A job at Popeye’s • Animal souls •
A full-time minimum-wage job won’t get you a 1-bedroom apartment anywhere in America
One of my most fervent supporters believes my current job search is misdirected. She believes that I should hold off on seeking work in radio, until I first have my own place. She believes a job at Popeye’s, or Rite Aid or Family Dollar, etc., would accomplish that.
On the one hand, my current goal for my own place is a studio or efficiency apartment for which I anticipate paying $600/month. I think that’s necessary for the sort of place I’d like, in the sort of place (neighborhood) I’d like. By the rule of thumb that one month’s rent should not exceed one week’s pay, this goal will require my having a 40-hour/week job at $15.00/hour.
As it happens, that’s more than I’ve ever made in my life thus far.
But that’s my current income goal.
It’s not likely for me to happen at Popeye’s or anywhere else that specializes in part-time, minimum-wage workers.
On the other hand, getting my own place is not a current goal. I have little motivation to want to leave the mission where I stay.
Related: I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast.
For us homeless guys, this place is a palace. It’s new, clean, and well-lit. For $3 a day, you get a hot shower; available complete change of clothes; clean sheet, clean pillowcase, blanket and pillow; all toiletries; a decent breakfast, and a supper that is often on a par with restaurant food. Many of the men here have no ambition ever to leave.
The $3 serves mainly to discourage troublemakers. And it works.
There is stark contrast with the nearby other shelter, “around the corner,” where you sleep on a bare mat, the food is inexplicably miserable, and the bedbugs rule the night.
That we have this and they have that is an ongoing scandal to me. But there is nothing I can do about it — nothing but pray.
My desire to leave the shelter has far less to do with wanting my own place, than with accomplishing more in life than I’m in a position to do now. Recent events have buffeted my motivation specifically to seek work in radio, but for the moment that still seems to me to be the best way to go.
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Originally posted 2015-06-15.