My funding goal is set to set to the least amount that will allow me recreate just enough of my original jewelry to vend again. It does not end my homelessness. I will need to sell at fairs continuously to rent a smal...
Skydin, a degree'd artist, was robbed numerously recently. This caused him to fall behind on rent. Even the funds Skydin secured for the landlord, Peter John Belitsos, revealed that he has been renting illegally and without a license.
The landlord then, admittingly to get revenge, broke the law many times and finally destroyed Skydin's most valuable belongings. This was 15 years of his best artwork and prototypes which he survives on. There was an illegal eviction which allowed the landlord to take 95% of everything and because Skydin has no inventory nor the tools and supplies to make anew, he has been living on the street for the past three months (and counting).
It must be mentioned that Skydin has been living as an ascetic monk for 15 years. He has taught Spiritual practices at Manhattan's top Spiritual/Philosophical centers for a decade! This GoFundMe will help Skydin ALOT, & costs little! That is because it will not pay Skydin's rent, nor will it allow him to buy clothing or food.
YOUR DONATION drives the miracle of funding Skydin's inspiring creative work ethic! This allows Skydin to recreate nearly all of what was destroyed! A big contributing partner is Skydin's sweat equity! Meaning weeks, months and years of unpaid work in service of this facet of the American dream!
"After many robberies all I had left was my artwork, I was grateful even though I had nothing else - then something worse happened!" Rewind: Covid cancelled all forms of income from fairs Skydin has attended in leu of a gallery or store. "Previous to this I have been trudging through on & off homelessness for 20 years. Even with 2 degrees, life was never easy as a hard-working, sober artist. I had been robbed ten + times in the past 4 years!"
"But those were easier days... My closest friend who was family to me died in a disheartening way. So I left NYC to rent a humble room in a boarding house in a poor Baltimore neighborhood. Art fairs resumed, attendance was bad and worse I was robbed on two consecutive nights of NYC's New Life Expo. Table cost: $700, zero sales meant I had to spend the nights in the subways. They stole my handmade originals, all precious gemstones, cell phones and laptop (a $15,000 total)!" This was a lot for this artist who was born into debt and was raised in mental institutions and shelters."
"I used every day and night of 2022 to rebuild and despite many saboteurs and without using friend or family I succeeded. But the thefts had caused me to fall behind on rent. I immediately signed the lengthy process with 'Eviction Prevention'."
"I was assured the landlord would be paid. 20+ different agents did not have the information that the landlord could not receive their funds because he was renting his boarding house rooms illegally, without a license!"
"To prevent eviction the first time I signed over all my precious gemstones and half my inventory to the Property Mgr. Abdullah Luqman. Eviction came again, & again Eviction Prevention repeatedly reassured me that this time they would stop the sheriff. They did not, I was forced to allow the landlord to pick through my belongings in order to avoid the cold streets (just after New Year's Day). The landlord immediately stripped all my jewelry from each finger and neck and took my best pants. I later found him wearing what I was wearing. He comes from a wealthy family, all of my family are self made."
"We made an agreement that I would help him with graphics, which I did. And then out of the blue on February 22 they broke my door down at 9 a.m.. The sheriff screamed at me that I had 15 minutes to leave, I asked for the 'notice' to-wit I was told they were going by the notice that was cancelled due to my signing over belongings! I asked the Sheriff (Row) and the Property Mgr. (Abdullah Luqman) if I could take my belongings and the Sheriff said 'another time, get dressed and leave or you will be arrested.' I was in bed and unclothed."
"I filmed this disheartening incident. The property Mgr. refused to even respond about what they had just done to me or even when I can get my belongings. They threatened to arrest me if I even came near the house even though I was the picture of politeness!"
"Outside the first piece of hail fell upon me and I was dressed in what I would wear for the first of 7 months on the street because they did not let me get my artwork (my means for making a meager income), my medicine and my clothing. I was on hold for 4 hours until I got through to Eviction Prevention, they told me nothing could be done."
"I tell you, if I knew they wouldn't help me, I'd find another firm! If no one would help me, I would leave, despite being physically unwell. The landlord, Peter John Belitsos would not answer my calls, texts or emails. Finally the property manager responded and told me I would not be allowed to even look through my belongings without signing that I could not press charges (for anything, including missing items. It has been less than a week and they had gone through everything and moved all my belongings to a different room in the house. I retained a Baltimore Legal Aid lawyer who insisted I not sign. I went to the address, told them this and they refused to let me take my belongings which were all in garbage bags. What was there was half of what little I had! The landlord later revealed that he chose to throw away half of my belongings initially!"
"My belongings, mostly the past 15 years of my artwork and priceless prototypes/molds were moved to the landlord's home, and then to another property of his. Property Mgr. over the phone revealed he had gone through everything, even zipped up suit cases and described the silver momentos I had been keeping belonging to my deceased closest friend. He said he would keep them safe for me, he later denied even seeing the items."
"Here's the worst part: I struggle to even formulate these recent memories. Life on Baltimore City streets became all about getting Peter on the phone & without him hanging up on me. I was unable to do anything else. I repeatedly told him that my Handmade originals mean more to meet than my life. I certainly gave my life and education to them! We had finally set a time for me to pick up a very small trailer worth of what was left of mine. My costly machines, art supplies, $2000 printer, momentos and vintage clothing, all of which got me through difficult times were sent to a landfill. Rather than Peter leaving my belongings on the street he took them to a landfill!"
"I was an hour late because 2 Ubers fouled up. The first went to the wrong address. Second changed her mind - I chased her car. Peter would not respond to calls or texts until I got to his address and called from another (unfamiliar number). He arrived with a huge smile and an empty trailer. Ironically what I told him was irreplaceable he incinerated/landfilled. What I told him was less valuable he kept in very small open dumpster with garbage on it (it had been rained on! It took to hours of pleading for him to give me the address of the dump site. The entire time he couldn't help himself from laughing."
"So I headed out! It was a costly ride and upon arriving I was told it was far too late, everything was taken even further away to the landfill! That's when a post apocalyptic storm hit. The smell of that place, the dust of what was assuredly many meaningful belongings amidst the rotting was very saddening to me."
"I did not give in, I took another Uber to the landfill. I crawled under the gate in the mud and rain and searched the property and finally the landfill hill and lake. I was met with the smell described earlie and the watery composition of the hill was difficult.
I covered as much as I could and found nothing. I am a believer that when something is this important it's worth going all the way."
"I spent my last (borrowed) dollar getting back to Peter's property to salvage the small dumpster. At some point Peter came out and tried to stop me from looking through my things stating 'that's all garbage,' - he didn't want me to find anything meaningful. But when you've lost every last meaningful thing any piece of the past is precious!"
"I am an artist, I often say I am my work. I could improve upon that but that's not among the worst vice to possess. Peter Belitsos did this because either he or one of his people stole from me. The entire eviction was possibly planned to do this. Legal Aid made a few mistakes, Eviction Prevention truly harmed me, and the Sheriff participated in an illegal eviction, amidst Covid-19 and amidst winter. As you can see, everyone's unprofessionalism and greed in Baltimore worked against me. I did not once respond emotionally over the past difficult years at Peter Belitsos'."
"This GoFundMe goal is set to set to the least amount that will allow me recreate just enough of my original jewelry for a table or hopefully a store or gallery so I won't be in danger of being robbed or assaulted. It does not get me off living on the street, nor does it pay for any meals or clothing. In all of these dark 20 years I have never asked for money.
I write this because the American dream is disappearing! A kind & disciplined, educated talent like myself, who even offers to repair guests' jewelry and aquire gemstones for them at what I pay deserves, at the very least a modest living. I deserve a chance to rebuild, I moved to Baltimore to rebuild - not to lose my artwork that got me through my challenging days in Manhattan, NY. My artwork is my home! It is my family!"