Amy & Geoff Strickler's Emergency Fund
Organized by: Amy Strickler
Temporary help is needed for this family. First, some background:
Amy and Geoff have both been unemployed for quite a while, and both have had some issues that have made finding work more challenging than expected. Amy has had 3 surgeries in the past 15 months and is just getting back into condition to work, however, she is still in physical therapy until mid August.
Geoff had a serious medical condition that cost him his contract position many months ago. Now Geoff is healthy, however, finding work is taking much longer than he had expected. Even though Amy receives $400 in child support every month, they've only made it this far due to careful spending, the arrival of some unexpected monies, the generosity of friends and family, and receiving benefits of SNAP (food stamps), and Medicaid. However, neither of them receive any unemployment, TANF (aka welfare), or other assistance.
Update Aug 21: Many people have contributed in numerous ways. Geoff and Amy are thankful for the support. Every bit helps, whether it's a $10 donation, or a lead on a job, or just sharing this with others who may be able to make a difference.
Amy has completed her physical therapy. However, she has two bulging disks in her lower back, one of which has been causing her pain for about 2 weeks now. MRI results confirm the problem. She's in pain, but it's not enough to prevent her from doing some work.
Why do Geoff and Amy need help now?
They have to move out of the place where they've been staying by the end of June 2015.
Update July 30: They have already moved out of the place where they were staying on July 3, 2015. The deal to take over a lease fell through, so they are currently staying in a budget extended stay hotel which costs twice as much as the apartment that they were going to take over. Instead of this being (per month), the rent is paid (per week) just to stay.
The Strickler family has a new complication. Amy's ex husband has just filed for primary custody of her 15 year old daughter. They may need money for legal expenses, and if her ex husband is successful in gaining custody of the youngest child, it may reduce the child support that they're already receiving.
Update Aug 21: They filed a response to the custody suit at the end of July, but nothing further has happened or been scheduled in the case. they consider this to be good news, even though nothing is settled yet.
What is needed?
They need a place to live for themselves and their 3 teen children, plus money for utilities, gasoline, items not covered by SNAP (such as toiletries, OTC medications, etc.), and miscellaneous expenses. They currently reside in the Dallas/Ft Worth area (specifically, the Lake Dallas-Corinth area north of DFW), and if possible would prefer to stay there so the children don't have to switch schools.
There is no longer a local housing authority, and their federal section 8 housing assistance program has a 120 day waiting list at best and isn't even accepting applications at this time. They have applied for housing assistance in a nearby county, but they haven't heard anything back yet about the status of their application.
Updated costs and goal July 30: Their living expenses are relatively low, and they're committed to keeping them low, but they need help until they have regular income from work. About $2,200/mo would cover rent at the budget hotel, utilities, gasoline, and the other miscellaneous expenses. Given the higher expenses of the hotel, they have raised their goal to $8,000 to cover their moving expenses, and at least 3 months of paying rent on top of the other expenses.
All assistance with finding jobs is welcomed.
Geoff and Amy both have some limitations of the type of work they can do (see below for details), but they're both highly qualified in our chosen fields where their physical limitations are not a significant factor, but these limitations do mean they can't just "get any job" to pay the bills.
They have to account for the fact that if they earn above a certain level, they'll lose Medicaid, so they must make enough to compensate for that or have a job with health insurance for the family. Without insurance, Amy's medication would cost over $1,000 per month, and this does not include Geoff's and the medication that the kids take; their medications would cost $300-$500 per month on top of Amy's medications. This means jobs below about $15/hr would be a net loss unless they include health insurance benefits.
Update Aug 21: Geoff finally had an interview last week. It was with the in-house IT recruiter at JCPenney. They have at least 10 IT positions open that are a good fit for his skills, so they're hopeful that one of those will result in an interview with the hiring manager and a position, followed by an offer.
They are both currently searching for jobs and have been applying for 30-40 jobs per week (combined total).
They're both open to contract work as well, even small jobs for individuals and small businesses. Computer installation, repair, virus/malware removal, software installation, system cleanup, upgrades, etc. are all in Geoff's skill areas, and he's available for some manual labor. Amy designs logos, business cards, brochures, flyers, mailers, post cards, etc.
Details on their work:
Geoff is in IT with a range of skills including: business analyst, software design/architecture, database design/architecture, data modeling, database administration and optimization, network design/architecture, computer/network security, programming in several languages and systems, computer virus and malware removal, and computer support/maintenance. He also has experience training developers, network administrators, and end users. He has an excellent work history and references. Contract jobs, freelance work, or full-time are all acceptable. You can view more of Geoff's job skills on his LinkedIn profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoffstrickler
Amy is a Graphic Designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She specializes in Corporate ID and Branding, including logo designs, post cards, business cards, brochures, calendars, posters, product/package labeling, and t-shirt graphics. She's primarily looking for freelance/contract work, but is open to considering part-time or full-time positions as well. Amy has her skills and a link to her portfolio posted on her LinkedIn profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amystrickler
Both Amy and Geoff have some fairly minor limitations on doing physical labor due injuries sustained years ago. These limitations are not a problem for their chosen professions, but that does mean that they are limited in doing other types of work that involve significant amounts of standing/walking or lifting large/heavy items. The other complicating factor is that Geoff has a sleep disorder that prevents him from working a "normal" 8-5 or 9-6 shift or "night shift" jobs. The earliest viable regular starting time is 10a, so positions that require earlier starting times on a regular basis simply aren't viable because he'd be sleep deficient. Occasional days requiring earlier start times are okay, e.g. a weekly meeting at 8a/9a wouldn't be a problem. "Second shift" hours of 4p-midnight or similar can also work. Also, contract jobs and doing jobs remotely from home will work just fine for Geoff.