Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Two other points I wanted to make!

As many awards and praise our Social Service gets for it's help, they also fail, to where they have called me. What a joke! Two months ago, an agent from Social Service, which I won't say his name, but he knows who he is, called and asked "Do you have a shelter yet?" "No" I replied. "Oh, well then can you tell me if you know how to help this family we are working with before they are on the street?" Here is their situation. For one reason or another, they were $3000.00 behind in their rent. They went to Social Services for help. Social Service called upon all their programs and others (this is by what he said and programs he listed) such as HIP (Homeless Intervention Program) but they wouldn't qualify because of bad credit. All their programs at Social Services they were not able to qualify for either. The amount was too high for other agencies. "I have exhausted everything we can offer and then some. But they have already been to court and need to be out within the next couple of weeks. I didn't know what else to do, so I called you to see if you knew of something." Gee, you get paid, you work for this great SS that has many awards and you need my help? "I can contact all the churches to see if they would be willing to do a love donation. But that amount is too high for anyone I know to take on their own." "No, sorry to bother you. I guess there isn't anything that can be done."

Now in our case, we would have sat down with the landlord first to see if anything could be worked out. Especially like a payment plan. We have done this before and it worked. Or we would have made sure somebody went to court with them to help negotiate...that has worked before as well. Unfortunately, I have more times on my hand than they do. We have only worked with 71 people since March. Social Services stays to busy to dedicated THAT (yes sarcastically) much time to somebody that is going to be thrown out on the street with kids. You see, not always does it take a lot of time away from me. If it takes an hour or two to sit down and negotiate, and it is successful, who cares if I miss a few hours of sleep to get paperwork completed. My hours are not 9-5, even though maybe they should be. Everyone knows they can call anytime of the night or day. Sometimes yes, we have had to turn people away due to lack of money, but not help. Also if I am busy, I will ask "Hey if I give you the place I know can help, can you call?" Not only does this show action on their part, but it gives a feeling they were part of the help they received. Even at times, I have had a church or two call needing help. Geeze a while back I had a case with a lady, who was nice, but severely schizophrenic. Now granted this is unusual, and the last time I handled personally this type of case, but she was kicked out of an adult home she was court ordered into. After hours and nowhere to turn, a church called me. By Monday, I contacted a member from our Taskforce for the Homeless who represented the CSB and with his help, we got her into another care facility.

People have questioned our money and where will we get funding. According to many that isn't their business. Since this quarter alone, I have paid out of my own personal pocket $4275 in needs, supplies, rooms and food. That doesn't include the times I front the money and churches pay me back.

But, even with everything against us. The untruths, half truths, angered people, scared people, government who can't bend (gee does Pres. Bush know this because he does support faith based), I won't give up. My inspiration for this is my middle sister. Although we don't always get along, this is the one thing I have learned from her and my older sister...don't back down. I have never seen either of them back down, so why should I? My middle sister has always participated on her own of 'secret santa' per se, helped people with food, shelter and so forth. Even when it has been her last dollar. My older sister has a strength of her own and always moves forward. Many of us never learn from others. But, this I have learned from my sisters...DON'T GIVE UP, DON'T BACK DOWN (well and Tom Petty.)

People are constantly saying, show us a homeless person that has been rehabed back into society who wants to give back to the community. Although I find this to be pompous, I have tried. We (the homeless) have been wanting to do an 'adopt a block' clean up program in town. The time we picked an area, it was taken the next day. Now it has been 3 weeks since we called and have not received a call back. Considering the streets are their homes, why not let us clean it up? It isn't always their mess that is around town. So we have decided to participate in the Day of Caring to paint a local building that needs help.

Many say the homeless do nothing but drink and do drugs, well let us prove otherwise...just give us a chance! Oh I forgot, most homeless are "criminals, druggies, alcoholics, abusers, blacks, illegal aliens, murders etc" according to most perception....well even our local Supervisor stated in the meeting Wed. of county officals he was homeless in 1980 and you gave him a chance (yes he is up for election this year)...even many of executives in town have been homeless and now they work...even government nominees have been homeless and you considered voting for them....EVEN CHRIST WAS HOMELESS AND MANY OF YOU FOLLOW HIM.


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