came by to drive us to pick up the rental truck we had reserved at the local Uhaul.  Even though we had a confirmed online reservation and they had our phone number, when we arrived we found out they had no truck for us.  They call and find us an available truck a half hour’s drive away, but we had to go get it.  Our original reservation was for 24 hours, but when we get to the other Uhaul, it had been changed without our knowledge to a six hour rental.  We had arranged for movers through the Uhaul website to arrive three hours before the bailiff, given a number to contact them, but when we call, we’re told that they’re over an hour’s drive away from Columbus, they don’t do moves in our area, and they don’t know why Uhaul says they do.  We tell Uhaul, and they tell us that it will take five to seven business days to refund us what they charged our debit card for THEIR mistake, but if we still need movers, they’ll have to charge our card again NOW!  We’re already short on money, and they’ve basically double-charged us!  The new movers will be happy to take care of us, but are already in Cincinnati on another job, and can’t arrive until two hours AFTER the bailiff will put all of our possessions in the street.  It’s been dry for days, but on that day, of course, it’s raining.  And the hits just keep on coming . . .

Everyone and everything else was late that day, but (no surprise) the bailiff and his crew were right on time.  They were astonishingly fast, and they weren’t as rough with our stuff as I expected them to be.  It was a humbling experience, sitting next to our rental truck with my wife Angy, watching everything that we own in the world quickly piled up in a big mound on the sidewalk, powerless to prevent it.  But the rain held off, so only a few things were damaged.  And leave it to Izabella to see the bright side.  She came home from school and right away pointed out that, since the movers charged us by the hour and the bailiff worked for free, that it actually saved us quite a bit of money having everything already outside.  As we sat there, we had the chance to chat with some of our nicer neighbors.  One wonderful lady saw us sitting in the cold and brought us hot chocolate.  One couple came out and talked with us and kept us company the entire time we were there waiting.  And we discovered that, unknown to us, all of our neighbors have been dealing with a very bad infestation of mice, and getting absolutely no help from the landlord to get rid of them.  I wish that we had been able to leave on our own terms, but I was suddenly happy to be leaving as I reached in the carrier and petted our two cats!  When the movers finally arrived three hours later after getting caught in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic, it took them very little time to get the truck loaded.  They did a great job, things went according to plan at the self-storage place, and we finally made it to our hotel room, our new temporary home.

We were so worn out after the whole experience that we spent most of Saturday in bed.  I’ve been online most of Sunday, trying to figure out what happens from here.  We’ve got money coming back from Uhaul for the other movers, plus they’re refunding back half of our truck rental charge after I complained to their national customer service number about having to go to another location to get our truck.  But it will take five to seven business days before we get that back, and that’s if there are no more problems (My faith in Uhaul is fairly low at this point).  There are hotels that are cheaper than where we are, but this was the best we could find with the combination of a location close to Izabella’s school and that accepted pets.  We have two dogs and two cats, and although lots of people don’t seem to understand it, they are part of our family too.  I’m not going to pick keeping them over the welfare of my daughter and wife, but I also know how much it would devastate all of us if we had to give them up, especially our oldest dog Dizzy.  I have a very clear memory of sleeping on the floor in our Florida townhouse almost nine years ago, no electricity after a hurricane, waking up to a loud noise in the dark and turning on the flashlight to see Dizzy covering my one-year-old daughter with his body as he went nose-to-nose with a six-foot alligator that was trying to take her away.  I know that it might come down to making that hard choice to let them go, but I just can’t do it yet.  Izabella only has one week of school left, and there are no hotels along any of the school bus routes to her school.  Any money we would save at a cheaper hotel further away would be lost in the extra expensive of cab fare to get her to and from school, since we still have no car.  So here we are, but what happens now is unclear.

I know that God will help us get to the other side of all of this, but I do wonder sometimes when we’ll get there.  I think quite often of the parable of the man who complained about the terrible condition of his shoes, until he met a man with no feet.  Angy already has issues with depression and sleep apnea and diabetes and chronic pain, and this has been extremely hard on her so far.  I am in constant fear that, if we don’t find some kind of a more stable answer soon, we will lose her.  For Izabella, however, so far this seems to be like some big adventure.  Partially because I keep reassuring her that Daddy will make sure everything’s okay, and partially because she’s just a really good, incredible kid.  I wish I had her optimism.

We still need help, to keep ourselves together and into a more stable housing situation.  We’re ready to accept any miracle that might come our way, so anyone who wants to help can still send us something via PayPal:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

Our post office is holding our mail for us, so if you prefer, you can continue to send us anything you’d like through the mail:

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

However, it is extremely important to me that anyone who reads this understands that, just because I ask the world for help does not mean that I think that the world owes me anything.  No one else is responsible for my family but me.  As I said earlier, if it was just me, I wouldn’t even ask.  I ask for my wife and daughter.  But more than anything, I want to work, to take care of my own family and my own responsibilities and, as so many people have asked me to do when they’ve helped us, to pay it forward.  My resume, along with some professional recommendations and links to examples to my work, can be found on my Linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis

And if any of you are interested, continue to follow this blog and I will keep you posted on how we are doing.  I sincerely believe that God has a plan for my family and I, but I also know that God helps those that help themselves.  Right now, I think that this blog can be a powerful tool for helping us.  And maybe it can help someone else, as well.  Stay tuned, help us if you can, continue to keep us in your prayers, and may God bless all of you . . . Peace!

Von Regan Davis

(614) 390-1086

helpmyfamilynow.wordpress@gmail.com

;~}

Updated May 30, 2012

PLEASE READ THIS!  I NEED EVERY PERSON WHO READS THIS TO SEND ME ONE U.S. DOLLAR IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS, OR MY FAMILY AND I WILL BE HOMELESS!!  That’s it, just one dollar.  I know that times are hard (probably better than most people), so I’m going for a broad message so that I don’t have to cause any hardship to any one person who wants to help us.  We are so grateful to everyone that has helped us so far, but we still need a lot more help and time is running out for us.  We were originally scheduled for eviction this morning (05/30/2012), but a significant amount of begging and pleading with the bailiff and our landlord gave us another two days (until Friday, 06/01/2012) to try and cover what we need.  If enough people read this all the way through, and if each of them will send me just one dollar immediately, I can save my family from being homeless.  Please send one dollar directly and securely by credit or debit card with PayPal through this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

Please be assured, this is not a scam, this is not a lie, this is not fake.  The world is full of con artists trying to take advantage of the goodwill of other people, so I’m sure that most of us are skeptical of anyone asking for help.  But throughout this blog, I will provide names and addresses and phone numbers for places where anyone can get information to know that everything in this is true.  I am a real person with a real daughter and a real wife, and we are all really in Columbus, Ohio and really in desperate need of help immediately to avoid becoming homeless.  My daughter is my entire world, and I would do anything possible to protect her and take care of her.  So in spite of my hesitation and fear and misgivings, I am taking the extraordinary step of telling my story in this way because, after you strip away all of my pride and trepidation and reluctance, all that I have left is my love for her and my desire to give her a good life.  And quite frankly, right now I can’t think of anything else.  I am trying to get our story out to as many people as possible in the hopes that somehow, we can get a miracle of some kind.

To be honest, most of our friends, and even most of our family, do not know how bad things have gotten for us until now.  Even for those that do know some of what has happened to us, we haven’t let them know all the details of our situation.  Why?  Embarrassment, for one thing.  Despite having so many things happen to us that were outside of our control, I still feel responsible.  I am a man, with a wife and a child, and I should be able to take care of them.  My pride has prevented me from giving all the details to the people closest to us.  Even on my personal Facebook page, I try to stay positive and uplifting every day no matter what ( https://www.facebook.com/vonregandavisakadjbuddylove ).  Another reason is fatigue on the part of our close family and friends.  Despite trying to do everything we can to get out of this situation on our own, our problems have been going on for over three years now, and after a while, people get tired of hearing from us.  I can hear it in their voices when they answer the phone.  “Oh God, what do they want now?”  I find myself purposely calling people on a regular basis and actually saying to them, “We don’t want anything today, I just called to say hello.”  Believe me, it feels strange and uncomfortable to have to do that.  And frankly, I get weary of listening to their judgments about us, and specifically me.  I hear stories on the national news every night about individuals with wonderful backgrounds, doing all that they can to find employment, and yet some of them have actually been without work for longer than I have.  I hear other stories about persons fighting against the odds, dealing with disease and disability while trying to succeed in the world, and I think that surely, everyone else must hear these stories too.  And yet, most of those closest to us don’t seem to understand.  My family has helped us quite a bit, and I frankly don’t know how we would get along without their help.  But they have their own lives to live, and they have difficulties of their own to deal with, and my family is not their responsibility.  With our friends, I constantly have to deal with the perception that somehow, this must all be my fault, and if I just looked a little more diligently or tried a little harder or prayed a little more earnestly, I wouldn’t have all these problems.  My wife’s family is much worse.  They’ve refused to help us at all.  For some reason, they’ve never liked me even when I was doing well, and from what my wife tells me, they have always treated her as an outsider, looking down on her no matter what she does.  When we tell them that we need help, the only thing that they offer is to take our daughter until we get back on our feet.  They don’t seem to get it when we tell them that we don’t consider that an option.  I know my daughter, and although I have thought about doing that for her own good, I know how deeply attached she is to her mommy and daddy, and to all of her teachers and friends at her school.  It would be devastating to her and to us to be separated from each other.  And we get tired of hearing it and dealing with the constant insults, so we don’t talk to them.  Here is an example of the kinds of emails I get from my wife’s family, a message I received a few days before last Christmas when we didn’t have a phone for a few weeks (the misspellings are theirs):

“Buddy I think u can this isn’t going to be a nice message but Angy has family that care for her n ever since you got with her the only great fucking thing uve done was give her bella. If u cant take care of your family than what kind of man r u. I honestly don’t give a fuck about you. I actually think the both of them would be better without you. Get a fucking JOB and take care of ur family. Her family needs to hear from her!!!”

As I said, we get tired of hearing it, so we don’t talk to them.  Finally, to a certain degree, we don’t want to worry those closest to us.  We know that they love us and we love them, so we’ve attempted to protect them from knowing all the details of the hardships we’ve endured over the last few years.  Unfortunately, our circumstances have gotten to the point where not telling anyone the severity of our situation is no longer an option.  We need help, and we need it now, so I’m telling our story to everyone I can here.

I’ve been a DJ my entire adult life.  I’ve always worked, and I’ve usually actually had two or three jobs at the same time, because I’ve always loved working.  I’ve been a nightclub DJ for a number of years, under the alias of DJ Buddy Love ( https://www.facebook.com/DJBuddyLove3000 ).  I’ve performed at nightclubs, festivals and corporate events throughout North America & Europe.  I spent two and a half years as the private DJ to pop star Prince, back in the early 1990s.  I was the first American DJ to headline a festival in South Africa, over ten years ago.  And I once held the Guinness World Record ® (for a short time in 2003) for the Longest Nonstop Club DJ Marathon (over 80 hours).  I married my amazing wife, and even though we had three nearly-adult daughters separately and we were in our late thirties, we decided to try and have a child together.  We suffered through five miscarriages, and stopped trying because it was just too hard on her, and we figured that it just wasn’t meant to be.  And of course, as soon as we stopped trying, my wife became pregnant again.  It was a hard, high-risk pregnancy, and we were afraid of suffering through another miscarriage every step of the way.  Then, when my wife Angy was seven months along, I got some life-altering news.  I used to be in fairly decent shape, taking aerobics and bike riding on a regular basis, but for a few years I had been slowing down and putting on weight, while suffering from extremely painful migraine headaches more and more often.  After a number of tests and MRIs, I got the news just two months before Angy’s due date:  I had a pituitary brain tumor.  We were devastated, but I was determined to find a way to be there for my family.  And in October of 2002, we were blessed with the birth of Izabella, healthy and happy.

My condition and the effects on my body gradually worsened, and in June of 2004 we decided, on the advice of my doctor to help my treatment, to move away from the hard winters in Ohio.  We went to Palm Bay, Florida and I started a job DJing at a club owned by a former manager of mine.  My body starting responding to the treatments, and I decided to go back to school to update my skills for the job market.  I graduated with honors with my AS in Digital Media Production/Digital TV from Brevard Community College, and an internship during my last semester turned into regular work as a freelance news videographer for FLORIDA TODAY newspaper in Melbourne, shooting and editing news videos for floridatoday.com while still working at the club.  Things were going well ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lkEZ1rWfnw&list=PL13C964491F39E385&index=4&feature=plpp_video ).

We lived in the same county as Kennedy Space Center, and when it was announced that the shuttle program was going to be ending, the whole local economy started to go bad.  My wife, who had been a school bus driver for many years and was working for Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, injured her thumb and wrist in an accident at work and couldn’t work anymore.  I was laid off from my news media job in Florida, and business at the club slowed down to almost nothing.  We were running out of money after a few months and there were no jobs to be found in the area, so in spite of my ongoing health problems and with the help of my family, we moved back to Ohio three years ago in the hopes of benefiting from a better job market.  However, despite having a long, highly-skilled work and education background, and searching aggressively for a position in my field, all the work I have been able to find in the last three years have been small temporary jobs.

My health has continued to deteriorate.  I still suffer from the pituitary brain tumor and severe arthritis in my knees and neck.  The tumor has reduced my testosterone and my metabolism greatly, and my blood pressure has gone up considerably.  Over the last several years, my lowered metabolism has resulted in a dramatic weight gain.  I was in an auto accident last June, and another this past January (not my fault, but the other drivers had no insurance and we only had liability), so now we have no transportation of our own.  Although I walk with a cane now and am not able to stand for an extended period of time, I am willing and able to work at a job where I can sit (My doctor is Dr. Dustin Yontz of Grant Family Practice East, 4850 E. Main Street in Columbus, 614-566-0950, and my endocrinologist is Dr. William Lutmer of Capital Endocrinology, 500 E. Main Street in Columbus, 614-566-9922).  My wife is diabetic, suffers from sleep apnea and depression and diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia, has severe arthritis and had surgery during last year to reconstruct her badly injured ankle from an accident at home (My wife is Angela M. Incorvaia-Davis, and her doctor is Dr. Zena Jalloh of Grant Family Practice East, 4850 E. Main Street in Columbus, 614-566-0950).  After her ankle surgery last year, she was unable to put any weight on her ankle for over 3 months.  She was bedridden and needed someone to take care of her around the clock, so I was not able to even look for work while I took care of her and our daughter and myself, and in the meantime, we have been trying to survive.

We have been just barely making ends meet for a long time now.  Then, things started snowballing from there.  The Franklin County Job & Family Services office suspended our cash benefits recently for a few months because of a mistake they made in our medical certifications after my wife’s ankle surgery.  The Monday before last Thanksgiving (11/21/2011), a sewage line that serviced our apartment building backed up, and we had a half-inch of raw sewage water in the entire first floor of our apartment.  The landlord refused to clean it, just giving us a large fan to dry things out, and our rental insurance company refused to allow us to file a claim, saying that the landlord was responsible for our damages.  We couldn’t even have Thanksgiving dinner at home because of the smell.  This became too much for my wife, already dealing with severe depression, and she suffered a nervous breakdown over Thanksgiving weekend and had to spend nearly a week at the Behavioral Health ward at Mount Carmel West Hospital here in Columbus.  We didn’t have enough money or time to find another place (with application fees, deposits, etc.), so we rented a storage unit and a U-Haul truck and moved all of our stuff so that we wouldn’t lose anything or get into any trouble.  We all spent the holidays in a room at a hotel in Columbus near my daughter’s school . . . my daughter, my wife, two dogs, two cats, and me.  With some money we borrowed from a good friend of my wife’s, we were finally able to get into a nice apartment in Columbus just before New Year’s, but now we are nearly three months behind in our rent.  I had a parttime job during tax season at a local H&R Block office, but it just brought in enough money to take care of our utilities and to cover our taxicab fares to get everywhere.  We have no car and no family who can help us, so if we lose our home, we will have nowhere to go, and will probably lose all of our possessions.  Our 9-year-old daughter, who is very smart and aware of our current situation despite my best efforts to hide things from her, has been suffering from migraine headaches and crying fits because of the stress of worrying about everything and watching us worry.  The headache pain has intensified to the point that she has trouble sleeping, and we have spent some nights at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital emergency room, with our child on an IV just to try and ease her suffering (My daughter is Izabella Davis, and her doctor is also Dr. Dustin Yontz of Grant Family Practice East, 4850 E. Main Street in Columbus, 614-566-0950).  Despite all of this, she is an honor roll student in the third grade at her school, and continues to amaze us every day with her beauty, her intelligence, her wit and her strength.

We have been informed by Job & Family Services that we are not currently eligible for their PRC program which would help us with rent.  Even if we were, it only provides up to $1,000.00 and would not be enough to take care of our past due rent, which now totals $2,604.65 including our rent for May.  We have been in constant contact with our landlord (Whispering Pines Apartments, 1844 Forest Village Lane, 614-885-5482), and have been told that we can set up a payment plan to get caught on our own with the rent for May if we can get some assistance to take care of $2,000.00 of it, which is the amount we were hoping to find in assistance.  We had a hearing scheduled for an eviction last Thursday (05/17/2012) at 9:00 AM in Franklin County Municipal Court (case #2012 CVG 015022).  The magistrate decided against us, and we were expecting to get a notice on our door on Monday (05/21/2012) notifying us that we need to be out of our home in the next three or four days, which meant we would be homeless before Memorial Day weekend.  We spoke by phone to the Franklin County Municipal Court bailiff, and because his office was overbooked with evictions (which in itself is a sad commentary on how things are around here), we were given until Tuesday afternoon (05/29/2012) to come up with the $2,000.00 or we would be homeless.  We have received just over $700.00 in donations so far, so with the hope that a little more time might help us get to our goal, we begged and pleaded with the bailiff and our landlord, which helped and hurt us.  Good news – we now have until Friday morning (06/01/2012) at 10:00 AM to come up with the money.  Bad news – since Friday is the first of the month, we now need a total of $2,500.00 on Friday to avoid eviction.  And right now, there is nothing we can do about it.  Except this.

Since we received the notice for the eviction hearing, we have been trying to contact every resource we can think of, trying to find someone who can help us, without any luck so far.  We have made contact with HandsOn Central Ohio/First Link (614-221-6766), The Vineyard Church (614-890-0000), St. Stephens Community House (614-645-2700), Westerville Area Resource Ministry (614-899-0196), Lutheran Social Services (614-299-3192), the YWCA (614-224-9121), First Community Church’s Heart To Heart program (614-488-0681), Central Community House (614-252-3157), Columbus Catholic Social Services (614-221-5891), the Salvation Army (614-221-6561), the Compass program of Broad Street Presbyterian Church (614-221-6552), and the IMPACT Community Action Agency (614-252-2799).  None of them are currently able to help us.  There are so many people experiencing hard times right now, and I understand that their resources are stretched extremely thin.  To be honest, I wish that we didn’t need the help at all.  I desperately want to find a job here in Columbus that I can get to without a car.  My up-to-date resume is available online on Linkedin ( http://www.linkedin.com/in/vonregandavis ), and even though I sincerely hope that someone who reads this blog offers me a position, it won’t help us with our current rent crisis.  We’re praying hard and hoping for some kind of a miracle.

We are desperate for help, and we need it now, and that’s why I am trying to get our story out to as many people as possible.  As I said earlier, we are out of options, but we don’t want to be an undue burden on anyone out there, which is why I’m asking for only one dollar from everyone that reads this.  If I can get 2,500 people to read this and send us one dollar each in the next 48 hours, we can keep our home.  It won’t take care of all of our problems, not by a long shot, but it will give us some breathing room to come up with some employment so that we can take care of the rest on our own.  If you’re interested in verifying any of this, you can contact Lynda Chambers at the Westerville Area Resource Ministry (175 E. Broadway Avenue, Westerville, Ohio, 614-899-0196).  She has been our case worker there for over a year and a half now, and is very familiar with us and everything I’ve told you here.  And, if we are able to get some help from all of you out there, I promise to keep everyone updated on our progress here on this blog.

Please help us get back on our feet, not for me or my wife, but for our daughter’s sake.  Thank you & God bless you for your time and efforts on behalf of my family.  Both are greatly appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Von Regan Davis

5696 Forest Birch Lane

Columbus, OH  43229-3723

(614) 987-7786

helpmyfamilynow.wordpress@gmail.com

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2EQGGMUX9WUGA

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.