At the writing of this blog, Americans might not get a second round of stimulus checks. We have been through two major hurricanes back to back and now we have forest fires raging in California, Oregon and Washington. It is time to pray like no other time. We still have the coronavirus that have taken friends, loved ones, colleagues, church members, etc. I don't care if you are not a religious person, but a high school student knows it's time to pray.
We have millions of Americans on unemployment. We have millions of people behind on their rent and mortgages. Some people have already been evicted and some are waiting for relief from the government which might not come. It's time to huddle and bounce some things off of each other. If people are going to church when the doors open, they are looking for answers. They need financial workshops. They need home loan modification information. They need the prayer of favor and faith. They don't have time for games. They ain't trying to hate on nobody. They are looking for relief.
Many of them did what they were suppose to do. They were good stewards of their money. Many still are tithers, and I will tell that you can tithe and still have to go through some things because God is using you for a testimony.
About 20 years ago, I was a new teacher. I had just left television because of the call to teach. I had purchased a house maybe three years prior. I had a nice vehicle, and I had written my first book, GLORY...THE HAIR. A friend of mine introduced me to someone. I thought he could be a potential mate, but because I was living a saved lifestyle and celibate, it became a business partnership because I wasn't giving it up.
I had the spirit that if I am starting a business I'm going all in doing whatever it takes and making sacrifices. Everyone doesn't think that way. I will tell the single women to take care of yourself and your children. If they ain't going all in, don't you go all in either. I'm married now, but at the time I wasn't married.
Anyway, we started a non-profit foundation, and it was a good idea. It was hard at first to get people to give. So, we gave to it ourselves until we started getting grant money and started doing plays to fund the foundation. Grant money did come in. It lasted for about 7 years, and then we folded it.
During this time, I got behind on my mortgage primarily because I was teaching and then a year later became a substitute teacher and was finishing up my certification to teach. My home got annexed into the city. So, I now had city taxes. Just figure out the rest. I was managing and paying the mortgage even after the salary decrease. Ask me how? I was paying my tithes. It took several months for the foreclosure proceedings to play out in court. I mean, it took so long I wasn't even sure if they were going to foreclose.
I had already put a deposit on an apartment and had some cash squared away to pay for moving expenses. By this time, I was back in a regular teaching job. The bank took a long time to foreclose. I had cheated foreclosure at least three times before. One time I took out a loan from a local bank. The second time my Mom gave me the money. The third time I borrowed from an aunt. This time, I was out of options and came to grips with the fact that I could get another house in a few years. I even tried to sell this house, but probably should have tried different realtors.
I share my background because people are not always impressed if you have not been where they have been and sat where they have sat. It's easy to tell people to do this and to do that. If you have been through what you are telling people, you have a much more captive audience. I knew the house was getting ready to foreclose because some strange man showed up and started mowing my lawn. This went on for a few weeks. One day, while I was at school teaching, my Mom called me and told me they had foreclosed on my house. I asked her how did she know; she said that they looked on my caller id and called her. I told my principal that I had to leave school because of an emergency.
I called movers and moved my belongings. I stayed at her place for like 2 days until my apartment was ready and then moved into my new downtown apartment. I said if I had to go back to an apartment, I might as well be downtown. I handled my affairs differently and was able to purchase another property about 2 to 3 years later.
I know my situation might not be like yours. Take care of yourself. Save up for yourself. Don't let people nickel and dime you to death. If you can help others and you can do it from a place of strength, do it, but don't let people play on your kindness if they are not sincere. Use some common sense. Sometimes common sense escaped me, but I try to stay woke as much as possible now. If you are in an eviction situation, try to find help. If it's a mortgage, most of them will work out a loan modification. If it's an apartment and the landlord is not working with you, someone else will be glad to have a new tenant. If those around you are not talking rationally, find someone who is. I have always tried to have a job. When I was younger, sometimes I had two. I have never been the type that spent my time trying to get over on people, especially with housing or rent.
We are in a different time. People who never thought they would be in this situation are in this situation. Even when I went through my foreclosure, I tried not to be down on myself. I knew the stats. I had been in television news and knew that Memphis was number in the nation for bankruptcy filings in the late 90s. I wasn't sure what the foreclosure rate was. I was not trying to do bankruptcy to save that house because there were too many others out there like it or better.