The Homeless New Yorker Red Tape Quote Of The Week: The Section 8 Edition

HMLS New Yorker Red Tape

The following poignant story is from a Brooklyn resident, Angela Graham. It was printed in the New York Daily News in the column “Voice of the People,” on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

“I’ve been on the NYCHA Section 8 waiting list for eight years. On June 14, I finally received a voucher. I’ve been homeless since June 10, after we were all put out into the street by new owners who didn’t offer us one penny to move. There were so many violations our building was unlivable.

All landlords- and I mean all- don’t take Section 8 and don’t want it. Your own city makes you homeless. I believe they know nobody is taking it but they will not offer you public housing because they’re busy throwing people out there, too.

I saw that it’s a law that a landlord must not discriminate against people with government rent subsidies. My voucher is only for up to $1,425 rent, and guess what, people are only renting rooms at that price, and guess what, Section 8 isn’t paying for you to sleep in a room. So what am I to do?

This system was set up to fail. They’re running people out of their homes and have the nerve to demand you have income of 40 times the rent. Who the hell do they think we are Donald Trump? They price you out and use the famous words “Go down South.” What makes you think I have family down South?

It’s sad that NYCHA issues the vouchers knowing we will not find housing, so will lose the voucher and continue to live in the streets.”

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Sweltering Shelters

Unfortunately, this is all too common. I have experienced this myself.

I, too, purchased a thermometer to document the temperature of my room. CLICK HERE to see my post. NOTE: The thermometer pictured in my post (in the “CLICK HERE” link) was from May 2017. I can only imagine how high the temperature has risen in some shelter rooms is the midst of the summer season.

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Homeless New Yorker Stat: The Rise Of Street Homelessness

HMLS New Yorker

According to a recent article in The Gothamist, estimates have stated that there is a 39% rise in street homelessness in New York City in 2017, from the year before. This estimate is based on a federally mandated count done by volunteers in February of 2017.

It should be noted that, according to The Gothamist, several entities have voiced concerns about the flawed nature of the count. Advocates have stated that fluctuations, lack of volunteers’ training, the amount of volunteers, the weather on the day of the count, and the people who are omitted from the count (such as homeless people who sleep in bank vestibules and public spaces), cause the tally to reflect a great underestimation.

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Homeless Mathematics: 2 Months, 1 Week, and 2 Days

HMLS New Yorker

It took 2 months, 1 week, and 2 days to get my file from the Department of Homeless Services (DHS). I made the request for my DHS file through an attorney; however, it still took an inordinate amount of time for DHS to release my file. I was told that using an attorney would get me my file in approximately 2 weeks. That clearly didn’t happen. [SIDEBAR: When I got my file, it was extremely light compared to the documents that I have accumulated; not to mention the straight-up lies some administrators wrote into my file.]

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The Face You Make When Your DHS File Is FULL Of Lies And Omissions

Prince Head Shake

This is exactly why I advise every shelter resident to keep copious notes. SMH!! [SIDEBAR: There’s no way a person who is struggling under the strain of homelessness should have to, or be able to, keep better, and more accurate documentation, than whole staffs of people who get paid taxpayers’ money to provide “professional” services. SMH!] Integrity and efficiency issues seem to proliferate in an agency that is supposed to help people in need; the paperwork substantiates this. SMH!

-The Homeless New Yorker

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Homeless New Yorker Stat: Homeless Family Composition & Employment Rates

HMLS New Yorker

I got the following statistics from charts and graphs contained in a report recently released by the City of New York entitled, “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City.”

Families with children- 63%
Adult Families- 7%
Single Adults- 29%

Current Employment Rate of Shelter Residents (as of 12/2/16): (Please note that these statistics may be based on the head of household solely. Therefore, they may exclude other working homeless New Yorkers.)

Families with children- Approximately 42%
Adult families- Approximately 29%
Single adults- Approximately 18%

The “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City” report also states: “A substantial number of people in shelters are working adults who cannot afford to rent an apartment given their incomes.”

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