Networking & Community Projects

Helping Riley McCool
Nowhereman10 at 9:14PM, March 29, 2017
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I am starting this thread so that those who wish to help set up a Kickstarter or GoFundMe for Riley McCool of “How to be Homeless”, “A Little More Humiliation”, and “Habibahs song” can work on the details of setting this up.
marmelmm at 5:00AM, April 12, 2017
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Cool beans.
Nowhereman10 at 12:28AM, April 16, 2017
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Thanks for posting, Mitch,

I know we've discussed this in PQ, but I will say I believe GoFundMe right now looks like the best choice for doing this.
felonimayhem at 9:38AM, April 23, 2017
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I'll chip in for the GoFundMe if someone else is willing to set it up. Could we maybe have Riley set it up, so we're sure she's the one who gets all the money? I'm also not sure what percentage GoFundMe takes from the total.

I think overall we're aiming for about $1000 for the truck loan and maybe $2000 for the apartment costs (first and last month's rent plus security deposit). I'm not sure what the housing prices are like in Sandpoint; I figure she won't need a fancy place but we want something in a low-crime area that's not rat-infested or full of drug dealers at least. A little extra to help her with the utility bills until she can land a full-time job wouldn't hurt either. And once she has a permanent mailing address, she can start receiving housing subsidies, food stamps, etc. that her taxes and our taxes are designed to pay for.
last edited on April 23, 2017 9:42AM
refalgren at 12:08PM, April 23, 2017
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I mentioned a gofundme campaign to her a couple months ago, but Riley didn't say much about the idea. If one gets set up, i'll happily contribute.
Nowhereman10 at 12:14PM, April 23, 2017
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I definitely would prefer GoFundMe since it does not require any specific deadline.

In an ideal world, Riley would set up the GoFundMe account and we would all just plunk down our money into until we reach the goal. However, as you may have noticed, Riley barely has any time to be online with her limited access to wifi, and so unless Riley is willing to use some of her online time to do so, it will have to be one of us that sets up the account. Either way, she still will need to give up some of her time online to work out the particulars so that she can collect the money.

As for the goal, CoastMountainGoat and I worked out that we would need at least $2300 to $2500 to pay off the truck principle. And that should be the first goal, no matter what, as that is consuming the most of what Riley and her son make in any given month. On top of that, paying for repairs to the truck is the next major concern and that could be easily around another $1000. We also should consider adding in the costs of a cheap motel they can stay in while waiting for the truck to be repaired.

As for an apartment, there are some decent possibilities that MMarmmel and
I found that are in the McCools' price range once the truck issues are settled:

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_rent/Sandpoint-ID/condo,apartment_duplex_type/6929_rid/48.941445,-115.543213,47.832517,-117.303772_rect/8_zm/

As you can see, $482/mo is well under the $560 that Riley has to pay on the truck and that would allow us to set a goal I believe of about $1500 to help raise the money for deposit and 3 months rent required.

last edited on April 25, 2017 11:02PM
Nowhereman10 at 12:19PM, April 23, 2017
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refalgren wrote:
I mentioned a gofundme campaign to her a couple months ago, but Riley didn't say much about the idea. If one gets set up, i'll happily contribute.

Her being online enough to set up the details makes it difficult, but luckily GoFundMe accounts can be set up by someone on behalf of someone else. The trick is, who will do it and then make sure the money raised goes to the McCools.
refalgren at 3:46PM, April 23, 2017
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Well you certainly seem on top of the issue Nowhereman. Why don't you set it up?
Nowhereman10 at 4:00PM, April 23, 2017
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My nomination is for CoastMountainGoat, since that person has actual experience with dealing with fiances at a credit union and would be good at managing the account.
felonimayhem at 6:54PM, April 25, 2017
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Ugh, I thought the truck principle was only $1000 or so, $2500 is much worse(considering that she has to pay off 1/4 of the loan balance every month just to break even). Paying that off ASAP is the best thing we could do for Riley and her son.

Is anyone willing to volunteer and set up the GoFundMe?
felonimayhem at 12:00PM, April 26, 2017
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Something I've been thinking about: I'd like to pay off Riley's 300% interest loan and replace it with an informal 0% interest loan to me. She could send me maybe $100 a month until it's all paid off, instead of her much higher monthly payment to the loan company. But I don't know if she has a checking account (it's too much money to send through the mail) and whether I can be sure that the loan company will properly credit my payment to writing off her debt. Any thoughts?
Varg the Wanderer at 2:34PM, April 26, 2017
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I have no experience in setting anything like this up, but if it is set up, I would happily contribute to getting her back on her feet.
Nowhereman10 at 4:49PM, April 26, 2017
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Thank you for your interest, Varg. We have two nominees right now to set up the GoFundeMe:


1.) Me, Nowhereman

2.) CoastMountainGoat.


While I organized and helped gain publicity for Riley and her son's plight, CoastMountainGoat has the experience with fiance as a credit union employee.
Nowhereman10 at 12:58PM, April 27, 2017
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felonimayhem wrote:
Something I've been thinking about: I'd like to pay off Riley's 300% interest loan and replace it with an informal 0% interest loan to me. She could send me maybe $100 a month until it's all paid off, instead of her much higher monthly payment to the loan company. But I don't know if she has a checking account (it's too much money to send through the mail) and whether I can be sure that the loan company will properly credit my payment to writing off her debt. Any thoughts?

Now that is an interesting idea. What does everyone think?
felonimayhem at 4:48PM, April 27, 2017
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Right now she's paying $500 a month (3/4 of her net income!) and only $50 or so is going toward the principal. If I send her a lump sum to pay that off, she can pay me back at $100 a month until it's all paid off, so she'll have an extra $400 spending power every month, which is a huge amount of money for her. No-interest loans are a very good compromise between charity and responsibility; Habitat for Humanity and other charitable organizations use them a lot. I'm perfectly willing to take the small risk that she won't be able to pay me back. I just need some way to get the money to her safely. I'm not sure if she has a checking account.
Nowhereman10 at 10:18PM, April 27, 2017
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I'm curious now, if the GoFundMe was set up now, by anyone, how much do you think you'd be willing to put into it. You know, as a primary donor, such that you didn't need any kind of payback?
felonimayhem at 6:30AM, April 28, 2017
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If I'm paying off her loan as well, I'd chip in $100.

If that doesn't work out, I'd chip in $250.
Nowhereman10 at 2:35PM, April 28, 2017
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Oh, I meant that if we stuck to the current plan, what you'd be willing to put into the GoFundMe.

That being said, you gave me an idea as an alternative. What do and everyone else think if Felonimayhem here pays off the loan and then instead of Riley paying Feloni back a 100 bucks a month, we all instead pay Feloni the money and that in turn would allow Riley and her son to concentrate their monthly income into truck repairs and getting an apartment, preferably before Summer is out and before Fall and Winter.
refalgren at 8:34PM, April 28, 2017
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Either way sounds fine to me. As long as Riley and her sons situation improves, i'm good =)
felonimayhem at 10:38AM, April 29, 2017
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Nah, I don't need a fundraiser, I'm financially secure. If you're starting a GoFundMe, send the money to her instead of me. Send it to her with no strings attached, to be spent as she best sees fit. She's excellent at budgeting her expenses, probably more so than any of us would be.

Regarding paying off the loan, I'm sure she'd be very happy to go from a $500 monthly payment indefinitely to $100 a month for a little over a year. Her available spending money per month would double or triple.
refalgren at 6:53PM, April 29, 2017
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I think she would absolutely love that. =) Can we get some input from CoastMountainGoat on this?
felonimayhem at 9:59AM, April 30, 2017
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Status update - J Riley is OK with my plan to pay off her high-interest loan, I just need her PayPal email address and her current loan balance. May should be the last month she has to skimp on food and basic necessities for the sake of loan sharks.
Nowhereman10 at 11:52AM, April 30, 2017
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Okay, then. If Riley wants to do it that way, then that is what we will do.
refalgren at 11:13PM, April 30, 2017
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Thats excellent news! Keep us updated on the situation felonimayhem =)
felonimayhem at 6:48PM, May 1, 2017
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I sent her enough money that her debt should be fully taken care of. No more 300% interest! Now she can get back to eating real food. :)
Nowhereman10 at 8:04PM, May 1, 2017
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Wonderful!

But we cannot rest on our laurels too long. The next item on the list is the truck repairs and I think we need to get a firm estimate on that and then look at how to fund them, including maybe even putting Riley and her son up in a hotel for the time it will take to get the repairs done.
felonimayhem at 1:47PM, May 2, 2017
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I'd recommend focusing on a place to stay first, the truck repairs can wait. J Riley has managed good employment using the local bus service, I think a safe place to live is a higher priority than a functional truck. And with a permanent address, perks like food stamps and checking accounts come into play, which will help her a lot. Once life is stable for her, then we can focus on the truck repairs.

Also, folks shouldn't keep waiting around for some formal fundraising drive to donate. Just donate to her Patreon if you want to help her in the short term.
last edited on May 2, 2017 5:14PM
refalgren at 1:23PM, May 3, 2017
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Does Riley have a computer of her own, or does she use a libraries? Perhaps we can also get her a cellular wifi hotspot if she does. That way she can stay in touch more often.
Nowhereman10 at 7:17PM, May 3, 2017
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Riley has her own laptop, but she has to make use of the library's wifi, which is why it takes her so long to get anything out or to answer emails. Hopefully now with Feloni having sent Riley the money she needs to pay off the truck principle once and for all, she can maybe have a bit more freed up cash to buy a cup of tea and use the wifi at a cafe or coffee shop like Starbucks for additional wifi time.
Hipstor at 12:21AM, June 7, 2017
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WiFi range is 100m. I can sit across the street and use a store's WiFi. Weather permitting of course. The cold alone can cut your battery life. Forget sitting in the rain/snow. Hazards for body and machine. My point is, you don't have to actually buy anything to use most stores WiFi. If the truck is working again, use WiFi from the parking lot.

I agree with felonimayhem, shelter and the address that comes with it will help more. Riley and her son shared a truck bed for months. A studio apt will seem huge by comparison. 2 bedroom would be nice, but baby steps first. It's just a rental, not her forever home. As her life stabilizes she can move up in housing.

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