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Your Questions About Apartment Ads In New York

July 23, 2012

Robert asks…

Nineteen Year Old Student Homeless in New York City, Need Advice + Help?

I moved to the city last January. My school (in the CUNY system) did not have enough dorms and told me I had to find my own housing. I come from a middle class family but my parents don’t have any money to help me, so I’ve been living off of my own lifesavings and hard work. I ended up being a nanny of a 7 year old in exchange for a bed in a living room of an apartment. Three months later the mother, who was a bit of a nut job, threw me out without provocation.

Before anyone says: “get a job,” I would like to say that I have tried. I have gotten 3 different jobs, 2 of which didn’t pay me my due wages and one which was part time and short period. Many applications I have filed– despite going to a top school, getting good grades, and being a smart and adept person, have been left ignored and unanswered. I was “hired”– in their words– by an investment company, but then they decided to forget about me and e-mail me that the position might not be available at all…or might be… So it’s hard trying to get a job when no one seems to be functioning on a normal basis!

I have not had my own key or bed for 6 months. I have not had my own room for 9 months. This is taking an extreme mental and physical toll on me. I’m down to the last of my money (what an elite Manhattanite could pay their lunch with!) and practically starving, but I’m not willing to forfeit my academic goals. It’s difficult to form friendships and keep myself safe, too. I have been able to keep myself off the street by answering ads on Craigslist, but its a tough bargain because most people end up being perverts or don’t follow through–and think that I would exchange sex for a roof over my head, which is totally against my morals. It’s not the kind of life I want to live or intended to live. I have high hopes and dreams of attending Columbia University, majoring in my field, but I can barely focus on my school work when I’m too busy trying to figure out where I’m spending the night!

If you know any resources or are a person who would be willing to do a work exchange (I do have references, resumes, etc)… this would be an excellent opportunity to touch my life. I can post a contact e-mail, but want to remain anonymous until something arises. Thank you!

*if anyone doesn’t realize, I am a girl.
Obviously I am not leaving New York, seeing as I have excellent grades, attending a top school, studying a major field which is not offered in 90% of schools and writing a novel. You can either offer real advice (as in, pertaining to my actual question and not telling me to move away) or you can simply not answer. Useful answers are more helpful than dead-ends. ;)

Administrator answers:

I hate to say it, but not everyone can make it in NYC. It doesn’t always matter if it’s your own fault or whether you’re a victim of circumstance – the reality is that you’re on a path that may eventually compromise your morals despite what you say.

I say cut your losses before you find yourself in a situation you can’t control and go back home. Don’t become a statistic. Your parents should at least be able to pay for a bus ticket. You’re just going to keep getting approached by perverts in disguise or worse. Reaching out to strangers on the internet is a dangerous game.

*EDIT: Sorry, but there is no magical solution. What kind of suggestions were you expecting? Going home is logical advice. With that attitude it’s no wonder why you’re in this predicament. You’re never going to make it in NYC with such a thin skin. If you think you know so much, then figure it out for yourself.

Daniel asks…

Can I trust craigslist ad?

I will move to new york in september and I am finding an apartment in new york area. Since I want to save money, I need someone who want to share room. So I am searching potential roommate on craigslist.
I think there are lots of fake ads on craigslist. So how can i tell the ad is real?

Administrator answers:

You can’t. You’re going to need to talk to the potential roommate a lot before you commit to anything and make sure you’re compatible, lay down ground rules, stuff like that. You don’t want to move in with someone to find that they’re running a meth lab out of the apartment or anything. That said, there are plenty of honest people on Craigslist too, so just make sure you know the person you’re moving in with.

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