Since we all know that Mold Illness and everything that comes along with it is a huge drain on finances- (like seriously my family has Nothing left)- I thought it would be a good idea to try and share some of the resources I found that have helped us along in our journey, or that I've read about elsewhere.
FUNDING FOR HOUSING
The biggest place we have been able to find funding is in the realm of our home. We needed to make huge repairs and changes to the structure of our home, and remediate. House costs are HUGE and while the medical costs eat away at your financial resources over time steadily, the housing costs take huge chunks out all at once.
Loans or Withdrawals from Work- Related Savings, Investment, or Retirement Accounts:
We needed to remediate our whole basement, AND replace the main plumbing stack in our home, AND the sewer line in our home.
We were able to use a loan program at my husband's job. Essentially, if we paid in a certain amount in, we could take out a loan of a few thousand dollars more. We would have strict repayment guidelines, but it was a place we could find some money. My MIL and FIL fronted us a $9000 loan so that we could take out a total of $16,000 from the my husband's job's loan program.
We used that for our basement remediation, replacing the plumbing, and the sewer line. We had a small amount left over for some urine testing, and bulking up on medications and supplements. If you end up withdrawing from your retirement early, you may be forced to pay a penalty, but hey if you need the money now- you need it now.
We decided that if we were going through all this trouble, and I was sick as fuck, that we'd do every possible thing we could do to this house to make it our healing place. We learned that we also had leaks in our roof and several window sin our home. We took advantage of a program that I found in our city that was active during most of COVID's most rampant of periods- up until last winter (2021).We applied literally right before they shut the program down, so we were approved, but it won't be around for others to use.
However, there are probably a slew of other programs you could find your city that are linked to medical conditions, income level, zip-code based city improvement initiatives, or other things that you could search for.
Try to think about what applies you and your situation and search for those options, and the word grant, or loan.
Here are some examples: Type in any combination that apply to you and your situation and see what pops up. (Having your income information on hand will help you if you find any results you may qualify for).
*your city &/or state*"
"relief resources for housing"
"relief resources for home repairs"
"government roof grants"
"government roof loans"
"covid19 relief loans"
"covid 19 relief grants"
"medically necessary home improvements" (which are tax deductible)
-OR- trying typing any of the above with your income level included, or your medical condition included, or the type of work you need done on your home included.
Yes, it might seem like a lot of work, but we have been able to get our entire roof replaced for free, and that is a HUGE expense. We also we able to find a 50% loan/grant program in our city to get every window in our home done, and all found LEAD replaced in our home.
Absolutely crazy amount of money saved.
Sell Your Stuff:
As you purge (if items are in good condition and are not moldy)- sell them on FB market, FB specific interest groups, Craigslist, Ebay, etc
My husband has been going through his cherished comic books of over 20 years ago and has been able to make a good amount of money selling his mint condition comics as comics and superheroes are a huge trending fad right now- thanks partially to the Marvel & DC movies over the past 15 years, and these moving into streaming services. They're incredibly popular, and since my husband bought his items long ago and always kept them pristine, it's been a very late stage in the game way for us to make extra money. He's been able to get between $200-$600 per set he's sold so far.
Obviously, not everyone has comics, but look around for important items or popular items you do have in your home that you can bear to part with. Examine popular trends. Look at local Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook and see what items people are asking for the most, or what you see is popular. Try to sell those items. Be sure to compare pricing ideas on selling websites so you have some guidelines on what amount to ask for before you post you items.
Home Equity Line of Credit:
We were able to pull in just under $6000 from this arena so that we could do big repairs in our kitchen that went along with the long term assurances to lessen the possibility of water leaking/damage, which would lead to mold. This is a project my husband handled so I don't know a ton of information to pass along, but you can certainly call your bank and talk through the options you have with a representative, or read about this option online.
FUNDING FOR YOURSELF
Free Medical Testing via Studies:
Yesterday, in one of the groups I belong to online, a person posted a link to a study that is open for enrollment right now.
The poster said "This FREE study is looking for volunteers. Will check antibodies for tick-borne diseases and for covid, and can differentiate between vaccine induced covid antibodies and those acquired via exposure. "
Link Here to Study:
The website itself says "Serimmune’s Free ME/CFS Coronavirus and Tick Antibody Testing Study Is Open".
I applied to do this study, because Mold and Lyme often go hand in hand (that is another GIANT blog for another day), and I'd been interested in seeing if Lyme may be yet another co-factor in my healing journey since it's been so long and arduous. So I'm now set to receive my test next week and I'll draw blood at home and send it in. The company also has in writing that they will compensate for any injuries or side effects that occur from their free study, (although I don't know what could happen with a simple home blood draw...) and that the study participants can remove themselves at any time.
Since I went downhill a bit after getting COVID in January, and I still don't know my Lyme status- jumping into this study was a no brainier for me.
Biohacking Naturally instead of paying for all the high tech, or expensive medications/supplements:
I love being able to afford the exact treatments that my doctor lays out for me, because honestly they do help me feel my best. But after over 2 years of everything for myself and my kids, I can't afford it anymore. I'm so lucky to be looking for work again in a couple of months so I am trying my best to streeeeeeeeeeeeeetch every cent until then and hope we can hold the line with how far we've healed together.
One of the things I do is look for free ways to biohack other things that may be more expensive in nature as prescribed or recommend by our knowledgeable dr.s.
I have posted about this before in a screengrab and section within another post:
so you can reference that post- or search online- for free biohacks and you'll get tons of things you can do to help yourself on the cheap.
This option I totally hate because it is basically you laying out your whole painful, depressing, terrifying situation to other people and feeling like you absolutely have to rely upon them instead of feeling like you can rely on your health insurance and the healthcare system at large to support you in your darkest hours.
After all that's why you pay all that fucking money for insurance, right??? I digress..
It's extremely hard to explain the complexity of mold illness to anyone, generally ever, and on this resource platform you are going to have to explain the science of how mold illness works, link to legitimate education resources so people understand wtf you are dealing with, and then hope they stuck around long enough to consider contributing to your cause.
You also have to find places online or in your community to post links and info for your GoFundMe.
If you are desperate though and up for the challenge, this can pay off and help you.
We created a GoFundMe and our loving families, friends, and strangers contributed around $12,000 altogether. We only shared online, but I was smart I would have also made fliers with simple relevant info and pictures, and posted them in city coffeeshops, libraries, etc too, because we needed ALL the help we could get.
When you make a GoFundMe, here are things to remember:
1) Include educational links and resources- (ie "Surviving Mold" "Richie Shoemaker" "Neil Nathan" "Jill Crista" "mold toxicity" "HLA-DR" "how and why does mold affect you and where it is in your environment"
2) Your plans and what you need funding for specifically
3) Pictures of the mold if you have them for validity
4) If willing to share- pictures of your symptoms
5) How you life has changed since becoming ill, and how it could change once you are out of mold and getting proper treatment.
6) Updated posts with pictures to show how the money is being used and how you are being affected by people's contributions. When they see their money is physically concretely helping you, they will be appreciative of you updating them and knowing their help paid off. They also may be generous and help again.
7) Consider adding a link to your VENMO or PAYPAL account as GoFundMe takes a percentages of what people donate to you, the others don't.
Finding Non-Profits and Companies that offer Mold Related Grants or Loans
While I don't know of many of these options yet, I know there are a few companies and non-profits that are beginning to establish right now and work toward the goal of being able to help financially support mold illness victims for many things: remediation, treatments, home testing, possession replacement, & relocation fees.
One non-profit I have been in contact with a lot and am working on another project with atm is Malachi's Message https://malachismessage.org/
They're based in Texas and currently helping residents of Texas, but I'm sure have goals to expand elsewhere eventually. If you are a Texan facing mold, look them up.
If you aren't, you can search for companies and non-profits in your area that may offer mold fundraisers, or let you post your info there, for example-
You may need to do some detective work on this funding option, but if it is something that may help you, why not try?
Best of luck to you all.
I hope that these help! <3