By Kim “Supermutt” Goodman
In my last article I wrote about the problems I had when I bought my Zone 3 license from City Hall. For those who didn’t read my last article, I bought a permit from the city of Cleveland to sell the necklaces that I make and they placed me in a “dead zone,” an area with little or no foot traffic. Nothing has changed; I’m still in the dead zone. When I talked to Capital Projects and the License and Assessments’ office, I didn’t get any resolution to my problem. In so many words I was told to wait until next year, and warned that if I got caught selling outside of my assigned spot, I would get a $150 ticket and a violation on my license.
A couple of people who were in a good spot got their licenses revoked for the year due to rule violations. Instead of allowing me and others who bought licenses to move out of our dead zones and into better spots, the good spots were given to the people who were on the waiting list. I don’t think it was fair that those of us who paid for a spot and were placed in a dead zone were forced to stay, while people who hadn’t even bought their licenses yet got the opportunity to sell their products in a good spot.
I paid $195 for my Zone 3 permit and never got the opportunity to make my money back. To some people $195 is not that much, but to me it is a lot of money. My spot is on 14th and Carnegie, and no one going to a Cavs game is going to park near there and walk down to the Q. I took a big loss on the Cavs games. The Indians went to the playoffs and I took a loss. I still have my Zone 1 license for the Browns, and I did make my money back on that one at the beginning of the season. However, the Browns didn’t play good football this year, so sales dropped big time because fans stopped going to the game.
I enjoy being an entrepreneur and selling the merchandise that I make is something that I love to do. I look at it as sharing my talent with the world. Selling my merchandise was something that I did outside of selling the paper and it made up about 60 percent of my earned income. Now the paper is the only earned income I have. Since August, I have lost a big chunk of my earned income.
In September I lost my place of residence and had to move. The move took a lot out of me mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. Many of the good subsidized apartments had long waiting lists or no vacancies. When I applied for each apartment, I had to pay a fee just to apply. One of the fees was $10, a couple were $25, but most were $35, and one was $40. Some of those I looked at that didn’t have an application fee were either in unsafe neighborhoods or weren’t in good condition. I have bad credit, so many times I got turned down. The bad thing about looking for a good apartment in a nice area is that if you get turned down, you lose your money because the fee is not returned, none of it. I wasted over $400 just trying to find an apartment, but by the grace of God, I finally found one.
After being accepted into the apartment, I had to come up with the security deposit and the first month’s rent. I tried to reach out to nonprofit organizations and churches for help, but I wasn’t eligible. I don’t have kids, I’m not chronically homeless, I’m not severely mentally ill, and I didn’t just get out of jail, prison or a rehab. I am just someone who lost my place of residence and needed a little help to move. I had to make a choice and I made the one I felt was right. I could have put my personal belonging in storage and become homeless until I received the help I needed, but I chose to earn the money I needed on my own. I did the right thing by selling more papers. I did the wrong things by selling my necklaces and other items I made in places I was wasn’t supposed to sell them. I could have gotten a ticket if I had gotten caught, but at the time I was desperate for money. At times I even panhandled a little.
I finally scraped up my security deposit and first month’s rent. I didn’t have any more money so I had to start moving some of my stuff on the bus by myself because I couldn’t afford to pay anyone to help me. In addition to moving, I still had to sell papers in order to pay someone to help me with the stuff I couldn’t move alone. During my move I broke a toe, hurt my back, strained every muscle in my body and exhausted all my funds. Some days I didn’t eat and other days I only ate one meal.. It took me a whole month to actually complete my move.
I am enjoying my apartment, but I had to adjust to it. It is not easy to transition from living in a house with a yard to living in an apartment with not even a balcony. What I miss most is barbequing, because I was one of those people who barbequed year-round, even when it was freezing cold. During my move, many of my bills didn’t get paid, so now I’m busy trying to play catch up. Hopefully I can do it before my lights and gas are shut off. I hope that one day I can enjoy the simple pleasures of WIFI and basic cable. I haven’t been this broke in a while. I had gotten used to buying my own food and cooking my own meals, but now I have to rely on food pantries for groceries and meal sites sometime for food. Hopefully this will only be temporary.
Since I can’t sell the items that I make on the street until August 2018, I created a website to sell my products. I hope that when I renew my permits in August, I get a better spot so I can go back to earning more money. I am also a writer, so I will also use my website to promote the books that I write and to share information that I know. If you would like to visit my website, the web address is: www.supermuttsworld.com