Desperate Times

My son passed this along and asked me to do something. It’s from someone who posts in one of the forums he frequents, and his parents need help NOW.

There are, of course, a lot of people who need help right this minute. But this is the one that fell into my lap, so I figure I’m supposed to do something. Can you help, too?

In 2004 dad was diagnosed with PAD, peripheral artery disease. It started with him having slight pain when he walked long distances. Over the years it’s gotten steadily worse, and now he has nagging pain even at rest. Still, because he has no car, he walks everywhere, taking the bus where he can. The pain for him is unimaginable. But he bears it.

In 2008 dad lost his job. We’re from Las Vegas, and he’d worked in the casino industry, mainly as a poker dealer, for over 30 years. As you may know, Vegas was hit hard and early by the economic crash, and even today suffers some of the worst unemployment in the country. It wasn’t long before me and my parents were evicted from our apartment.

Luckily for us, my sister and her husband provided for us to move in with them out here in Michigan’s upper peninsula. For two years my dad lived here, on unemployment, continually applying for work at the indian casinos in the region. Any other job he’d be qualified for paid less than he got on unemployment. None of the casinos ever offered him a job.

In 2009 we all went back to Vegas for my dad to deal in the World Series of Poker. He’s done it before, and it’s always been good money, even before poker became really popular in the mainstream. 2009 was the biggest year in the tournament’s history, but the dealers got fucked over by management, which was no longer in the hands of the tournament’s original owners. Nonetheless, the tournament was a boon to us.

Because of that, this year he went back to do it again. I stayed behind because I was going to be attending college up here, but my mother went.

2010’s tournament wasn’t nearly as profitable. My parents were out of money pretty much as soon as it was over. To make matters worse, dad’s unemployment benefits ran dry a few months ago, and anything he’d be entitled to now would be forfeit anyway because Nevada’s unemployment office accidentally overpaid him for months — without our knowledge. Nonetheless they claim he owes them over $700.

So my parents don’t have enough to come back here and we don’t have enough to send for them.

My parents currently live in a small weekly in a seedy part of town. They won’t make rent this week. Dad’s been looking for work out there, but it’s hard for him to get around without a car, and now he can’t even afford bus fare. They have absolutely nothing. Nothing. At this rate, they will end up homeless in just a few days. The temperatures in Vegas this time of year would literally kill my mother.

On the phone today my dad — my hero — the archetypal survivor — the man who lived through special ops in Vietnam — told me he was contemplating suicide.

I can’t say I blame him. In the past few years, my parents have both deteriorated rapidly, physically and financially. Looking at them, you see two people nearing the end of their lives.

But there’s a casino out here, where I live, willing to employ dad. If he can get out here, he can work again, and finally support himself again. He WANTS to work. He hates being on the government dole, relying on others to meet his basic needs. Not contributing to society. With steady employment his entire situation would improve dramatically. He would even be able to get health insurance, and finally receive an operation for his PAD.

So here’s where the begging starts. Anything you can give will help. Really. I’m desperate here — I mean, fuck, I’m asking POE for money for godsakes. My paypal is

Help. Please.