Job search update, 02/03/14; and other news

(Reblogged from the above original date.  This post is three years old.  Except for my personal situation, the issues haven’t changed.)

Job search update
Crisis for D.C. homeless families

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Job search update

(Composed 2014-02-01)

Things are moving full steam ahead on my application for a Secretary II position with the City, as I’ve probably described in previous posts. The hours are 8:30-4:30, which under normal circumstances will let me get to the shelter in time to (1) actually get in and (2) take a shower each day. I will need to phone the office Monday morning 02/03/14 to confirm that all’s in line, and possibly find out a start date.

For the first two weeks, on any occasion when I have to work late or otherwise can’t get in, I’ll need to have arrangements in place to stay elsewhere — I haven’t pinned that down yet. After the first two weeks, on those occasions, I will be able to stay at a cheap hotel, though I haven’t pinned that down yet, either.

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D.C. to put newly homeless families into 2 rec centers

I hardly know where to begin.

[N]ewly homeless D.C. families are being put into two city recreation centers that have been converted to emergency shelters on cold nights” (emphases added). IOW, it appears to me, these aren’t ongoing shelters that will operate day-to-day. They will operate only “on cold nights.”

“Although family homelessness dropped last year, officials expected a 10 percent increase this year. But it now appears it will be a nearly 100 percent increase. ‘We were projecting we’d have 509 newly homeless families, but we’re already at 600,’ he said. ‘If the rate keeps up, we’re looking at 1,000 new homeless families by the end of hypothermia season in April.'”

Be aware, we’re not talking here about individual adults like me. We’re talking about families.

“[T]he unprecedented number of super cold days appears to be playing a role, as does the fact that fewer people than the city anticipated are leaving the shelter to try the District’s only permanent housing option for most families, a new program called Rapid Re-Housing.”

I’ve expressed skepticism about the Housing First movement before.

“[H]omeless advocates said the alarming rise in family homelessness is most likely because the affordable housing stock has dropped in half in recent years … *** At the same time, a lack of affordable housing has led many families to double and triple up, often in violation of public housing rules.”

This is a serious situation. I’m far from any expert on the world of affordable housing, and clueless as to how to make that a viable market.

I did have contact with, probably, an unpleasant, pertinent fact today. This morning at McDonald’s this guy sat near me, phoning around to try to find himself a cheap hotel room. Note, from the beginning of this entry, that I have similar needs for myself. Some places won’t accept cash. One place requires a $100 deposit in addition to the room rent. When time comes that you want to check out, they inspect the room, and if you’ve not trashed the place, they give you that deposit back.

Unfortunately, in the experience of that hotel, that “if” is a big “if.”

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