Friday, February 26, 2016

An Appeal for a Fellow Blogger

Prolific New York Times commentator Rima Regas and her family are about to be evicted from the hotel they've called home ever since losing their condo last year. To make matters even worse, her disabled daughter must undergo surgery this week to correct a previous procedure for a seizure disorder.

Rima, who also runs her own blog, has as a last resort started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of raising enough cash to purchase a motor home for the family to live in. Any help from Sardonickists to help the Regas family realize their dream of a permanent home would be greatly appreciated. 

Rima is not alone. Many freelancers are suffering greatly in this New Sharing Economy. Think of us as the buskers of journalism. We survive on tips and donations. Long gone are the days when writers would get paid by the word.  Online journalism is increasingly solicited as free content for site operators, and it shouldn't be this way. Unpaid writers work every bit as hard as salaried writers. For every hour spent on actual writing, several more hours are spent on reading, researching, and just plain hard thinking.

In her most famous extended essay, Virginia Woolf said there are two basic things a writer needs: money, and a room of one's own. 

Fast forward to 21st century precarious America, and we can downgrade that to a bare-bones existence and a roof over one's head. It's hard to think, let alone write, when you're literally out on the street.

For further information on how to help, please go to Rima's excellent site:

http://www.rimaregas.com/

2 comments:

Neil said...

If Rima Regas is age 60 or older, she may qualify for assistance under the Older Americans Act (OAA), which is a federal law Congress reauthorize last year. In Florida, for example, the OAA is administered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, see

2015 Summary of Programs and Services
http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/sops.php

Section C - Older Americans Act (OAA) Programs and Services (Pages 55 - 80)

http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/pubs/pubs/sops2015/2015%20SOPS%20C_web.pdf

SERVICES OR ACTIVITIES:
Title III B: Provides supportive services to enhance the well-being of elders and to help them live independently in their home environ-ment and the community.

ELIGIBILITY:
Individuals age 60 and older are eligible for OAA Title III services. Spouses and disabled adults younger than 60 may be served meals under certain circumstances. There is no income test; however, preference is given to older persons with the greatest economic or social needs. Par-ticular attention is given to low-income older individuals...

---------------------

Older Americans Act, Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Older_Americans_Act

Administration on Aging (AoA), Older Americans Act
http://www.aoa.gov/AOA_programs/OAA/

S.192 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/192

National Council on Aging
https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/older-americans-act/

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/OlderAmericans/Documents/ArticleID/1171/Older-Americans-Act

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed to read only one comment regarding Ms. Regas' plight. I've read Ms. Regas' comments for several years now in The New York Times, and haven't always liked her writing, but "ffs", I will be making a donation on payday. Her goal of an RV is modest and reasonable.
I went through something similar, and it took me nearly three years to get wholly on my feet again. In the process of finding stable work and stable housing again (or what passes for it, in the most inflated housing market in the country) I learned just how many working people were living out of their cars or crashing for extended periods on friends' or families' couches. We were easy to exploit. It was terrible.
We're all more vulnerable than we think.
I also learned how utterly useless - even somewhat harmful - living in the echo chamber of the internet can be. When I finally found stable work again with a great employer, it wasn't white collar work, despite a pretty impressive resume. It was service work, and most of my co-workers are either Latino immigrants or young women. It's been a great community, but I needed to check my preconceptions at the door. Despite some minor political and cultural differences, we've been very supportive of each other. I suspect some of this is a "small village mentality" brought North from Central America. The kindness and decency of my co-workers continues to astonish me. Their work ethic is fantastic, and while I struggle to keep up, there is always a warm smile, an offer of a home-cooked meal, and even offers - when housing was impossible - of an affordable room in a cousin's house. I've felt most honored - and changed - to work with them.
It's time for us to chip in for Rima, and for Rima to find paid work - even if it is menial, it will connect her with a community that is better able to help her than the internet community, which so far, and despite all the popularity she enjoys online, has apparently chipped in only $800. That’s just mean.
Good luck to Rima, and really hoping Karen's appeal to her readers brings in more donations.