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Please begin with an informative title:

My friend's mother witnessed the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima at a distance but was unharmed physically. Later in the US she married multiple times and it seems that her daughter, Wakana, half Caucasian, became the person towards whom she directed her trauma-induced hostility. Even now when so many things have fallen through for Wakana, her mother rejects even the smallest assistance, which she could easily afford, to help her daughter from falling into homelessness. Her father long ago disappeared. The social safety net is being counterproductive.

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Wakana is a young middle-aged Southern Californian, a Democrat but not a Kossack. Without family support she graduated from the UC system. Her mother had actually promised her a goodly sum upon graduation but then withdrew the offer. Disheartened, Wakana finally found work as a dealer in a casino. A bright and friendly person, Wakana was very talented at this job and for a time drew good pay.

Wakana is also a generous person and unfortunately a couple of boyfriends took advantage of this fact by borrowing large sums of money and then disappearing without repaying her. Perhaps the worst things to befall her, however, were physical problems. These began in the seventh grade when she injured her neck. There were subsequent re-injuries which led to many years of chiropractic treatments.

Why have I tagged this diary for cats and dogs? Please see my explanation at the end of the diary.
It appears that some casinos are run by money-obsessed characters who treat their employees like the paranoid crooks they themselves are. The casino's policies about absences for medical reasons are medieval. When she needed gallbladder surgery, her employers were less than understanding. Some of the customers are also offensive, especially when they are losing, like the guy who pulled the lift lever on her dealer's stool, causing her to crash to the poker table; or the guy who, standing behind her when she was leaning on a cane, kicked the cane out from under her. It is hard to document such injurious mischief and the casino management is not inclined to accept an employee's word. But these incidents exacerbated her existing chiropractic problems and intensified her chronic pain.

The red tape involved in dealing with such physical problems at the casino is daunting, and long story short, Wakana took, in management's eyes, too much time off recovering and was fired.

Working in a casino again is out of the question and in fact she is essentially disabled by chronic pain and then the depression that follows a series of seemingly unsolvable life-altering problems. She has depleted her savings. She has been following every possible lead from disability benefits to food stamps and every organization is failing her. She has just been denied disability; she can request a re-hearing, but this is said to take many months. She could instead apply for unemployment benefits, but again this is an uncertain and lengthy process.

The one certainty in Wakana's situation is that she cannot pay her rent and cannot afford to move anywhere. She is thinking of living in her car, but cannot afford a place to store her belongings. She is eating minimally, which certainly doesn't help her depression or general health. (The food stamp allowance she has been given is totally inadequate for a normal diet.)

She is up against a stone wall--starting with the physical and mental abuse of her early years to the failure of our social system to protect citizens.


I haven't done this before and am not skilled at it, but I want to make a plea for readers if they can to contribute money to Wakana to help her back into functioning society. No contribution is too small or too large. I will set an arbitrary goal of $1000.

Wakana's PayPal account is smrbrz102 [at] yahoo [dot] com. (The “smrbrz” stands for “summer breeze”, a reflection of Wakana’s bright personality that is now being deadened by the foolishness and inhumanity of various people and our ineffective systems. Your contribution can bring a refreshing summer breeze into Wakana’s life.)

As you may know, if you label your PayPal payment as a payment or gift to an individual, rather than a purchase, there are no fees involved either for donor or recipient. If you can’t use PayPal, please PM me to discuss a different arrangement.

Thank you so much for reading, reccing and giving. I will keep you apprised of progress in the comments. And now my explanation for the cats and dogs tags: As I said, I have not written a help diary before; my diaries have nearly all been on economics and hunger, but I like to bring animals into my diaries when I can. Examples: http://www.dailykos.com/... and http://www.dailykos.com/....
I read the pooties diaries religiously without contributing much, but it almost seems as if I know the familiar people there, and I want to include them in viewers of this diary.

Wakana thanks you
I (psyched) thank you

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