UPDATE: We have great news. The donations to Max’s GoFundMe, along with contributions via PayPal have reached the desired goal. Now Max and Lyyric have a home. Many thanks go to everyone who donated and amplified his call for help.
Back in 2017, beloved and esteemed Second Life content creator Max Graf (Timothy Jackson in RL) of Rustica fame (marketplace store, in-world landmark, blog) needed our help, as he and his wife, Cheryl (Lyyric Fei in SL) became homeless. A campaign to help them was started, which escalated to the touching #ForMax shopping event that was set up very quickly by a considerably-sized and considerate group of fellow content creators and merchants. The campaign was a success: Max and Lyyric managed to settle in a new place, found jobs, and started their life anew.
Sadly, in the “free market” economy if you don’t own your home, you can lose it if your landlord finds something more profitable to do with it. So, the owner of the place where they lived decided to sell it to an “investor” who’s about to turn the property back to a commercial building, so Max and Lyyric need to leave very soon. They’ve been searching far and wide, but housing is both (artificially – thank you, “investors”) scarce and expensive.
They eventually found a place that they can move to. It’s nothing fancy, and it’ll certainly need some work. However, as I wrote earlier, even this is more expensive than what they have. So, Max has started a GoFundMe campaign (disclosing his RL name in the process) to raise the remaining money that’s needed for them to secure it. There’s not much time, and – unfortunately – they don’t have many options.
What I’m asking of you all is to help in any way you can. You can contribute directly on the GoFundMe campaign. You can purchase stuff at his in-world or marketplace store – even if you don’t “need” it. After all, we buy lots of stuff we don’t need in SL (which itself is a non-essential expenditure for those of us who aren’t making a living out of our in-world activities). You can spread the word by sharing this post, by sharing Max’s plurk where he made his campaign known, by blogging about it, by rallying people on the official and unofficial SL forums to help. Below, I’m reposting what Max wrote on his GoFundMe campaign’s description:
I (54) and my wife Cheryl (63) are trying to cover the down payment & closing costs on the mobile home above, to start our lives over again. First, why this situation is so dire for us that we felt the need to ask for your help:
- In 2017 we lived in Washington state and lost our home and all our possessions in a disaster.
- We lived in our truck for several months, not finding anywhere that would rent to us as we drove across the USA to start our lives over again.
- 3500 miles away in North Carolina we found an old brick diner downtown which I was able to convert to residential use. The owner agreed to a month to month handshake deal, no lease.
- I got a job at Lowes. Cheryl got hired at the local Hospital where she has worked on the front lines during all of the covid 19 pandemic.
- In 2018 she was in a head-on car accident on the way to work which almost killed her. She survived through several surgeries and continues to have nerve and minor brain damage as a result. She falls over a lot now. For many months I drove her to work and back while also continuing to work my job.
- We worked on and improved our credit scores, sold both of our owned vehicles and purchased older ones, putting the difference into an account for a down payment on a home.
- We were approved for a home loan and began putting out offers in the area we could afford.
- Then, disaster: In August we were told the row of buildings we are in was purchased by an investor who has informed us that he is converting our home back to a commercial property; we must vacate the premises soon.
We just had an offer accepted this week on the mobile home you see in the picture, our lender approved it but today we found out our total costs to go into contract are about twice what we have in our savings account. We have not been able to find housing close enough to let her keep her job, renting or buying, until this one. We are so close to having some stability. We need your help desperately to be able to keep from becoming homeless again. Please fund us if you can.
So, again, I’m calling on all of you to help Max – like you did before.