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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What ALL NYC Homeless Shelter Residents MUST Do (This Is A Necessity)

HMLS New Yorker

All New York City homeless shelter residents should keep a THOROUGH journal/accounting of EVERYTHING that goes on during their residency in a shelter. This includes times, dates, names, descriptions of events, any communications with administrators, sign-in and sign-out times, housing-search efforts, and ANYTHING else that is relevant to your shelter situation. Be sure to make back-ups in a variety of formats, and store them for safe-keeping. If you follow this advice, you will thank me later!

Secondly, homeless shelter residents should subpoena a copy of their Department of Homeless Services (DHS) files from DHS. Carefully review your files and compare them to your accurate accounting and chronicling of events. You MUST know what is being written in your file, and what may be purposely omitted from your DHS file. This is extremely important because in most cases, as a homeless shelter resident, shelter and DHS administrators treat you in accordance with what is written in your file.

I have come into contact with shelter administrators who regard what is written in residents’ DHS files as gospel. Due to the gravity that is associated with these files, residents MUST be equipped with the knowledge of what they contain.

-The Homeless New Yorker

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Thank You…There’s Still More Work To Be Done

Thank You

Special thanks to: All of the people who prayed for me and my family, the people who sent my family well-wishes and positive thoughts, the people who listened to my experiences in the homeless shelter system, the people who reached out to assist in solving the problems that I faced in the shelter system, the people who visited this blog and kept up-to-date with what I was experiencing, the people who continue to fight for homeless New Yorkers, the people who dedicate themselves to bring out the best in what can be an unforgiving city, and the people who courageously confront wrongdoing and abuse of power when they see it.

-The Homeless New Yorker

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The Homeless New Yorker Is No Longer Homeless

Yesterday morning I signed a lease for a new apartment. I was looking around my new apartment like…

Annie I Think I'm Going To Like It Here

Yesterday, in the morning, the weather was rainy and dreary. However, as soon as we signed the last document and the management company’s representative said, “You’re all set” the sun began to shine brightly. At that point, I had another Annie moment. Lol.

The Sun Will Come Out Annie

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What Do You Do About Sweltering Shelters?

Temperature May 18

Thankfully, the temperature has dropped today. However, for three days this week, the temperatures soared into the high 80s and low 90s. My shelter room was sweltering.

During the Summer of 2016, I was in a shelter that had central air. Although the rooms were kept relatively cool on the days the central air was working and turned on, there was a downside to having central air in that particular shelter; the cornucopia of drug fumes that came through the vents were astounding. Shelter administrators said there was nothing they could do about the noxious drug fumes coming through the vents because it was likely coming from several different rooms, and blowing through the ventilation system.

The shelter that I am currently in has no cooling system, although the drug aroma is ubiquitously present. During the hot weather, the room got unbearably hot and stuffy. It was too uncomfortable to sleep. I wonder what The Department of Homeless Services prescribes in this situation. Are residents allowed to purchase air conditioners? If so, is that feasible given the transient nature of being a homeless shelter resident? What about residents who can’t afford such accoutrements, if they are allowed? What do they do to escape the unbearable heat and stuffiness? How does one live under such suffocating conditions during the summer months, or even during a heat wave?

I hope the weather remains cool for as long as possible.

-The HMLS New Yorker

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Apparently, Raccoons Are More Welcome To Be New Yorkers Than…

The Racoon New Yorker 1 (1)

The Racoon New Yorker 2

…The people who are being “gentrified” out of their neighborhoods. Smh! I saw the above pictured ads on a couple of different trains this week. The ads are marked as coming from the “Office of the Mayor.” Meanwhile, what about the lifelong New Yorkers who have been pushed out of New York, or are peril of being pushed out of New York, or who are currently homeless? Who has to “learn to live alongside” us? Smh.

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The NYC Shelter System: The New Prison-Industrial Complex

Homeless New Yorker Ad

The New York City shelter system seems to be the new prison-industrial complex. However, unlike the treacherous prison system, you don’t have to commit a crime, or be falsely accused of committing a crime, to be ensnared in the New York City shelter system.

The New York City shelter system is comprised of the vast and varied pool of: The employed (including city workers), the unemployed, the old, the young, the middle-aged, the educated, the uneducated, the disabled, married people, single people, the formerly incarcerated, the never incarcerated, the healthy, the sick, the sane, the insane, etc. However, the expansiveness of this pool thinly narrows when it comes to race.

Is homelessness in New York a race issue, just like the disproportionate number of Black people imprisoned? You bet! Black New Yorkers have been “gentrified” out of the City, or into homeless shelters. These shelters are akin to prisons; as they are run as such. As someone who is currently a resident in the New York City shelter system, I can attest to this.

Like the prison system, the New York City shelter system is a profit-driven industry that encourages recidivism, and is not designed for the easy escape of its prisoners. The penitentiary-like conditions, and the red-tape ridiculousness, I confront on a daily basis as a resident of the New York City shelter system is baffling and appalling. When you factor in the fact that the City plans to expand the abominable homeless shelter system, it is clear that there is no plan to abate the dreadful conditions that are being visited upon homeless New Yorkers.

We; the knowing, abled, and concerned; must collectively combat this conundrum. Although there is a privileged group of New Yorkers (aka elected officials) who have been entrusted, and financially enriched, to perform the aforementioned task; it is obvious that something is amiss. We must step up to the plate a fiercely attack homelessness. What is left of our community depends on it.

-The HMLS New Yorker

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