Stand Again ~ a prayer
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry
Oh, Lord, I’m so tired, weak and weary;
Please, when will this nightmare end?
Oh, I know . . . I know, really, I do know:
Satan wants my will to bend,
yet You won’t allow more than I can bear.
I understand what that means
regarding pain striking body and mind,
nonetheless, I can bear all things.
Oh, please Father, give me the strength to stand
then stand again ’til he sings.
It is hard, Lord, so hard with no army;
no one with me in this fray,
his weapons increasing and I’m alone,
his soldiers meaner each day.
Please, Father, how much more must I endure?
How long have I to press on
to insure each lost child has been snatched up,
days Satan seems to have won?
Oh, please Father, give me the strength to stand
then stand again ’til I’ve won.
Oh, I know . . . I know, Lord, I really know.
I know You do have my back;
it’s just those times when I don’t feel You there,
left longing for what I lack
and so needing You to hold me tightly.
I need this nightmare to end . . .
I know, despite my tears, I understand:
make my will one he can’t bend.
Oh, please Father, give me the strength to stand
then stand again ’til he ends.
In Jesus precious Name, Amen
Vol. III: Uncommon Common Abuse of Seniors & Elderly
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry
Reflecting back on the last segment, we covered what had happened when trying to get an apartment at Fir Tree Park (FTP), the issues after moving in, and problems with neighbor raging alcoholic Rachel and her two grown sons above me. Then HUD contacted me and the wheels began turning but it did not seem to faze Allied Group, the management company in charge of FTP, and their on-site manager Shannon. The problems continued to escalate with Allied and Rachel. Readers might recall she had assaulted me back in April 2008.
Every key person in HUD had a copy of everything I had, including the State investigator who finally contacted me. I had witnesses to everything, including the two acts of discrimination and all the retaliation as well as concerning Rachael. The investigator had names, addresses and phone numbers and stated she would be contacting them for their statements. After ‘hearing’ my story, she gave me every hope this was going to be resolved in my favor. In fact, she expressed anger over how I had been treated, how it dangerously affected my health, and even asked what kind of settlement I would want. Settlement? That had not even entered my mind, so I said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want all of this to stop for all of us.”
Two weeks later, the investigator called me to read to me a letter she had received from Allied Group in response to her inquiry; an attempt to prove without proof they had not discriminated and I had lied. The investigator wanted me to hear the letter, then respond accordingly. Quote: “We never attempted to prevent Ms. Quesinberry from moving into FTP as there were other people ahead of her and, in fact, she later did move in. However, she had installed a window A/C unit and we had to have the fire department inspect for safety. They said it must be removed as it blocked a safe rear exit, so we had her remove the unit. Later, she obtained a portable unit. Obviously, we had no problem with her disability need for air conditioning.”
Allied went on to claim they could get a statement from the fire department, IF the investigator requested proof. I told the investigator that if they could get such a statement from the fire chief, it also would be false. In the end, Allied never provided proof of any of their claims. I not only had proof, I had witnesses and relied on the investigator’s statement that she would get statements from each one. If she did, the case was mine.
The letter went on from there, at the conclusion of which I stated it was a fabrication in its entirety: I had never had a window unit, as my neighbors could testify and so could my daughter Maria, and the fire department had never inspected my apartment for safety. I am a certified first responder and former fire department dispatcher, so I knew that such inspections are done only by the chief or assistant chief. Allied claimed it was “one of the firemen.” And, I related this fact to the investigator.
By now, Maria had informed me she had not heard from HUD’s investigator, as some of my other witnesses also stated. I mentioned this to the investigator and she claimed she did not have their phone numbers, to which I reiterated that all were in the transcripts; however, I gave them to her again. At this time, I did not know the investigator had to wind up the case within 30 days, apparently some kind of HUD regulation.
Two weeks following her call, the investigator called again to tell me she had made her decision and it was irreversible in that her time had expired. I do not know for a fact that there was a regulated time restraint. Again, I stated that my daughter had never heard from her; and, again, the investigator said she did not have Maria’s number. I reminded her that it was both in the transcripts and I had given it to her again two weeks before: “Oh, here it is on a piece of paper on my desk.” She stated she would call Maria but reconfirmed that her decision already was made and irreversible because she had no time left. What good was calling Maria going to do now?
She did call Maria the next day but only asked one question: “Did your mother have a window unit in the beginning?” Maria responded, “My mother told me that Allied claimed she did have one; but, no, she never had a window unit. I know this for a fact, because I was the one to move her in and I was the one who installed her portable unit.” Maria was not given an opportunity to discuss the discrimination she had witnessed, as the investigator immediately thanked Maria and disconnected. The same happened with several of my other witnesses. Nevertheless, testimony had proven that Allied lied.
In that last call to me, the one prior to calling Maria, the investigator said she had ruled in Allied’s favor because there was no proof of discrimination and retaliation and no witnesses to validate the claims. I was stunned speechless. Within a week, I received a letter to this effect and was told I could take the matter to civil court, if I disagreed. The cost would be mine because the Senior Justice System attorney did not handle those types of cases. The investigator’s decision was laid out in a transcript provided to the HUD board on Human Rights for a final opinion, along with a copy to me.
The investigator had worded witness testimonies in a manner rendering me a liar, or delusional at best, and my daughter had confirmed it. Maria was livid, to say the least. She had been quoted as stating that she had only heard about the discrimination, yet Maria had said this only about a purported window unit and was never asked about the discrimination. The transcript also stated that Allied had not replaced the 30-year old carpets because they were in good shape, and that they had not had a problem with my ferrets; it was only a misunderstanding that had been quickly resolved. Lies, lies, and more lies. Worse, they and the State Investigator had effectively shredded my reputation for integrity and absolute truth.
I was devastated and did not know which way to turn. After all, the State had given Allied the power to carry through with the eviction they previously had served on me and would surely win in court; which they could do within a year of having executed service. What judge would not enforce an eviction when the highest Federal agencies had “proven” me a liar, or delusional at best, I being the person who simply was making it hard on Allied to do their job; which also meant Allied could sue me for loss of income due to expenses I supposedly caused them.
There was no way I could afford an attorney in order to file a discrimination suit, despite the fact HUD had said they could not combine discrimination with retaliation but stated the courts could. So, now there was every chance my ferrets and I would wind up on the streets. Nevertheless, I called my attorney in the hopes she would handle the case. To my utter disappointment she only confirmed what I already knew, then informed me that Allied was making new demands on me: they wanted copies of my records for the previous recertification and even for the year before, which had nothing to do with them because I was living at Betty’s at that time. My lawyer did put a stop to this demand.
I received a letter from the Human Rights department of HUD advising that the investigator’s transcript would be reviewed by their board and, if I wished, I could file a letter expressing my disagreement with her findings. I did so truly knowing I likely would not hear a word in return, muchless one in my favor. It was now coming on July 2008, and my suspicions proved correct: I never heard one word from the Review Board. Apparently, the case decision stood as the investigator had filled.
If I could find a pro bono attorney (free), did I not also have Susan, the Poulsbo floater manager, as a witness to discrimination, and Jan the FTP site manager who told us of the discrimination as a witness? Yeah, right; Allied had fired both and I had no idea where to find them. Just prior to the investigator’s decision, a tenant provided a cell number for Jan and I quickly gave the number to HUD’s investigator and called Jan myself— of course, she would testify on my behalf! Alas, she lied to the investigator, claiming she never had such a conversation with my daughter or me.
Okay, there was Ben Jones, the HUD contract manager who had confirmed that FTP was supposed to rent to elderly only, which should have removed Rachel, as well as had directed my discrimination case to Human Rights. Then, there was the woman in Human Rights totally on my side. I called Ben to find he had been replaced. When I called the woman, she said straight out, “I hate what you are going through and I feel it is just plain wrong; but, I have been informed that I am to speak with no one at Fir Tree Park or lose my job.” This, despite it actually being her job!
What in the world is going on? Yet, again, I was stunned speechless as she continued by giving me the names and phone numbers of several attorneys, though not sure they would take the case: she wasn’t supposed to do even this. The very agency designed to protect our HUD and Constitutional rights is now behaving as if they work for the very companies and agencies harming us by replacing any HUD employees who actually do care about us and believe it is their job to protect our rights as both human beings and citizens of this great? nation.
Soon, it was July 2008 and, apparently FTP’s California property owners had received all prior data from HUD about my case, and the other four, as well as letters from a number of tenants and me, albeit not the investigator’s final decision. At this time, all FTP tenants simultaneously received a letter from Allied announcing they would no longer be managing FTP effective August first. While Allied did not tell us, we were informed by the manager Shannon that Allied had been fired from all Washington properties they managed for the California owners. I was delighted and hopeful, as was every tenant here. Surely, the new company, Professional Property Management, along with their site manager Michael, would prove to be far better and, with compassion, treat us as human beings who are not deadbeats and do not defraud programs designed to assist us.
This would not be the case, as noted in the second segment wherein manager Michael threatened me with eviction if I file a third complaint on Rachel. My attorney had demanded that new management sit down with me to go through my file and remove all false charges and complaints, effectively restoring my good name. I also asked Michael for that courtesy: it was the right thing to do. Michael refused; thus, no matter what I do, I look good for eviction at any time he chooses for a variety of trumped up reasons on file. My attorney could do nothing, in that the Senior Justice System considered her job done, case closed, and put her on other pending cases while subtly advising me that I could “donate” to their cause. I would need a different attorney at a cost to me.
Needless to say, I’ve been keeping my mouth shut here at FTP and simply living on 4-6 hours sleep per week. Allied and the Feds had made a delicious meal of me and I didn’t think there was anything left for any entity to gnaw on, except what bones might be left.
Well, Satan was going to make sure I knew better when I received a letter from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) advising that my Medicaid was denied for lack of meeting the spend down requirement (like an insurance deductible): a dollar figure based on my income less out of pocket as well as owed medical expenses. AND! They were investigating my case for fraud. WHAT! Not only had my expenses more than triple covered the spend down but I certainly had done nothing to defraud DSHS. My records are impeccable and completely validated; so, who reported fraud?
Here we go again. Not only would no doctor in Shelton take my case because they were afraid of its complexities but neither would Mason County Hospital in Shelton treat me if need be. Here I am at extreme risk, my health failing rapidly, I have no doctor and nowhere to turn. Oh, what about your doctor in Port Orchard, you might well ask? The one who was on your case since the brain aneurysm? Well, we will get into all of it in our next and final segment series of one nightmare after the other.
Please remember that we seniors and elderly are the largest demographic in this nation, and we need help putting a stop to government abuse at both Federal and State levels as well as abuse by property managers and their companies. We don’t need money; albeit, if you know a TV news reporter or one at a major newspaper, please share our story with them and get it spread across this nation. So far, I have fallen short of being able to garner this kind of media coverage, though I’ve repeatedly tried. It would go a long way toward demanding change. Also, send our story, or the links to it, to everyone you know and ask them to spread it around.
Your friends can find each segment of this story at BonnieQ — (if the link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser) then scroll down my author page and click on “Critical Articles” where each segment is listed by “volume number.” Click on the first volume, read, then the next and the next when finished with each one. Each segment is 4 to 5-1/2 pages: feel free to print them out for reading ease.
Until next week, I pray everyone is doing well and surviving this most unusual weather our nation is experiencing. I live at sea level, yet even we are snowed in. The final segment is scheduled for January 03, 2008; so, stayed tuned for more horror.
God Lit the Flame
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry
Oh, yes, I have had all that riches can glean:
fine homes with designer décor,
impressive swimming pools for leisurely dreams;
Macy’s designer clothes and more,
matching shoes and bags and ornamental rings
draping me for each ball and chore.
Yeah, even costly cars with chromed shiny bling,
excess bells and whistles galore.
I held prestigious corporate positions;
“driven” many would say of me;
school many times, under certain conditions,
to climb ladder rungs at no fee.
And, I was prim and proper, by traditions,
with integrity all could see
and pure honesty, as God requisitions.
Faith meant no other way to be.
But, at what cost to me did riches implore?
I was loved; no loss to me there,
but it buffered me from the needy and poor.
I had no idea their wear and tear
and painful abuse, for they are much deplored.
As His Warrior, God put me there;
that injustice against them I should explore
and find ways to get their fair share.
I had lost all: my health, then compensation.
Know this: such a small price to pay
to feel their pain, grieve man’s selfish presentation:
dis-eases State doctors just flay;
HUD’s site bosses threaten accommodation;
but there’s nowhere to turn, no way,
just those mean streets: Satan’s fine institution.
Fear: old, homeless, hungry, no say.
Could I have prevented this? Nay, t’was God’s plan,
for He knew I’d speak loud and clear;
fight ev’ry wrong for we of His poorest clan:
He has chosen the poor as dear.
I tell our story and say, “Please do not ban;”
share it, for no man do I fear.
Read the series and send to hearts that will hear!
God lit the flame for you to fan.
* * * * *
http://allpoetry.com/bonnie – then click on “Critical Articles” in list for. . .
The Series — Pass on Vol. I & II: Uncommon Common Abuse of Seniors and Elderly
or read the series by going to my homepage here at WordPress, One of God’s Pens. The first two segments follow after this poem and the poem “Face Off.”
Vol. III & IV to come: keep watch and do God’s Work by shouting your indignation where it will do the most good. I Don’t Mind Being Here, for I’d Do It All Again!
Christ and heaven are worth it.
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry
When I was young, “beautiful” was what they said,
though always I reddened at such praise;
it was pain inside I saw and a heart that bled,
while just upon my face they did gaze.
Still, I was known for integrity of steel
and honesty as pure as gold:
for I put on no mask that could be peeled,
no hidden agenda, my words bold.
By these two assets I worked and lived each day;
then the Devil played his wicked game
within Rule that determined my home and pay:
he would slander and shred my good name.
I had lost face, no longer considered true:
investigations and inspections,
transcripts and witnesses ’til my face was blue.
Win, lose, facts remain in reflections.
It’s now a face off between Satan and me,
yet appears as Federal and State.
I believe truth wins and will shout ’til they see:
God’s strength and I will speak in debate.
It’s not all about me, ev’ryone must know:
it’s abuse of the frail and old
by Federal and State, still unknown it goes.
Hear our cry! Demand change strong and bold.
* * * * *
My story is about abuse of seniors and the elderly by some of the highest State and Federal departments that provide our Social Security and Medical benefits as well as subsidized housing when, unexpectedly, we find ourselves in need of it. My story is common but remains uncommon for lack of reporting by concerned elders or their families and friends, when the elder is too afraid to speak on his or her own behalf. Help get this story out to everyone you know across this nation, even the media if possible, by reading a series entitled “Uncommon Common Abuse of Seniors & Elderly” found in my Word Press blog page for Vol. I and II. There will be two more segments to the story posted over the next two weeks.
Vol. II: Uncommon Common Abuse of Seniors and Elderly
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry
As we pick up from Volume I of this issue, I remind that the agreement I had with my deceased friend Betty’s son was to stay and care for her property until the oldest heir turned eighteen, at which time he would move in and I find another place. The blessing to me was another 2 years in that peaceful spot in Washington’s Tahuya State Forest. January 2007: I had to get on HUD waiting lists for a unit and pray I’d be out no later than June 2007. Why did I wait so late? Well, Betty’s son had told me in December 2006 that he thought I would have another 3 years, so I dallied. Alas, it did not work out inasmuch as Derek’s son changed his plans.
First lunge out of the gate was a bleak start: I was number 47 on the list for a one-level complex in Poulsbo, a good hour and half farther away from my daughter/caregiver Maria in Portland, Oregon. Being in that position could have meant up to a two-year wait, which was not going to work. A week later, the floater manager in Poulsbo asked if I would be interested in a Shelton unit, an hour closer to Maria: I would be number one there and assured I could move in by mid-March or April at the latest. At that time, she cited six vacancies with more coming up and no one on the waiting list: my requirement for a ground floor unit was no problem.
Alas, on February 01, a permanent manager was installed at Fir Tree Park Apartments (FTP) and who contrarily acted in accordance with Allied Group’s direction, the management company for whom their floater in Poulsbo worked and also trained new site managers. She was told to fill up the complex before me and justify doing so by claiming there had been a waiting list of which the floater was not aware.
As a courtesy, certainly not a requirement, I had provided with my paperwork a letter from my doctor indicating the necessity of both a ground floor apartment, due to a propensity for falling, and air conditioning I would provide. It seems Allied did not want anyone moving in with A/C— increase the electric bill (I take measures to prevent this but they did not know it). This began to come to light during a phone call when the manager said she had put in five people ahead of me and continued to put me off due to yet more ahead of me. So, I called Poulsbo again to see if I had misunderstood: no, I had not. The floater got on the phone and the next day Fir Tree Park (FTP) called to say my paperwork was ready and I could move in by 11 May 2007. Praise the Lord, I would meet my June deadline as agreed!
Maria went with me to sign papers and pay the upfront fees. It was then the FTP manager informed us of Allied’s discrimination against my extreme sensitivity to heat disability, not wanting me in because of A/C. After signing and paying, we were then informed that Allied had said they would not replace the 30-year old, threadbare carpet if she let me in: a second act of discrimination as well as retaliation. Since I was getting an apartment, I chose to ignore this violation of law but had transcripted the details. Alas, it would not end there, for Allied truly did not want me or my air conditioning.
The unit was incredibly filthy and I spent over 36 hours getting it to a livable condition, then requested of Allied the return of my damage deposit, which was not paid to clean up another person’s filth. I had refused to sign the move-in inspection because the manager would not list problems thereon, as she was supposed to do. So, along with my request, I provided a transcript of labor to get the unit sanitary. I received no response whatsoever.
I had lived in the unit only three months when suddenly the manager accused me of failing to disclose the fact I had two caged ferrets. Despite proving I had made full discloser in writing, Allied continued its assault with threats, calls, inspections, demands, and unannounced visits by a variety of people from their home office; ultimately serving me with eviction because I refused to pay a $300 pet deposit ($150 per pet): which HUD did not allow on caged pets. I’d never had to pay a deposit for the ferrets in the entire 20 years I’ve lived in Washington, even through Bremerton Housing (Vol. I).
Now, I would have to do something. After all, Allied had filled my file with false charges and complaints that might make it easy for a judge to uphold the illegal eviction. I contacted Senior Information and Assistance (Senior I & A) who previously had helped me by purchasing a portable A/C unit. In the interim, I had been keeping meticulous records and transcripts of everything that had transpired from the time I went on FTP’s waiting list, including all details, dates, names, and witnesses to conversations: now days it pays to have a background in law.
Around October 2007, I received a call from HUD’s Ben Jones, the Washington State HUD Contract manager in charge of FTP’s portfolio. I followed his directions and mailed to him a copy of everything I had. After reviewing them, he then instructed me to provide everything to their department for discrimination acts: seems I had two separate cases, the other being acts of retaliation.
According to Mr. Jones, I needed only one witness to the discrimination and he stated that my daughter was sufficient. Mind you, I never contacted HUD, but an investigation was launched, nonetheless. Almost immediately, HUD advised Allied that they could not touch me or my ferrets and could not charge a deposit for the ferrets, acts of retaliation, but Allied was deaf.
Allied’s manipulation and torment escalated, despite my attorney’s actions (lawyer with Northwest Senior Justice Project, Olympia): more threatening letters, inspections and unannounced visits. One such visit came at 3:00 pm on a Friday by yet another Allied employee I’d not met before, and it lasted until 9:15 that night: didn’t even get to eat dinner. Then, Allied came up with a new tactic, actually due to their own screw-up: they claimed to have erred in calculating deposit and rents— another excuse to contact me both by phone and visits— therefore owing me nearly $300 in overcharges. They refused to refund and falsely charged me with refusing to sign recertification papers, another lie added to many lies they feeding HUD, which will come out in our next segment.
The stress was mind-boggling and my health was deteriorating rapidly while my blood pressure was soaring off the charts: not because I was worried or afraid, but simply because Allied never let up and I was becoming quite angry. Yeah, I know, “Get angry but sin not.” I obeyed. Still, my doctor and neurosurgeon were going through the roof, finally telling my attorney to instruct Allied not to contact with me in any way or be subject to a charge of reckless endangerment, or worse, negligent homicide if I died: the risk of another brain aneurysm at an all time high. Allied ignored the directive: just a few days later I received yet another threatening letter.
About a month after I had moved in, management placed a woman above me who was not “62 or older,” as required by the HUD “elderly only” contract with FTP owners. She is a raging alcoholic and within two months she had moved in her grown sons (21 & 23), in violation of both HUD and DSHS welfare requirements: she reported to neither entity as required. Not to worry: I shall not report it, as Jesus would not approve. But, take a wild guess as to who does get reported to DSHS for fraud. That’s our next segment, too.
As a psychotherapist, I was not surprised when Rachel and her sons began tormenting me 24/7; after all, they knew I could be, the operative words being “could be,” their greatest threat as the nearest neighbor to be affected by their behaviour: constant, deliberate stomping on the floor, going to management filing false complaints against me, and so forth. Their mentality is to “do unto others before they do unto you.” Typical behaviour of addicts, liars and manipulators: unfortunately, Rachel and her sons are all of these.
Needless to say, I wasn’t sleeping and management did nothing. Albeit, for many months I did not complain, but neighbors had— loud and clear and even in writing but to no avail: they also called the police several times, once having her carted off to detox for three weeks, as well as filed complaints directly with Allied and FTP’s California owners. Alas, Rachel was convinced I was the one who did all the complaining and Allied was happy to let her believe it; despite the fact I had asked management to tell her I was not the one— hoping truth would put a stop to her harassment and torment.
The abuse continued to escalate, most of it witnessed by surrounding tenants. In March 2008, Rachel came to my door one evening, drunk as usual and ranting. So, I shut the door. The next day, Management attempted to serve me with a “stop harassing” notice on Rachel’s behalf: she had run to the manager, crying crocodile tears, that next morning and claimed I was constantly coming to her door harassing her. I informed management of what really happened and two of my neighbors confirmed. Management tore up the notice she was about to serve on me but did not remove the one in my file, which she had agreed to remove. Alas, my pristine file is now filled with false charges and complaints.
April 2008 arrived in a painful storm amidst Allied’s continued torment: the third afternoon Rachel slammed into my storm door, yanked it open to pound on the door, and began raging when I opened the inner door to find her right in my face as she held open the storm door. Fortunately, my next-door neighbor saw everything and immediately called police. Before they arrived, three times I instructed Rachel to step away from my door and attempted to shut it. Instead, the third time I spoke, Rachel assaulted me by shoving my door into my face: an act that easily could have killed me.
Still, I chose to do as Christ and did not file charges against her; hoping instead, as did my neighbors, that management finally evict Rachel: she is a danger to all and Allied certainly had enough in her file to make it quite easy, in addition to her having broken every rule of both house and HUD— case in point, Rachel brought in a huge dog without permission or deposit, which size is prohibited; a neighbor filed a complaint with Allied, but it was in my car that one of Rachel’s sons put a bag of her cat’s feces as retaliation. Assumption gets people in trouble: I called the police, car dusted for prints although, again, I did not pursue charges but did tell management of the event.
Allied fired the above site manager, then refused to let a new temp-manager evict Rachel: she was serving their purposes quite well, in view of HUD being on their case. No doubt they hoped I would move due to Rachel, then HUD would drop my case automatically. When one lives in subsidized housing, it is not easy or even quick to move: virtually all such properties have as little as a two-year and up to a 3-year waiting list. Unfortunately, the Section 8 waiting list, which allows a person to live anywhere, even a house, is not taking applications for the next 4 to 5 years.
By the time HUD had called in its State Investigator on the discrimination issue and the California owners had been notified of Allied’s many violations, it looked as though my life might settle down soon. Naturally, Satan was not and is not finished; for despite everything having been witnessed, it was going to be the Fed’s turn to take as many bites out of me as possible. But, while they were chewing and chomping, FTP owners fired Allied effective 01 August 2008, and a new management company came in with a new site manager: looked as though they might be worth their salt—one of the first people he wanted out was Rachel and her boys. Of course, we all know that looks can be deceiving.
According to HUD, it usually takes up to a year before a case is assigned to an Investigator, most States having more than one; however, the “entity that shall remain nameless,” as my attorney stated to Allied, had gone straight to the head of HUD with my case and “the head” told this State’s only Investigator to get right on it. This is where our story will take up in the next segment of Federal and State abuse of seniors and elderly, which will include the details of a recent DSHS action noted below. It won’t be difficult to figure out who or what caused DSHS to join HUD for dinner at my expense.
Yeah, Rachel and her non-working, non-disabled sons remain and still are tormenting me. Worse is the fact that she is one of those who defrauds our government systems and gets by with it: the result of it being that much more difficult for an honest and deserving person to get help from the various State and Federal programs.
Case in point: when I applied for Social Security (SS) at age 55, to which I had paid into for thirty-seven years (having worked 33 years longer than my doctors advised), I was denied twice and had to go to court. My SS facilitator told me right up front that if he could show me as a depressed addict of drugs or alcohol or both, approval would be almost immediate; but, the honest person who most needs it gets taken through a wringer then has to jump through hoops of fire that usually consumes two years.
By age 57, I was a heap of ash, for he knew what he was talking about, when two years later I was in an SS court: the judge was irate over how I had been treated coupled with the fact their own doctors had stated unequivocally that I could not work both times I’d been denied, then the judge ruled hands down in my favor— thanks be to the Lord!
Alas, the new FTP manager now whines that Allied should have removed Rachel long ago instead of leaving it for him to do. To demonstrate his feelings about that, I was informed two weeks ago that if I complained a third time, I would be evicted along with Rachel: not that he has made any attempt to evict her. This is just one of the fear tactics so many site managers use instead of doing their jobs in accordance with law and HUD and in the best interest of their tenants’ safety.
Rachel is a danger to everyone around her: cigarette burns all over her mattress, smoked up our apartments burning things on or in the stove, and killed one of my ferrets by gassing my apartment with extremely toxic fumes: my other ferret became ill but recovered and my blood pressure spiked dangerously for the twenty minutes I was exposed. I had been gone and, apparently, my unit had been gassed for several hours: she was attempting to burn-off plastic that she had melted to a burner coil on her stove by leaving the burner on. My ferrets and I had to vacate the unit for the evening and leave the apartment open in very cold weather.
Rachel also flooded my apartment when her commode overflowed and she walked away doing nothing about moping up until it was too late. Where else could that water go? What does management need to remove this danger that, ultimately, can cost the owners their complex by fire? Anyway, Allied has been gone since August 2008, but they were not finished tormenting me and would do so through DSHS.
As I’ve said before, this is not all about me. In fact, there were four other cases just here at FTP that went to HUD, one was automatically dropped when the tenant’s daughter moved her to another town and subsidized unit. That is the way of HUD: if you move, they simply drop the case and declare it resolved.
That case above, though, was another horror story: an 86-year old dwarf, Petie Balls, who had lived here at FTP for almost 20 years, started and ran a craft club and maintained her supplies in the Community Room under lock and key, as long ago approved by prior management. New management charged her with theft, took everything that actually had been purchased by and belonged to Petie, and served her with eviction. Her daughter didn’t know what else to do, except get Petie out of here, because HUD was dragging their feet, not even holding a temporary stop sign in front of Allied.
It took months to achieve the move, so Petie was harassed and had the police called on her both times she attempted to speak with management. Unfortunately, one month after Petie moved to another town, Allied Group took over as the management company of Petie’s new location. Her daughter is watching them and their site manager like a hawk ready to swoop in if they harass her. Horror stores abound throughout this demographic.
The other three cases, also threatened with eviction, ended up ignored by HUD, likely because they were not considered as serious and/or did not involve discrimination or at least the appearance of discrimination: we will get into that in our next segment about HUD’s actions in all this.
Remember: the senior and elderly population is the largest demographic in this nation! Do we realize that, as such, we have the collective power to even determine votes? We can do something about these undeserved injustices but it will take all of us being loud and clear about what we no longer will tolerate at our Federal and State levels by the very people we put into office and the organizations that are supposed to protect us.
According to HUD, we have the right to say how our subsidized apartments are run, a right we have not utilized in most settings because management will not allow a Tenants’ Association; which HUD recommends we have. Management puts enough fear into the majority of tenants so they will not join an Association, even if one is started: such as here at FTP. And, we have the right to organize clubs of whatsoever nature, as long as legal, without interference from management. As seen here at FTP, management disbanded all clubs and took over our newsletter. Now the only thing that gets printed is what management wants us to read, truth or not.
Of course, greed is the driving force of these end days: sort of the wickeds’ last hurrah before their demise. In these cases, however, the greed is that of only property management companies, whereas the Federal and State departments want to simply ignore their responsibilities to those whom they subsidize in whatsoever ways: management companies can be fired and it doesn’t pay HUD or DSHS to shirk their obligations. Our tax dollars pay them to fulfill their duties in accordance with the law!
No sleep. . . oh, well, I do believe Jesus told us that we are children of the Light and we are to keep watch at night when the wicked sleep: so sleep not. I keep hanging on to that, knowing that it could be any day/any hour now for His return, and I believe I can keep going as long as Father intends. I’m the Energizer bunny? I think new batteries might help. Again, please pass this story on to everyone you believe might be able to help us or to persons experiencing similar injustices.
End of Volume II
Volume III continues next week
Vol. I: Uncommon Common Abuse of Seniors and Elderly
©copyright 2008 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.
For some time now, the Holy Spirit has been nudging me to share my story of the last year and a half; and, I’m sure TSaS members have been wondering why my move from Belfair to Shelton seemed to shut-down all TSaS activity and Sabbath lessons. While the title hereof may seem contradictory, it is not; and, this is a story that will unfold over the next few weeks of Sabbath installments. My willingness to share it now is due to realizing that this isn’t just about me: it’s about the largest human demographic in this country, each and every senior and elderly person. (seniors – 52 up to 62, which includes our baby boomers; elderly, 62 and up, I am 64)
We all are familiar with news reports of senior and elderly abuse by grown children, caregivers, care homes and nursing homes. In today’s wicked environment these reports are all too common. However, there is a more insidious abuse occurring by the higher powers that be in our nation, those at the Federal and State levels: common to those experiencing the abuse but uncommon for the lack of reporting and no action to change.
Fear drives all such seniors and elderly to silence— that is, until the Lord decided to set me down right in the middle of it, knowing I would not keep silent and I haven’t. The fear injected in these people is that of suddenly finding themselves on the streets going hungry: if they talk. Alas, I have remained silent when it comes to broadcasting it as far and wide as possible; more because I don’t usually indulge in talking about self ad nausium and certainly don’t like to dwell on my health issues: I fair better by ignoring them and leaving all to God. Nevertheless, my prayer is that each of our members will follow these events to conclusion, take the time to investigate the situations of their senior and elderly loved ones, and to spread word demanding change in unjust systems.
At the Federal level, we will be looking at HUD subsidized housing; and, at the State level, obviously we will scrutinize the Departments of Social and Health Services where a very large demographic of seniors and elderly, disabled or otherwise, go for medical (Medicaid, supplement to Medicare) including DSHS contract doctors and food assistance and, sometimes, cash assistance in the form of supplemental income to augment a tiny Social Security benefit.
For the most part, these are people who, like me, never dreamed in their wildest nightmares that they ever would end up having to turn to these systems into which they had paid dearly over the years. Unfortunately and like me, death of perhaps a spouse and/or health issues can instantly change our plans. BUT! What benefits we get, we paid for long ago: so, we are NOT getting free handouts. That distinction belongs to the many who do abuse these systems.
In order to set the scene for you, I will need to share my medical history; for there are parts of this story involving DSHS that would not be clear without it. All of you know I experienced a statistically fatal brain aneurysm in 2005, my daughter having advised all of you, and in 2006 broke my back. Then, in 2007, I had to move according to the agreement that my friend Betty’s son had made with me after her death. There will be a quick flash back to when I first entered subsidized housing before moving to Betty’s. First, my medical history and diagnoses below (please forgive the necessary lengthiness):
History: (Medical Diagnoses follow History)
At age 6, patient fell almost 30-ft, sustained numerous internal injuries, including misplacement of ovaries, uterus, and kidneys, head trauma to right temporal lobe: unconscious 3 days. Ensuing year she contracted, first, simultaneous double pneumonia and German measles (nearly died), then mumps and chickenpox. Age 9, she sustained another head trauma to right temporal lobe: was blackout blind for 3 days and lost 20-20 vision until 12yo (astigmatism and far-sightedness), at which time 20-20 vision returned. It was determined that her skull is too thin thus concusses quite easily with little force.
Later scans reveal right temporal lobe damage: epileptic center (Petit Mal). Age 8, patient began passing out in temperatures above 70 degrees: was not doctor examined. In recent years, she can overheat in temps as low as 60 degrees. Later in life it was determined that by 12yo all symptoms of MS and Lupus had manifested. Age 10, patient nearly fell 20-ft but friend caught her: doctors determined she has no sensation of height, tends to slowly lean toward ground unaware until unconscious, then falls. At 10, broke left foot in 3 places after jumping off a pier into what she thought was deep water but was shallow.
Following birth of first child in 1963 (age 19), she again lost 20-20 vision (same diagnosis as above): 20-20 vision returned again in 1967 several months after birth of second child (third pregnancy) and remained good until 1990 (46yo).
Age 27 (Jan 1971) following birth of fourth child (sixth pregnancy), patient nearly died of pancreatitis, one relapse 2 weeks after first remission: remains in remission to date (NOTE: Ms. Quesinberry has never been an alcohol drinker or drug user, which at the time stymied her doctors). Three months later, she had emergency complete hysterectomy due to continued bleeding following birth in January (told she should have never had children: 6 pregnancies, 4 full term – one daughter died in 1971, another in 1972).
Prior to 1971, patient had 6 minor surgeries (D&C every 6 months due to cervix inexplicably sealing shut) and one major to remove a grapefruit size cyst from right ovary: surgery revealed severe fall damage to kidneys, especially the right, and ovaries. Doctors later suggested removing gall bladder, felt it was diseased, and tonsils: she refused. She experiences many flu-like symptoms, despite being non-flu seasons (common to Lupus). At the time, it was thought she had a weak immune system.
At 43yo, patient moved from Texas to Washington State. At 46yo (1990), patient had two heart attacks within two weeks (no damage to heart): had produced no biles for previous 45 days, gained 30 pounds in 30 of those days, and lost 20-20 vision over night (which has continued to deteriorate to date, as noted in Medical Diagnoses List below). Additional severe injuries to back of skull: 1) slammed against brick wall at 45yo, severe pain for 15 days yet a Washington doctor diagnosed sinus infection despite location of pain; 2) fell on ice, slamming head first against concrete driveway at 52yo, severe pain for 14 days. Essentially bedridden during full time of severe pain.
Age 24, diagnosed with Degenerative Vascular Disease and considered at extreme high risk for brain aneurysm or major stroke or cerebral hemorrhage (brain aneurysm occurred in 2005, age 61): appearance of lesions led doctors to believe she had experienced numerous small strokes until MS was diagnosed in 1983. She was told she could not work if she wanted to live to see her children grown. She worked another 32 years. Broke back, 2006-62yo, in standing position. At about 39, doctors finally connected the dots to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus along with other maladies already discovered.
It also was determined that the patient cannot take most pharmaceutical drugs, inasmuch as her body tends to react violently: some stop her heart or send it into tachycardia, others cause inability to swallow and/or tremendous pain in liver and/or pancreas, difficulty or inability to urinate, vomiting, etc. At 55yo, Seattle’s Social Security Judge ruled that she may refuse or accept drugs according to her knowledge of her body, also allowing her to take various herbs and OTC remedies that she knows help, same to be treated as medical expenses with respect to DSHS benefits and HUD subsidized housing.
1965-21yo, she nearly died from a penicillin shot thus cannot take any ‘cillin’ antibiotics and most pain meds such as dental gas, Codeine, Vicoden, Demerol, Percoset, Morphine and all derivatives (none of which ever addressed her pain): Oxycodone, 10 to 20 mg per dose, only known pain med she can take yet experience zero side effects while definitely addressing her pain. She has tolerated most anesthetics used in surgery or other invasive procedures such as colonoscopy: best to check with specialists/surgeons who conducted tests or did the brain surgery (Dr. Sharma, Bremerton/ Dr. Shakar, Harborview).
Because of inability to tolerate and/or process most drugs and all invasive procedures, she must be monitored minimum of 24 to 48 hours, or longer: depends on reactions after procedures. Her Texas doctors tested only by first admitting her to hospital, usually for up to seven days or more. She has lived with daily mild to severe pain since age 6, which is ongoing as well as intensifying as her body deteriorates primarily from MS and Lupus.
Numbers appearing in parentheses ( ) reflect patient’s age when diagnosis made:
Multiple Sclerosis & Lupus, all symptoms present/brain covered in lesions (39 & 55)
Degenerative Vascular Disease (24 in TX, again at 55 in WA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis (12)
Osteo-arthritis, mild beginning (64)
Osteoporosis, mild beginning (64)
Petit Mal Epilepsy, seizures of a catatonic nature, controlled by deep concentration:
first given Dilantin for 2yrs until side effects, then valium-10 4x day until she
learned to control by deep concentration method: has been effective. (23)
Heart Dysrhythmia, skips beats (23)
Tachycardia, treated 1-yr with Enderol, now comes and goes (31)
Scoliosis, mild (23)
Cervical Spine curved in wrong direction, top two floating vertebrae press against spinal
cord: advised that a hard slap could kill her (45)
Severe Migraines, determined cause due to various diseases, non-tension (18-27)
Hypo- & Hyper-glycemia, vacillates between, controlled with diet (23)
High Blood Pressure, following brain aneurysm: still not under control, should be 96/60,
therefore surgeon deems her at high risk for another due to both B/P and the fact
she already has had a bleeder; must avoid stress. Treating with Propranolol 80mg
2x day and 1-50mg Cozaar per day (61)
Bladder: microscopic blood in urine due to weak blood vessels in bladder, has
experienced severe kidney or bladder infections in past (55?)
Collapsing veins: when invaded by smallest of needles, the vein will collapse and cause
a sympathetic collapse in opposite arm; during a recent MRI, 6 veins collapsed
before administering dye in seventh vein, which then collapsed as well; also has
petikiel [sp] hemorrhaging on various parts of her body and eyes
Visual Disturbances, double and triple vision (wears trifocals), back of right eyeball is
misshapen, early glaucoma, small tear in left eye, often extreme pain in the eyes,
and pain in sharp rotation of eyes: vision constantly changes, sometimes glasses
useless (MS can cause instantaneous/irreversible blindness) slow reaction time from dark to light and from close to distant
Known Natural Allergens:
1) cedar; 2) ragweed; 3) mold — each cause severe migraines and lethargy
4) Histamine produced by human body — was given a series of 3-IVs to
desensitize her in 1968 or 1969: doctors said it should be done again about
every 10 years: she has had no such procedure since then
Perhaps everyone can understand why I prefer to think on other things, like spreading God’s Truths, as opposed to my health or even these outside trials and tribulations. God is in control and, like Paul, I rejoice in my afflictions and persecutions as Jesus said we who follow would. Now my story begins.
Over the years I enjoyed very lucrative careers, ultimately bought a home here in Washington and three years later had to sell it. I had been unable to work since age 53, but prior to that I had been running an in-residence teen counseling program in my home as well as my executive position with a Water District: this latter being from which I had to resign. I used all of my retirement benefits in order to stay in my home until the last teen had successfully completed the program. Thus, at age 55, I had to sell it and move into HUD subsidized housing as well as apply for social security disability benefits (the same calculated on what I had paid in over the years).
Bremerton Housing Authority was impressive, not only in how they treated me but the instruction they gave me: “You have an impressive background, excellent references and reputation; so, don’t you ever let anyone tell you that you are getting freebies from the system! You have more than paid your fair share of dues, so what you are getting back through Housing and DSHS, is merely a small part of your own money.”
I took the advice to heart and the first two years in a subsidized apartment were uneventful. The third year, however, proved to be a nightmare involving a change of site management and a new young neighbor next door, who proved to be a raging alcoholic that partied all night with his surround sound at full power.
This would be my first introduction to abuse by those in housing control; albeit, I was out of it very quickly. Nevertheless, I was abused by the neighbor when I attempted to resolve the issue with him directly, then again by management when I finally when to her: I was told, in writing, that if I complained again, I would be evicted: punish the victim and let the perpetrator off to torment others. The depth of the abuse I would not truly know until I moved from Betty’s to Shelton in May of 2007.
Well, this ends the first installment of my story. Next week will reveal the depth of abuse just in HUD subsidized housing and how it is ongoing today; and, the week after we will get into abuse by DSHS, abuse by both HUD and DSHS that easily is considered reckless endangerment and, in the event a recipient were to die from the stress, could lead to wrongful death. Remember this, you might need it to protect one of your loved ones. In the meantime, ask yourself this, “Do you really know how your senior and elderly loved ones are doing? Are they really as okay as they smilingly tell you?”
To Be Continued 20 December 2008