HOUSTON VOICE 1AUGUST 23, 1996 7
by Glen Webber
I would like address all of you HIV-positive readers of this column. It is important that you take control of your finances
as you face the future. Especially now with
the new treatments and a longer life-span
One very important thing you can do is to
start a savings account for the day may
come that you have to quit your job. Ifyou
think you can survive on social security,
keep in mind you will only get $600.00 a
month, [f you have no other income, let me
tell you that does not go very far. After you
pay your rent and utilities, you might have
a hundred dollars or less available to
spend for the month. You may qualify for
food stamps, and that too will help ends
meet. You can only have up to $2,000 in the
bank in order to qualify for disability
benefits. You want a family member to
open an account in their name, one that you
can co-sign on. That way you can put as much
as possible in to savings and still meet the
Social Security qualifications.
You need to figure out your expenses and
plan a budget. For instance, how much are
you spending a month on gas or car maintenance'.' Ifyou have car trouble, will you
have the money to fix it? Many people end
up selling their cars and are now depending on Metro to get them around. Are you
ready for that'.' ,
Your party money will he gone. Unless you
have generous friends, you can forget
spending money at the bars or on other
entertainment. You can learn to have a
goodtime without drinking which isn't
yond for your compromised immune system anyway.
You can't always depend on your parents to
help you. If ihey can, great, but il they
can't, you will have to depend on yourself.
Many of us have older parents who are
retired and on a limited income themselves. Many of them have medical concerns as well. Ifyou are too ill to work, you
will be in trouble.
You can save on rent by getting a roommate, but have it spelled out how much you
can contribute so there will be no misunderstandings. It Ihey drink or do drugs
you may not want them around. You need
stable friends to support you.
If you need help, ask for it. You can get a care
team through the PWA Coalition or
through several churches throughout
Monlrose. The Bering Care Center is a
place to go and visit with other folks, watch
TV. and have a nice lunch. You should
contact The AIDS Foundation of Houston or one of the other service providers
and they can set you up with a case manager.
The case manager will walk you through
the process of getting the assistance you
need. We are lucky to have so much available in our community here in Houston.
I get lunch Monday through Friday. I'm
very grateful. Otherwise I would be eating peanut butter and jelly every day. The
meals provided by Sunshine Meals are hot
and nutritious. At dinner lime, I usually
have a TV. dinner. They are pretty good
and filling, and give me my second hot meal
of the day.
I'd like to urge you to pay off your credit
cards. Credit cards should only be used in
emergencies. On a budget, it is almost
impossible to pay off a high balance.
Don't quit working if you have a high balance.
My other concern is the high cost of medicine. Ifyou don't have insurance, you will
be hard pressed to pay for it. Your medicine might be your biggest expense. Many
people depend on the services offered by
Harris County at Thomas Street Clinic for
help. You may consider selling your life
insurance policy through a viatical
company and that is an option, but one you
should consider most carefully. It may
not be in your best interest to do so.
Research it carefully.
I hope tli.K my advice will help yrni decide mi
a course of action for your future. It can be a
comfortable future ifyou plan it correctly. Attorney Mitchell Katine offers
"How to" workshops offering advice on
managing your finances and life with
HIV/AIDS, to find out more about them
please call 96 I — 7100
Glen Webber is a person managing his
life and living with AIDS in the Montrose
area of Houston.
NEU, Primer Fine Art Show at Martin's
Houston—Martin's Gallery will show
the paintings of two new artists, Ann
Vancas and Tod Waters, August 24
through Sept- 21. Vancas and Waters are
true Houstonians, born and raised here,
and it is here that they will exhibit their art
for the first time.
Tod Waters claims not to be a dissident or
a political artist, but sees himself as
more of an objective observer of the current scene. Drawing on a broad spectrum
of traditions, he has juxtaposed modernist, conceptual elements with
examples of realism, figurative and
narrative paintings. Often this juxtaposition and iconography is called
the American Pop Movement of the 90s.
Another member of this movement, Ann
Vancas js a modernist artist, using her
art in the classical style but has added a
narrative form to her nonobject-
ivism. Vancas and Waters will be present
at the artist's reception on Saturday
August 24, from 6pm to 8pm. Martin's
Galley is located at 1641 Westheimer.
It is open Monday through Saturday
from 10am to 6:30pm. Sunday hours are
1:30pm to 6pm.
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