Shelter Beds Are NOT Housing- the Fair Shelter Act - a PNN report
Trying to get Government Assistance ( welfare) wasn’t what I had in mind waiting to be released from prison. Sitting in that cell I pictured myself setting tile, building homes, or maybe even washing dishes, to get my life on track, make some money, and start being a part of my daughters’ life . Yes, I thought that I would do most any job, so long as it wasn’t illegal, to be there like a father should.
When the reality of my situation finally took hold after innumerable phone calls, resumes and ‘yeah right ‘ looks, when the part about prior felonies emerged in the conversation, I decided to try to temporarily try to get G.A.. .. just until I could find work. I still hadn’t given up on hope that something would come my way, but the pressure was on.
I applied for food stamps and received them. Needed them, too! Every month left me a zero balance way before the end of the month, and I was unable to purchase the basic hygiene items like toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, razors, soap, and necessary items like clothing, and detergent to wash the clothing in.
I decided to apply for G.A. then and there when I needed to buy some shoes. Discouraged by my prospects already, and expecting this too to be another dead end , I found myself well prepared for the experience.
The tricks and turns of public assistance proved to be enough to thwart my best efforts to obtain financial aid in Solano County in 2008, and 3 years later in San Francisco the powers that be haven’t made things any simpler.
Last week the San Francisco board of Supervisors met to hear a proposal for the upcoming November election called the Fair Shelter Initiative, which if passed would return General Assistance dollars to 500 san Franciscans without homes who are lucky enough to have been granted their claims for G.A. Now known as C.A.A.P.
This measure, if passed in November, would return the funds, redirected by the ‘care not cash ’ initiative, to the homeless receiving benefits from C.A.A.P. Homeless men and Women in San Francisco.
In 2002 , Measure “N” or the ‘care not cash’ measure took Cash aid going to people without homes and gave it to shelters in San Francisco like the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (T.H.C.) run by Randy Shaw. T.H.C. gets the lions share of the ‘care funds for reserving beds in its’ shelters. Actually those beds represent 40% of the available beds in the shelters receiving ‘care not cash’ funds when the percent of houseless persons receiving funds is something like 8% according to the Fog City Journal.. Nearly one third of the total beds available for the homeless in our city are being reserved for 8% of the homeless.
During last weeks’ meeting one might expect that Local Poverty Pimps and so-called “affordable housing developers” will have some very smooth talking to present his case for the over $ 150K every month in withheld ‘care not cash’ funds ..
The money that should be being spent by homeless people receiving aid.
The money that people need for “items like toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, razors, soap, and necessary items like clothing, and detergent to wash the clothing in.”
The money that for almost a decade local poverty pimps have been collecting instead of it going to people who need it, and are entitled to it.
I finally gave up trying to get G.A. but I might try again, because my need has only grown , 3 years and two stays in prison later. I just hope that if my claim is honored, that my money get to me, and not a poverty pimp.
I doubt they need it as badly as I do.