I read it, but I can’t believe it…

” … 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!


About tjmcfee

Freelance writer. Activist on homeless issues. 48 years old. I write about subjects that need to be examined closely and thoughtfully. The idea for Brain Sections came from reading a book about abandoned asylums. I wanted to set a suspense story in that setting. The inclusion of crazed scientists turning homeless people into zombies is what makes the story unique. View all posts by tjmcfee

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