favourite this postThe Blind Found Their Way Out: Sustainable Living (Colorado Springs) hide this posting
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Our names are Ryan and True. Some know True better as Paola. We're a couple brought together by a passion for permaculture, or regenerative agriculture, and our shared experience of being legally blind from birth. We know that you, dear reader, do not owe us but we've been inspired by the amazing capacity for kindness that people just like you have. So we've decided to try our luck because we've found ourselves in quite a scary position...
Let's start at the beginning. Ryan moved to Colorado with the savings, the skills and ambition to become a Master Grower. We met a kind, older man who has connections and wants to partner up to start a grow operation. Though we've struggled to find work in the meantime, everything was looking up. We both receive Social Security Disability, and we had a friend with a camper trailer that was willing to let us pay it off month to month. No life of luxury, but as you'll see, we're willing to rough it out for a couple years if it means escaping the trap we're in.
Last month, Nov 2016, our friend's trailer fell through. Colorado Springs is notorious for having the fastest rent increases in the country right now, so we won't be able to afford the rent increase that is inevitable. Our current apartment was a hasty arrangement after our former would-be landlord couldn't repair the place we were originally going to move into after a pipe broke, and all the subsequent damage to the property. We're still recovering from that motel stay. We can't afford another move and another lease, but even if we could, our options are limited with three dogs - almost all rentals have a two dog limit. One of our dogs is also a lovely and well trained, but discriminated against Rottweiler. This would drain the last of our savings in the process.
Social Security has been in the news lately finally putting a spotlight on something we've always fretted about: inflation goes up and up but SS stays the same. I'm afraid of what this trail is leading us to. After all, 40% of the homeless are disabled and Colorado Springs is one of the most cut throat yet undependable job markets. Though we stay optimistic, we know this isn't how we want it to be. This is a cycle that's going to keep us in poverty. That's going to keep us from our dreams, even with this rare opportunity glowing in our sights.
Our hopeful partner is offering us our own 5 acres to do with as we please, rent free. If we can make it out to his land, this could be the beginning of the rest of our lives. Greening our semi arid landscape with permaculture, undoing centuries of damage while living sustainably and self sufficiently. We've both had so many bad experience with ableistic work environments; to work for ourselves and work with someone who genuinely sees us as equals would be incredible. And if we find success, it won't stop there. We want to help usher in a new reality for the differently abled and advance regenerative agriculture here in Colorado where we can undo centuries of damage.
What we are asking for...
An insulated 16' yurt with warranty on its roof. Deck as it doesn't hold its integrity on the ground. Delivery (it's a local company) and rough estimate of assembly: 16,000$
A wood burning stove and a cord of wood: 500$
The winds are exceptionally strong where we'd be. A strong fence to act as a wind break to give us workspace, outdoor storage space, a safe space for our dogs out in the wilderness, and help us keep our yurt warm: 2,000$
We'd be almost 20 miles outside of town. Though our friend with the land has been very fair in the past giving us rides, we'd feel most comfortable to be mobile. An extra battery for Ryan's electric bike, plus a solar charger: 1,500
Just to be clear, we are not asking for a life of luxury. The land has a well, thank goodness, but no electricity, no refrigeration and we'd be making ourselves a compost toilet. We'd have to buy a third battery and a trailer for the bike. The expenses of the move itself and starting our garden would be on us. Eventually, maybe after one or two years of living in the yurt, we can afford solar panels.
If we were so privileged as to have this work, I must say, the way I look at the world will never be the same. This would touch us for the rest of my lives. Please understand, any amount of donation is deeply appreciate. Even if it buys us one log of warmth, it is desperately needed. What we've laid out above is what we're shooting for, but anything towards our future is making it brighter.