Thursday, January 11, 2018

Good News!

With the thaw, Napoleon is wide awake and livelier than I've seen him all year. Literally leaping as high as his leash would allow as he tried to capture a discarded styrofoam cup or climb into his mom's jacket pocket. It was a delight to watch.

And even better, his "parents" have a lead on a room to rent! One they can afford, every night. It's in Chicago's Boystown, the very gay neighborhood. An older gentlemen* owns a house that's in disrepair and he's looking for tenants to help him raise the cash to fix it up. But he won't rent to gays. He'd rather have Caleb and Randi, a married couple, and little Napoleon. Plus Caleb has carpenter skills. For $525/month, they will get their own furnished bedroom, access to the kitchen and (most important to them) bathroom. They have to come up with $1050 cash (first month's rent and security deposit), which will take a while. But the old guy* has more than one bedroom to rent so even if it takes till March 1, they are confident a room will still be available.

Caleb is working! It's part-time, only a few hours/night. It doesn't pay much -- and the employment agency takes something off the top -- but it's a real job. Enough to pay the rent on the room (just the rent, not their food or transportation costs). He drives a forklift over night at a grocery warehouse. I'm proud I could help him get that long-ago, teenage shoplifting conviction expunged, because he acknowledged he didn't have to sweat the background check this time. He and Randi continue to augment this by panhandling, but it's a start.

Randi has a job interview Thursday at 1:00! There's a chain salon that needs "help." She didn't specify what she'd be doing, exactly, since she's not licensed in Illinois. Perhaps shampoo girl. Anyway, she just found out about the interview Wednesday afternoon when she went to the library to check her email. She asked me to help her because she doesn't have any "black dress slacks" for the interview. I gave her $20, which I had because my boss took our little team out for lunch today. She'll go to Goodwill first thing in the morning and pick up her interview outfit. (They kept saying they'd pay me the $20 back and I told them to forget it. Now I wonder if I should have said that. There is pride involved. I think I will refrain to giving them any money next week, and explain, saying, "you know, because of the $20.")

I'm less confident about her prospects than she is. I worry about the figure she'll present tomorrow in her new/used (and likely unlaundered) blouse and slacks. I hope she gets to take a shower tonight.  Also, it's supposed to be wet and in the teens and 20s over the next few days ... Oh, well, fingers crossed.

It's been so long since they had anything to celebrate. I hope at the very least, February or March finds them indoors. They told me that when, given the opportunity to sleep in a bed (instead of the sleeping bags in their tent), Napoleon loves burrowing under the covers next to Caleb's feet.

*Who might be my age. Gulp!


  1. This IS good news!!

  2. Great news! And it sounds like your assistance IS boosting them up. Screw what your coworker says. ;)


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