First off, I know this isn’t likely to be the proper forum for this…but so far I haven’t been able to find one. This is a request for help, but not the typical type that seems to be all over, and for which there are plenty of “charities.” While I am quite interested in the principles here (big science fiction reader, and all the best space travel has to have a perfect system of sustainable resource management right?), I’m not in a position to be doing all this myself on any level other than in a backyard-but not my own…because I don’t have one! (aHA!)
I am a disabled U.S. Air Force veteran of 13 years, but I wasn’t injured in combat (though I started having most of my problems while deployed performing combat patrols), and I wasn’t wanting to be discharged. I’ve got lots of pain in my hip and back, neck and shoulder, a fair bit of social anxiety, and some neurological issues here and there-but living downwind of the burn pit has nothing to do with it, I’m sure. After discharge, my wife (ex), 2 pugs, and I moved to Hawaii where I managed to work at the county for a while, but eventually I decided to try to go to school and get something other than an associate’s degree in law enforcement (which I can’t really use anyway). So, I (and the puglets) moved to Florida and went to school, got a degree, and can’t really manage to work anyway-at least not a traditional type of job. After hanging around in Florida for a few years after I finished school, paying an exorbitant amount of money for a tiny rat-hole that I couldn’t afford, I left for CA to stay with my sister for a while; waiting to see if something might open up with other family soon after. Since I couldn’t afford to keep my household stuff, I donated it to other veterans, and the pug girls and I took off. That brings us to now, 41 years OLD (and occasionally crotchety), some money in savings, no debt, no criminal record, but not enough of anything to really be meaningful, and stuck in Sacramento as blazing summer is creeping in. I'm at the end of the line trying to get help from the VA (there still is no diagnosis for what is causing all this pain), so I just want to find a place where I can try to be as comfortable as I can.
Since for various reasons (mostly sanity) living with family is not a great option, I was hoping to find a small chunk of decent land (just about anywhere, but not the desert) and put up a yurt (*pay to have it put up). While it looks like I can afford most of that, the whole package does not look good-not with all the extras that are required in the Land of The Fee. I can’t really manage all the chores associated with off-grid, and I do need electric to help with living and distractions. I have a small income from the VA, but it is not enough for living. So, my goal is to find a way to use my savings constructively to set my girls and I up with a permanent place to just be. Ideally someplace cool, peaceful, and in an environment of decent, considerate people. I’m not able to do much in the way of physical labor-not for long anyway, but I may be able to contribute in small ways at varying times. I dread ending up on the dole in some housing project crammed in with all types of people that are always yelling for more, and driving me (and the pug girls) crazy(er). I’m on a list for an organization that donates homes to disabled veterans, but I don’t need a 3-4 bedroom home-even free and clear I couldn’t afford all the incidentals and taxes, and what a waste of space anyway.
I guess the point to all this rambling is that I haven’t found anywhere else to ask for ideas, and from what I’ve read on this site, it seems full of people who actually have constructive things to say, and help each other (without looking for some fiduciary personal benefit). Other places I’ve seen veterans begging for help to get out of deep trouble that they got themselves into by behaving in ways they should know better, and expecting someone to come to the rescue, or charities that only help one small veteran demographic, or some dense layer of bureaucratic BS that pretends to help only those who assist homeless veterans. I don’t want to end up a burden on anyone, and I want to find some way of being productive; even with my list of problems I know I can manage SOMETHING. So, if anyone who happens by this post has any ideas or knows of other options, I’d love to hear them. I’ve had ideas about a disabled vets cohousing arrangement with inexpensive yurts, but then there’s tons of permitting issues, and it would need a skilled planner to work out all of the details. I’ve tried looking at other cohousing communities, but most of them seem anything but affordable, although I guess the term “affordable” is relative too. I’d love to be able to travel and work, but if I could do that you wouldn’t be reading this.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your day! (Seriously! the alternative sucks)
(moderator-please post this wherever you feel it is appropriate…or the trash if it is not)
Hi Sam. I'm a vet myself, so I feel for you and your situation. I'm not sure if you know this, but in some states (like WI), you can go to school full time and get paid pretty well for doing it. Many vocations don't involve much or any physical labor and I'm pretty sure there would be something that would suit you. You don't make a lot of money monthly, but with what you get from the VA, if you don't have bills, you could live on it.
An alternative to that would be a place like this: AMMA The standard disclaimer that I have no affiliation with them applies. My only knowledge of it at all is because I took a natural beekeepingclass there a year or so ago. It is a religious organization, but they don't try to convert you from your current beliefs from what I gathered. I don't know a lot about that part of it. As I said I just took a class there. They have bees, large areas of native and beneficial plants, a food forest, etc. The place used to be a college, so they have lots of dorm-style housing, and I can personally vouch for the fact that they are wonderful, kind, caring people. I'm not religious myself and obviously have no idea what your thoughts are on that, but I believe they have centers everywhere if that is something you would be interested in. Best of luck to you.
"People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do."
Thanks for the info guys, I do appreciate it. I've still got some of my post-9/11 GI bill available, and that carries some housing money with it, but I'm really trying to get a permanent situation going-moving around is quite difficult for me now. I ended up donating most of my household goods to AMVETS when I left FL, as I couldn't really afford to move them with me-so I don't want to get in the position of getting comfortable until I have a good chance of not having to lose out again. I decided to post here after seeing the post regarding the vet in Maine offering his land, that's pretty darn cool. Other than the long drive back East, I would probably end up a bit of a burden in that area, and not able to contribute enough. Meaning that it would probably require more labor from others during the winters, just to keep me going. Of course, I'm still at the stage where I have some choice in the matter...I'm hoping to find a solution before I lose the resources to have choices.
It's a shame that so many aspects of real estate and construction have gotten so expensive; I can get the land, a yurt, adequate furnishings, and the associated materials...but not all the permits and labor necessary to put things in place.
Thanks again for your input, if anyone comes across any other ideas, I'll always listen.