Maritza Stanchich has just sent us an urgent message regarding writer Aurora Levins Morales. The message is reprinted verbatim here:
An important poet and author of the Puerto Rican diaspora is in urgent need of aid, after becoming homeless due to serious health complications. As many of you know, Aurora Levins Morales is a lifelong activist, writer and historian, author of such groundbreaking, important and visionary books as Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (1998), Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity (1998) and Getting Home Alive (with Rosario Morales, 1986), as well as a key contributor to well-known anthologies, including Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios (2001) and This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981). Also currently a Poet-on-Assignment for Pacifica’s Flashpoints, she remains active in Puerto Rican, Jewish, anti-racist, environmental, anti-war, Latin America solidarity and disability liberation movements.
She has been struggling with increasingly serious environmental and other chronic illness and disability (including chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, diabetes, a possible MS diagnosis and genetic liver enzyme malfunction, as well as being a survivor of stroke and multiple head injuries). She has just become homeless due to mold contamination of her apartment and needs to find new housing immediately, though she has a place to stay until July 9.
She needs to remain in the Berkeley, CA, area where she has a support network and disability services, including a doctor familiar with her complex condition, but she requires a stable, non-toxic home to follow the treatment protocol. She had to leave subsidized low-income housing which provided her with a small apartment with a home office for $750, and will now have to pay market rate, with studios going for $1000-1500 and one-bedrooms at $1100-2500. Aurora is entirely dependent on support from her elderly parents, whose pension fund pays her bills.
In addition to the cost, her doctor has told her that unless she can find a non-toxic home, her already serious condition will continue worsen. This means no carpeting, gas appliances, scent free laundry facilities, no vinyl flooring or particle board cabinets, no new paint and no mold. This is a hard combination to find at any price. Let’s show Aurora that we have her back and practice the time-tested tradition de ayudar al prójimo. Please forward this to your contacts and send a check (any amount welcome) to:
Aurora Levins Morales
c/o 1232 Peralta Street
Berkeley, CA 94706
Housing leads in the Berkeley area also welcome: Aurora Levins Morales <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for your solidarity!
P.S. Aurora also encourages you to visit this site to learn more about the housing crisis for people with chemical injuries: http://reshelter.org/