As of March 7, I will have been homeless five years.
This morning I took first concrete steps to get myself into transitional housing.
This is essential if I’m to get job. For some time, I’ve been living off life insurance policy proceeds, but in the near future, that money will run out. It’s urgent that I get an income.
The shelter where I’ve been staying is extremely comfortable, perhaps too comfortable, but it has very rigid hours that make it nearly impossible to hold a job while one stays there. Currently, having to carry my two heavy bags and backpack with me wherever I go, severely limits my ability to commute. Transitional housing will spell having a place where I can stash my stuff, and freedom to come and go as I please. I will, for example, be able to take a night job.
Related: Obstacles to my prosperity
So, today I met with a case manager at the clinic where I’m in treatment for everything. We made a phone call to the organization I’m most interested in. They sent her an application, which I filled out. It needs some additional information, and then she’ll fax it to them next week.
I’ve visited this place before. In contrast to the shelter where I’ve been staying, it’s no palace. I will have to acquire my own clothes, do my own cooking, do my own housekeeping and laundry. There will be other chores around the house. I will probably share a room with another client. I need to get food stamps.
The lady at the organization said there’s no guarantee as to how soon I may get in. As there’s effectively no limit to how long one can stay there, there’s very little “movement” of clients. She said there’s a waiting list of active applicants, and the first guy on the list has been waiting four months.
The case manager gave me a printout of other places I can apply to. I mean to start phoning them Monday. As to the place I applied to today, there is a question of whether or not one must be “disabled” to go there. The descriptions on its web page, and even on the printout the case manager gave me, are inconsistent. Some say they serve “formerly homeless” people, others “people with disabilities.”
Frankly, at Dunkin’ Donuts this morning, before I made this trip, I was not highly motivated to do these things. I have set out here into uncharted territory: all these different organizations to contact, each with its own rules and eligibility requirements, the prospect of having to go visit some of them, and having to fit in those trips among my doctors’ appointments next week. Frankly, when I did set out from Dunkin’ Donuts, I was in abject fear.
But courage entails overcoming fear.
On the other hand, while at Dunkin’ Donuts I saw that my intention to do these things, the proximity of these things — that I might find transitional housing, that I might get a job — that they were at hand, made them available to reach for. It made them easier to hope for. It even made them easier to want; which is crucial, as I have had the impression little happens in prayer unless one actually wants what one prays for.
One need not believe the thing will happen; one must believe it can happen.
Related: What to believe
In contrast, many of the men around me find it impossible to believe that any world can possibly exist other than the one they live in now, a world of squalor and predation, of hanging out, the hustle and the shuck-and-jive, of bloodshed and continuous fear for one’s personal safety. It is essential that the church continually hold up, before them, the realistic vision of a better life that is “available to you.”
Originally posted 2016-02-26.