We Are NOT Invisible

Managing life in a shelter setting

Saving Money the Focus of Shelters

Saving Money the Focus of Shelters ~ they’re talking about putting money aside to save up for your new digs. If you work or receive an income due to Disability, Retirement or SSI, the shelter counselors want you to start putting aside at least 60 percent in a separate account. Every two weeks when you have a sit down with your counselor that conversation comes up and they want to see evidence of the monies saved. Thier goal to get your savings up to $3,000.00.

But, I’m going to take you on a different route today.

Recycled Soap.

Never run out of soap. What do you do with those little pieces of soap, when they get to the nub? Most people throw them away and grab that new fresh bar to start the process all over again. Do you realize how much soap you are throwing away? Hopefully, any soap you purchase is something that you like and enjoy. I’m old school and frugal ~ living on a fixed income, but this was something that my great-grandmother taught me as a child and I’ve carried this with me as a habit.

Plastic container with a lid or a glass jar large enough to get your hand into. Place all those little pieces into the container and add just enough water to cover the soap pieces. The first thing that should click in your head:

  • Hey, I’ve got soapy water which can still be used to wash your hand or you face just replace the water.
  • Secondly after @ two – three weeks the soap that you gathered should look waxy, puffed up and SOFT. Continue to add any pieces after @ a month you should be able to mold the soften pieces into a ball. Depending upon the soap this “meltdown” might take longer, but you get the general idea. I hope.
  • Take the ball from the container and let it air dry. Abracadabraa, you now have a colorful ball of all your favorite soaps or just a giant ball of a single fragrance. Either way, you’ll never be soapless again.

Being Spring Time Fresh in a Shelter Setting

Unfortunately, you are in this setting attempting to provide yourself with the same sense of comforts as if you were home. Summertime, you’re sweaty all over, your clothing not providing enough air and circulation to keep that Cat from meowing. Come on you know what I mean… Do you really think just wiping after urination makes the odor disappear? Even if you wiped the odor is still present and now you’ve given it fabric to perfume ~ if you’re on the go that’s an average of 8 – 10 hours before you get home. So, let’s calculate the areas of contamination, shall we?  Your underwear, outerwear (pants, skirt, pantyhose), the office chair, the car seat that just a rough estimate of areas that you’ve placed your tail. 

Sweat soaked under parts and excess moisture can cause a multitude of issues: yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV) to name a few. What measures can you as a female take to keep yourself Springtime Fresh? 

Control Moisture

Females who are obese, the exercising wiz,  and overactive gland candidate especially ~ please take into account that excessive heat that accumulates in and around your Cat sets off the vaginal pH, a nice petri dish for bacteria and yeast to grow. Consider taking a change of underwear, WASH before changing: yep, grab that spare washcloth toss it in a baggie and throw it in your purse. Baby wipes work well when applied, use the scent and fragrance-free because we’re working on keeping the pH from being altered or changed. Good old fashion soap and water ~ Game Changer!!! 

Thongs and tight Jean shorts might be fashionable but refrain from wearing whenever possible. If you smell, who cares what you’re wearing?


A daily dose of probiotics such as yogurt, kombucha,  kimchi are especially beneficial in eliminating yeast infections. Avoid high sugar foods because they can cause an overgrowth of yeast incubating in that human oven. This also includes drinks like Pina Coladas and Margaritas ~ alter your Happy Hour Cocktails.

Red Flag Days 

Wearing Tampons pass their absorption period or Diva Cups is not healthy. Again a hothouse for infections and yeast growths. Depending upon your flow you should be wearing 6 – 7 Tampons a day. Every time you urinate that cotton bullet is holding onto odor and liquid that is seeping into your clothes.

Sex and Adult Toys

Sorry if you’re blushing, it wasn’t easy for me to write this post either. 🙂 You’re likely to contract UTI’s more in the summer than any other time period in your daily life. Heat incubates everything, bacteria breeding viruses that lead to urinary tract infections.

One of the main causes of UTI’s is bacteria from the vagina, penis, or anus getting trapped in the urethra during sex. Using a condom isn’t a bad thing it can help in preventing the exchange of sperm and vaginal bacterias. Urination after sex is helpful, as it clears the urinary tract.

This should be a given, yet after speaking to some women ~ I’m not, sure enough, consideration is given to this: Ladies!!! clean those toys, I’m not talking about your rinse under hot water. Use soap and hot water and rub, scrub, leave in water over night if you can.  Anything that you insert inside your body has the potential to grow bacteria which affects the pH of your system. Have fun, but be kind to yourself and your partner(s).

Yogurt is a cultured or fermented milk product that is soured and thickened by adding specific lactic acid-producing cultures to milk. The basic cultures or probiotics used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

kimchi the reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles.  This good bacteria helps with digestion plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study.

Kombucha has been around for nearly 2,000 years. It was first brewed in China and then spread to Japan and Russia. It became popular in Europe in the early 20th century. Advocates say it helps your digestion, rids your body of toxins, and boosts your energy. It’s also said to boost your immune system, help you lose weight, ward off high blood pressure, heart disease and yeast infections.



British Dictionary definitions for Recovery

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

  • the act or process of recovering, esp from sickness, a shock, or a setback; recuperation
  • restoration to a former or better condition
  • the regaining of something lost


Improvement, Rallying, Picking Up, Upswing, 

What is your definition of Recovery? People can and do recover from some serious long-term illnesses. Recovery is a unique and individual experience ~ no two peoples journeys with the same illnesses will be identical. My own personal experience was evident when I was diagnosed with Diabetes. Having no guideline for the disease I wasn’t even aware that the symptoms I was experiencing for fours months were a signal for me to seek help from a physician. Constant, urination, foot going to sleep (pin and needle sensations), tiredness and constant thirst. In my mind, I managed to find excuses for each sensation.

  1. During this time I was on the water diet ~ drinking 12Oz. glasses 8 x’s a day
  2.  I was standing on my feet 9 hours a day working in a pharmacy
  3.  Who wouldn’t be tired working six days a week and still doing the regular household choices for two people and 4 animals?

It wasn’t until the day after Christmas that I almost fainted, my family took me to the hospital because that was highly irregular. So here I was walking around with a sugar count of 1250I was given a speed course lesson about sugar levels ~ Normal @ 100 on the average, NOT to EXCEED 500: Get to a hospital immediately. On the down side Never let your sugars get below 70.

My intake nurse told me I was so fortunate her husband came in with a blood sugar of 500 and he’d been in a coma for three months.  I didn’t know what to say to her.  I suffered from foot ulcers on both of my feet looked like molded swiss cheese, no skin from the top of my toes to the ankle bone all nothing but holes and sores. It took a year for my feet to heel and even to this day there are still two toes on my left foot that are struggling to heal. But compared to what I started out with I’m Blessed and grateful.

“Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life as determined by each individual person. Having control over and input into your own life.”

Recovery is not always easy or straightforward. Just about everyone that I spoke with agreed ~ in order to persevere they needed to find avenues that afforded them the means to maintain hope especially through trying times and situations. It is also through sharing our experiences that we provide a positive impact on others as well as ourselves.

A Life in Recovery

  • Health: Choices that support physical and emotional well-being
  • Home: Having a stable place to live
  • Purpose: Engage in meaningful daily activities, such as job, volunteering, obtaining a degree caring for your family or yourself. Work towards independence, income, and social participation.
  • Building relationships and social networks that provide support.

What are your views on Re*cov*er*y?

Feet Ruling the Body

People with diabetes usually suffer from loss of feeling in their feet. This loss is due to nerve damage by the disease and is called Neuropathy. You’ll know if you suffer from this because your feet will get that numb tingling sensation like your foot fell asleep. Remember that sensation? Well, Neuropathy is 10 times worse and it will not disappear no matter how many times you stomp your feet. The sensation can be lessened with Drugs like Gabapentin or Lyrica. Did you notice the catchphrase?  Yes, I said lessened ~ the above drugs are Not painkillers, so expect to still have a little tingling. 

Since you’re already struggling and experiencing foot discomfort, you might not realize if you have an ulcer, blister or infection underneath on your soles. If you can not cross your legs or bend down to see the soles of your feet then find a stand-up mirror and view that way.


***Diabetes is the #2 cause of amputations in the US alone. It is Extremely Important to keep your blood sugar levels under control. 

  • Don’t walk barefoot Ever!!
  • Don’t wear shoes without shoes
  • Never wear shoes that are too tight or too loose
  • Check inside your shoe before placing your foot inside
  • Test the temperature of your bath water with your hands never the foot
  • See the podiatrist for corns and calluses ~ have the doctor to cut your nails and push back cuticles at least once a month
  • Moisturize your legs daily but not between the toes. Moisture creates fungus and athletes foot

I am not a doctor so please do your own due diligence for any drug, cream, or ointment suggestions.

These work for me:

Ammonium Lactate (Ammonium Lactate)  lotion 12% ~ doctor prescription Tube Cream ~ some insurances will not cover. I recently saw Ammonium Lactate Lotion 12%C-P, Fliptop – 225 Gm in Walmart.


Gold Bond Ultimate Diabetics’ Dry Skin Relief Hydrating Lotion, 18 oz ~ usually @ $11.00


And believe it or not: Mom’s  household remedy ~ Crisco. Don’t laugh, Crisco has been used in many cultures and by various ethnic groups. The # 1, grab all medicine and lotion for burns, cuts, blisters etc.


Do you have any tried and true remedies to add? I’ll be happy to see them.

Shelter Life and Diabetic Foot Care

Shoes and socks become very important in the life of a Diabetic. Socks be they new or old should be comfortable. That old adage: If the feet aren’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy. Is true. There should not be any rubbing when you walk. Rubbing or any other type of friction can cause blisters ~ wear soft cotton or microfiber, well-padded seamless socks. Soft cotton or microfiber fabric absorbs moisture, remember to make sure that between the toes remain dry at all times. Avoid wearing open-toed or open -heel shoes and definitely avoid between the toe styled sandals or flip flops.



Use code: LAB17 at checkout


Fashionable Compression Socks

fashionable compression


Men and Women Fashionable Socks



Giving Thanks to God

I’m so thankful now for the experiences that I have unwitty placed myself in discovering that God cared for me enough and brought me out from some of them whole. This is my daily pray beginning when I wake up every morning. This is a new adventure for me ~ giving Thanks to God for allowing me to put myself in situations not knowing if they were right for me and being beside me each step of the way to say ~ No More My Child.

I comforted by the following words/song of which I assume no credit for:  Axwell~ I Found U (Remode) [feat. Max’C]


Everybody wanna know
Why I’m walking round with a big smile on my face
Hey I’m happy and it shows
Hey I’m back and I’m part of a human race
‘Cause you know I’ve been down so long
Never thought I’d ever feel this way again
And everything was going wrong
‘Til you found me and you made me believe again

Oh yeah, I found you, oh
I found you, oh
I found you
Damn I’m happy that I found you

I don’t know what you did
But what you did you can keep on doing it yeah
I’m so happy I wanna fly
‘Cause your love just keeps on taking me higher
Don’t you know I’ve been down so long, down so long
Never thought I’d ever feel this way again
And everything was going wrong, going wrong
‘Til you found me and you made me believe again

Ooh, yes I, yes I did
Thank God I
Oh yeah, I found you, oh
I found you, oh
I found you
Damn I’m happy that I found you

The above my mantra every morning for the past year since my divorce. Thank you for waking me up each and every morning.  I have nothing that has not been provided for by You and your Grace. I suffer from Diabetic Ulcers, left an 18-year marriage, moved to the city with no place and no money, placed myself in a woman’s shelter and was granted my new abode six months later. God has been exceedingly gracious to me and I’m thankful. He’s still working on me, it’s a daily process but, I’m happy, free and learning to live again.

I learning to listen and be still, waiting on God to direct my steps. I’ve had some hard lessons, but God has brought me out whole and unharmed. Thank You, Jesus

Lottery Applications R Being Reviewed

I’m happy to inform you that Housing Lottery Applications are being reviewed. My question to you is this Are you on board? If you can spend money on a pipe dream of winning the State Lottery hundreds of dollars your hard earn money on a chance then take that same dedication and enter the Housing Lottery. The cost of a stamp and envelope not to mention if you set up on the computer its an automatic submission. Don’t pass up those free newspapers in certain areas The Metro is one of them, as well as the amNY they usually have information about developments that up and coming. 

Last time I checked Section 8 in New York was still closed. If this is incorrect then I ask someone to please leave corrected information on this site. Make sure that you apply to NYCHA, a 6-year waiting list for 1 bedroom apartments, but each case is different so don’t let that deter you. Once you receive notification from them be diligent and call to EVERY 6 months to keep your name on the waiting list.

Again, it’s just a matter of getting to a computer, using a tablet, most of us own cell phones ~ visit your local library utilize their computers just get those applications in and by all means ask your family relative to use their mailing address, to receive the application acceptance letters.

If you are residing in a shelter a Housing Specialist can assist you with the breakdown of what your contribution is going to be if you are receiving any monetary subsidy. SSI, SSD etc. Remember Link Program only allows you $1268.00, for any rentals.

So far, I’ve received three interview request from some of the lottery applications that I’ve filled out. I’ve declined them because I have my studio now and I’m not about to move again. Besides if I had waited for them that would have placed me in a shelter for 13 months, by God’s Grace, I got out in six months. Granted my building was built in the 1980’s, it is well maintained, the area is quiet, near a beach and culturally diverse, that works for me. Would not even consider a New building directly in a concrete jungle regardless of the borough.

Homeless but Employed

Being Homeless is not an easy situation, but there are different levels of homeless. If by chance you do have a family member that will allow you to use their Internet connection, for a few hours every day you might be able to earn money to support yourself. Remember every bit of support is crucial to your continued survival. We all have at least one relative that might not want you to stay at their crib unless you’re contributing to the household expenses. This is your situation, not theirs so you might have to bite the bullet and capitulate. It’s better than being on the street worrying about your personal safety.

Do you have the drive to do whatever is needed to advance yourself? If you feel safe and close to this family member can you come up with a game plan which will allow for your continued safety and earn some money? If you don’t ask and have a conversation you will never know the possibilities that lie in store for you.

While I was in the shelter, I was trying writing my novel, I didn’t have my laptop with me for fear of someone breaking into my locker and stealing it. I went to the neighborhood library every day. Now they were charging five cents for BW and 10 cents for color. I had written over 100 pages on the first draft. They only allowed you thirty minutes on the computer and you were lucky at times for the library to be fairly empty such that you could get your time extended to continue your work. I needed more than thirty minutes per section. There was a nice librarian that held classes every in Micro Soft Word every Monday for two hours in the basement of the facility. I happened to approach her one day explaining that I lived at the shelter and I was trying to write a novel. Once she understood the situation, she invited me to come to her class and not to worry about the time parameters upstairs. That was terrific because not only could I work on my novel for two hours uninterrupted that also allowed me to print my work without paying any fees. She also informed me of free beginner writer’s classes that were held at various central libraries.

So take that example above and step out on faith: check out this site for work at home programs that you might be able to do part-time.



Recertification of Linc Voucher

Recipients of the Linc Voucher please be aware that you must recertify each year. The voucher itself is supposed to be enforced for five years. If the voucher is discontinued hopefully another program will be formed to continue the benefits. Just because you are no longer in a shelter setting just not preclude you from putting money aside in a saving account.  Don’t get too lax, you need to have funds set aside for an emergency.

DHS will pay for your rent upon lease signing for three months in full. Afterward, you need to connect with your landlord and ensure that they continue to send their portion of the rent. Most landlords will allow rent to be remitted without any late fees for ten days. Keep your receipts and also have the phone number for the Linc Hotline on your refrigerator door to remind yourself.

Renewal for LINC clients is done once a year through the mail. Renewal forms should be mailed out approximately four months prior to the end of the lease.

For more information about the LINC rental assistance program, call 311.


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