Our Portable Life: Update on Housing
I want to get better at being a self-published writer. I also want to get good at celebrating and giving thanks for the life around me and the things that are going well and the things I am lovingly working on. I tend to be pushed to write when I feel an emotional upheaval is about to excavate my heart. Yes, that is extreme, but I know sadness very well and I am working through a lot, but I am also very blessed and I must remember to share that.
This April, it will be three months since I have secured housing in Oakland. Something I have felt many times would not work out for us. When people ask me how I did it, I tell them it was magick, but I don’t think they take it very seriously. But I am DEAD serious. It took ancient traditions, sister circles, and ritual to get to this point. I am truly happy and blessed that I now have a foundation I can work from. I feel like I can make better decisions for myself from this point and I also feel like I have one less major thing to worry about. Now, it is time to work on other things like love, writing, and birth work, but I will save that for another post.
Living in a collective house with ten people is pretty great. I mean, the downsides are rooted in fear and selfishness than anything else. Hair in the bathtub and waiting for the stove pales in comparison to the benefits of living in a collective home. The people that live here are like family. Half of the house is people of color. Besides Zi, our youngest housemate is 27 and there are no other children living in the house, yet.
I feel safe in our home. Some housemates have helped with childcare and I am not forced to cook every day. We have weekly meetings and clean together as a house. We practice great communication skills and we share our stories and lives with one another. The rent is extremely affordable and we even accept food stamps as a part of payment of rent.
There is yard where we grow our own food. There is space for guests. We have no landlord to worry about because the house is owned outrightly and is in the process of becoming a non-profit, so that this land can always serve as a resource for marginalized folks in East Oakland. We never have to worry about getting kicked out or living in a home falling apart, because we are the ones responsible for maintaining our home the way we see fit. Because we have no mortgage, the house created a SEED fund where every month we donate a portion of our rents to a cause we care deeply about.
One of my goals is to create a similar model, but for single mothers. I have read your e-mails and Facebook messages calling out for support. I wish I had more to give y'all. With the Bay Area and New York getting ridiculous with rising rent costs, I would love to co-create a safe haven for people who are struggling with housing for themselves and their children... That day will soon come...
For now, I am really happy to be here. It encompassed most, if not all, of the things we were looking for. We are truly blessed and I hope this story tells you something about hope and faith. We all deserve a place to call home and a family to love us.
I want to praise the most-high, Yemoja, and the ancestors for this. Without them, none of this could be possible.
I also want to thank you. Thank you for your encouragement, your faith, and for your ears.