” … the Department of Housing and Urban Development does not recognize families as homeless unless they reside in a shelter.”
Who wrote that stupid rule? They tried to pull that one on me too. I filled out an application for housing and after FOUR YEARS my name came up and I was scheduled for a orientation class. But the letter told me that I would not be eligible for housing as a homeless person unless I was currently in a shelter. Here is what happened next:
1. I went to the class anyway. Met with a worker. Told her my situation. I had proof of being homeless… a fist full of receipts from renting at the Y (over a 2 year period) in the times when I had a job and could afford a place to stay.
2. I was refused a spot on the waiting list and then I asked for a hearing with the director.
3. After mulling it over they offered me a unit. The director of the housing agency made it seem like she was doing me a special favor and told me not to tell anyone. Opps… cats out of the bag now.
It was like pulling teeth. The bottom line is my original application was in a way a contract, and that application had no mention about me being currently in a shelter to be eligible for housing. They had not mailed me any information updating that stipulation, therefore, the original contract (the application) was not changed. Plus I had all that evidence of renting at the Y. Sometimes, the people who are supposed to be helping you off the streets are the biggest barriers to getting off the streets.
If you get that stupid rule thrown at you, don’t roll over, fight back!
In my opinion, the solution to homelessness is not to get stuck on finding only one solution. Answers to the problem of homelessness will have to be diverse as the population of homeless is diverse. There is no one cause. There can be more then one solution, if we use our brains.
First, let’s get on with the simple solutions: Is your state like mine where the cost of living has skyrocketed in the last 40 years and left so many people struggling? Is the taxation system fair? In my state, the lowest income population get taxed at a very high rate compared to other states. Anyone doing anything about that? No. That’s got to change.
Second, people who start businesses should get the strong message from our country that DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE (or any other kind of discrimination against the equal opportunity employment act) IS NOT ALLOWED . Too many business owners in the city where I live hire only “their own kind” and don’t see this as discrimination. “We are more comfortable working with our own kind” is a bullshit cover for blatant racism. Follow the laws of this country, damn it, and don’t complain about the homeless man laying on the sidewalk of your business if they are another race and you never hire “their kind”.
Third… why people got to be so greedy? They want everyone to pay through the nose for food, rent, and services while the owners of these businesses that provide the goods and services live like kings. A damn shame. This is a big contributor to homelessness in my state. Law makers, get a clue. We in the general public need protection from these wolves. Pass some laws already!!
Forth, when you have evened out the playing field by doing the steps above, take each case of homelessness as an individual case and spend funds for drug counseling, shelters, mini housing, mental health services, etc. as needed. Guaranteed the bill will be less for the tax payer if things are done in this order.
As a homeless person, you are able to vote. Check your state info about this and research candidates… and don’t vote for anyone who abuses the homeless!