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Recertification of Linc Voucher

Recipients of the Linc Voucher please be aware that you must recertify each year. The voucher itself is supposed to be enforced for five years. If the voucher is discontinued hopefully another program will be formed to continue the benefits. Just because you are no longer in a shelter setting just not preclude you from putting money aside in a saving account.  Don’t get too lax, you need to have funds set aside for an emergency.

DHS will pay for your rent upon lease signing for three months in full. Afterward, you need to connect with your landlord and ensure that they continue to send their portion of the rent. Most landlords will allow rent to be remitted without any late fees for ten days. Keep your receipts and also have the phone number for the Linc Hotline on your refrigerator door to remind yourself.

Renewal for LINC clients is done once a year through the mail. Renewal forms should be mailed out approximately four months prior to the end of the lease.

For more information about the LINC rental assistance program, call 311.

 

Is SEPS Voucher Right for You

With Section 8 being closed in New York, and Housing apartment listing backlogged for 7 years in most cases, it’s going to be necessary to consider alternative options.

As with all of the City Voucher Programs, the number of approved households to receive any Supplemental Assistance will be limited to  Funding Availability. 

SEPS = Special Exit and Prevention Supplemental Program

City Program providing assistance for eligible individual adults and adult families without children, at risk of entry into a shelter and those already housed within the shelter system to secure permanent housing. 

New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Call 311, housing specialists and case managers are also available to provide assistance. If you are already sheltered bound, make sure that your Housing Specialist has procured an application for you. Last time I checked they (SEPS Program) were prescreening they will provide you with an appointment if you qualify. No longer are they accepting walk-ins ~ they are backlogged and overbooked. 

What are the eligibility requirements?

  1. Survivors of domestic violence as certified by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) A member Single Adult or Adult Families, residing in DHS shelters who have NOT refused to be placed in an HRA shelter. Or members that have reached their maximum time limit for residence in an HRA shelter and is at risk of entry into a DHS Shelter for Single Adults or a DHS Shelter for Adult Families.
  2. Single Adult or Adult Families that have been evicted from their place of residence within 12 months of entering a DHS Shelter. Had to leave a residence because of a vacate order issued by a City agency or a foreclosure action or for health and safety reasons as determined by a City agency.   a. Single Adults who have been discharged from a residential substance abuse Treatment Program. The program has to be licensed or operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health or the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  b. A member who is at risk of entry into a DHS Shelter for Single Adults or Adult Families and has previous or current United States military service. 
  3. Active or Single Issue Public Assistance Case
    – household income can not exceed 200% of the poverty level
    – The household must have a lease or an agreement in writing of the renting. Rent to remain the same for one year as per rent stabilization laws.
    -the household may receive up to four one-year renewals of SEPS rent supplements and additional one-year renewals indefinitely provided the household includes a member
    a. who receives social security disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) or is receiving recurring Public Assistance and is potentially eligible for such benefits based on a documented disability
    b. who receives federal veterans disability benefits.

    The household must contribute 30% of its income towards rent. See Sample Below

    SEPS Example The following is a sample tenant contribution and rent supplement amount. The household’s contribution and maximum rent will be based on household income and family size.
    Family Size: 2
    Maximum Rent: $1,268
    Monthly Household Income: $1,320
    Monthly Tenant Contribution $396
    Monthly Rent Supplement: $872

If you are moving into a rented room:
The maximum rent for a rented room is $800 and the SEPS rent supplement amount will be the difference between the actual rent (up to $800) and the household’s monthly tenant contribution (which will be equal to 30% of household Income).

What help can landlords and families receive once they are participating in the program?
==>HRA’s Rental Assistance Call Center, reachable at 929-221-0043, can help both landlords and tenants with program information,
aftercare referrals, and payment inquiries.
==>Households who have left an HRA shelter should call 929-221-7270 to be connected to a community-based nonresidential program.

Shelter Accomodations

Shelters provide individuals and families with a temporary place to stay while they work to acquire permanent housing and return to the community.

This is a bold statement and it might be applicable to some shelters but for most especially the one that I was housed in – some of the counselors are working in the dark. I learned more just listening to some of the resident’s experiences. First of all I took exception to counselors using nomenclatures, like everyone spoke the same language or even knew what they were speaking about.

Excuse me but this was a new experience having led a relatively sheltered married life for twenty years.  Why would I even know what any of these abbreviations were. They were not part of my daily life and I never imagined that I would end up here. So after being admitted into the system I was provided with a counselor within three days. They were the front line assistants in determining what the procedures were for your particular concern.

Oops, I got ahead of myself ~ there is a reason why people that actually decide to live on the streets never enter a shelter. While you are provided with a bed, food and shelter from the elements…The issue of safety needs to be addressed. Think of shelter life as a jail sentence – the only difference is that you are able to come as go as you please within limits. Yes, I was in a privately owned general public women’s shelter. What does that mean? Well you never knew whom was going to part of your room environment. There was no separation between women that had mental issues, had been incarcerated, alcoholics, thieves, seriously bad hygienic issues, immigrants, bulls, occasionally we had men that were so queen-ish, they could not be housed in the men shelters for safety reasons.

During my stay at the facility I came across fifteen women that had been there for four years. Several others had been there several times – like the revolving door syndrome. You have to fight mentally not to get trapped into thinking that life in this environment is better than your FREEDOM. Yea, so you exist (notice, I did not say Live) without paying rent, you don’t have to spend money on groceries, Free gas and electricity. Don’t have a job? – well then don’t worry no one is going to push you to work to support yourself. Can’t tell you how many women actually found reasons to not work. Just spend your days doing virtually nothing at all slide back it’s ok.

Remember this is a Business!!. The more clients a shelter can hold and maintain, the more money they receive from the government. This is why there is a huge push to get you signed up immediately for Medicaid, Food Stamps and PA (Public Assistance), within the first three weeks that you become part of their system. Your stay is Not FREE!! Why would I want to continue to live in a community setting that gets paid $2000.00 a month for a metal cot and a padded mattress that is less that 4 inches in height. Trust me you will begin to feel the metal spooks after @ four months of continual sleeping and sitting on this pad. Is the government paying you $550.00 per month in food stamps? Well they are paying the shelter that amount and more depending upon your personal profile. You don’t even have a say in what is being served and at the shelter that I was in-

Breakfast (6 AM- 7 AM) consisted of the following: wheat bread, oatmeal, slab of cheese, boiled eggs, cold cereal – generic cheerios and raisin bran. Coffee, Tea and Low Fat Milk. Occasionally we were graced with one slice of French Toast or Bagels, Scrambles Eggs. No meat was served Ever for Breakfast.

Lunch: (Noon – 1 PM) Salad daily – Usually fresh on Mondays – Tuesday was whatever had not been used up the day before. It was not unusual to have to pick through the lettuce to remove the brown pieces. Cold Turkey or Ham Slices and American cheese – fresh Fruit (Apple, Pear or Oranges). Water

Dinner: (5 PM – 6 PM) Mostly Chicken – Stewed, Baked, Sauteed, Steamed, Two Starches or one Starch and Overcooked Vegetables. Kool Aid. No Dessert

On the days that the food was fairly descent, you waited and hoped for the announcement of seconds, but that rarely happened.

Two TVs one for the Spanish Community the other for everyone else. Constant fighting over what programs to watch and the sound was so loud that it actually hurt to have to endure that torture during your meals.

Lights on (M-F) at 6 AM of which we have no control over – the security guards used a key to regulate those. Bed check at 10 PM and another at 11 PM. Missed either one and you lost your bed. Staff could not wait to come and empty your locker. Sometimes they’d have seven people waiting in the lobby for beds. You prayed that all your belongings were packed and placed in the black bags. Joke, there was never a person that lost their bed that did not complaint that some of their items were missing. Need I say more?

The system is geared to make you think that your situation is hopeless – when it came to housing  visits –  the counselors had their favorites, that knew of vacancies first, but stop it two units shown and you take 5 -6 clients on a tour. How do the counselors determine who gets the unit especially if three client qualify? Most of us had apartments with more than 1 room, we had homes, we had furniture, we had lives, we were independent free thinking individuals, but counselors pushed SROs and could not understand why these units were refused. The availability was usually in an undesirable location – rodent and insect traps.They pushed them because they (the counselors) receive a Bonus for every client that they can place in these types of units. Yep, they so want you to become independent and leave the shelter, forget about returning you back to the quality of life that you had before this situation.

MRT Quick Checklist

Thank you in advance for reading this material. It is my hope that some of this information is of value to you or someone you know. If you can benefit from my personal experience and research, then I have PIF to the best of my ability.

MRT Quick Checklist

MRT Disabled MRT Nursing Home EPVA
Eligiblity 55+ years old

Recieve SSI/SSD Benefits

Active Medicaid Enrollment

Health Home Enrolled

No Age Requirement

SSI/SSD Benefits

Active Medicaid Enrollment

Nursing Home Eligiblity

Below 55 Years Old

SSI/SSD Benefits

Active Medcaid Enrollment

Health Home enrolled or Former Fixed Income Advantage

Client

Contribution
* Up to $350.00 per month

* Gas & Electricity

* Up to $350.00 per month

* Gas & Electricity

* Up to $350.00 per month

* Gas & Electricity

Enrollment to Housing *Shelter confirms Health Home Enrollment

*Completed Application forwarded to DHS

*DHS Comfirms Eligibility

*Client and Shelter work together to seek community apartment

*Completed  HHA Application sent to DHS if necessary

*View and Accept Unit

* Lease Signing

*Submit required housing documentation to DHS

*Moving DAY

*
Provider receives $200.00 per client every month to provide Aftercare
Support

*Shelter confirms Nursing Home Eligibility

* Completed Application forwarded to DHS

* DHS Confirms Eligibilty

* Client and Shelter work together to seek community apartment

*Completed  HHA Application sent to DHS if necessary

*View and Accept Unit

* Lease Signing

*Submit required housing documentation to DHS

*Moving DAY

*No
Provider Benefit

* Shelter confirms Health Home enrolled or Former Fixed
Income Advantage

* Completed Application forwarded to DHS

* DHS Confirms Eligibilty

* Client and Shelter work together to seek community apartment

*Completed  HHA Application sent to DHS if necessary

*View and Accept Unit

* Lease Signing

*Submit required housing documentation to DHS

*Moving DAY

*No
Provider Benefit

Required Documentation *Proof of SSI/SSD

*Medicaid Card and ID Number

* Proof of Enrollment in Health Home

*Subsidy Application

* HHA Application

(HPD Apartment)

* Income Verification

*Medicaid Card and ID Number

* Completed Qualifying Form for Nursing Home Eligibilty

*Subsidy Application

* HHA Application

(HPD Apartment)

*Proof of SSI/SSD

*Medicaid Card and ID Number

* Proof of Enrollment in Health Home

*Subsidy Application

* HHA Application

(HPD Apartment)

 

Do You Qualify for MRT Voucher?

The MRT Voucher Program is designed to assist high frequency, high cost Medicaid consumers who have received hospitalization for the following conditions.

  1. Detoxification from alcohol or any other psychoactive substance
  2. Acute psychiatric hospitalization
  3. Hospitalization of co-occurring addictions such as: Diabetes, Hypertension, Emphysema or other known circulatory chronic diseases

**High frequency meaning at least two inpatient hospitalizations or five emergency room episodes in a 12 month period.

If this is your situation you might be able to apply for MRT housing.

You MUST have a Doctor fill out the application which is in Two Parts.

  1. Must have a primary diagnosis of substance abuse
  2.  Be actively enrolled on Medicaid
  3. Single adult living alone
  4. Must have a history of or be at risk for homelessness
  5. Two inpatient hospitalizations or five emergency room episodes in a 12 month period.
  6.  Have to be eligible and willing to enroll in a Health home program

Read More Here

 

Water the Center of Life

God, we thank you for all outreach programs that provide care and give shelter to the less fortunate.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Project Renewal:

448 W 48th Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone:(212) 246-8321

Soul Food Truck: Serves Free Meals to Homeless in Tompkins Sq. Park every Sunday from 1 PM – 2 PM, East Seventh Street.

Safe Havens: Non-Traditional Type of Shelter

Mount Carmel Foundation from Central Oho, with the support of Roxane Laboratories, Inc. sponsored a five day Mobile Shower Units week providing food and showers for the homeless. More than 150 volunteers served 1500 homeless individuals with the basic need of clean water and soap, hot meals and social interaction.

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchenin Chelsea, which primarily serves homeless people, will expand a personal hygiene program this month that dispensed free toiletry items — soap, toothpaste, razors.

Project WeHOPE: Program has added an additional mobile unit -Dignity on Wheels Mobile Hygiene Program. The program provides free showers and laundry to the homeless living in encampments, rotating shelters and out of their vehicle all throughout the Mid-Peninsula, South Bay and recently the East Bay Area. Daily Schedule.

 

Help Needed: Please add to this list if possible.

  1. Do you have any more information regarding programs like Safe Havens in your area?
  2.  Any Free Pantry in your area?
  3. Open Food or Clothing Centers?
  4. Meals on Wheels Program for the Homeless – Address and day/hours of distributing food?

Greatly Appreciated

What do you do when you don’t know your way around an area, slightly handicap and new to the whole shelter system? Well, I gravitated, to the only thing that I have always felt safe with- Books = Library. Yep, with shelter residential letter in hand since I was from another state and had no ID for the New York area, I found the nearest public library. That place became my beat and closest  friend. I suffer from Diabetic Ulcers on both feet, so for me to actually get up everyday and make the 2.5 block trek going and coming back that in itself was a chore for me but I did it.

It provided me with a means of escape form the craziness of the shelter – trust me 200 women in one area – way too much drama. Everyday the police was there to assist with some type of altercation. I would make a joke and just say that they needed to purchase some property across the street and just set up a command post there it would be so easy and they could just walk across the street. You got to know by sight the officers that were the regular response team, it was never just one car but usually three cars that always came to address. the concern.

Some days in the center were just down right depressing so I needed go fond some other place to be. I made friends with the library attendants there and one beautiful lady there would allow me on Mondays and Fridays to come to the lab center that she operated and I could use the library computers uninterrupted for 2 hours. Thank you C, for the privilege.

The library had a 1/2 hour curfew on the computers and one really can’t get anything done in half and hour, but you could return again three times to reserve a computer spot.  Thursday was a really good day if you went early in the morning – the library was not crowded and you might just get lucky and get to spend one hour straight before getting booted off. So I spent this time going on Housing Connect. Housing Connect is the Lottery system for new and upcoming Low and Affordable building that were being built in New York. 

One day, I happened to see one of the residents walking down the street it was during lunch time at my shelter and I learned to miss some of those days – The food was lousy and usually a day old when  it came to the salad and I have an aversion to spending half my meal time picking out old brown lettuce because you made too much the day before and just did not care that we knew the salad was old that you left the brown pieces in there. Besides the lunch was usually standard – cold ham or turkey slices with whole wheat bread, american cheese and water occasionally we had boxes of fresh oranges, apples or pears. I always stocked up on the pears – hard as a rock but held for three days in one’s locker if you can get food pass security and they were so sweet not to mention they could make your day by being your best meal.

Anyway, she asked me if I was going to the pantry for a hot meal. Hot meal? pantry? Where at!!!!!!! down the block right behind the library that I had been visiting for two months. Tuesday – Friday from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, hot hearty lunches were served by New Hope Church. Not only that but EVERY Saturday, was open pantry day – dry goods, fresh vegetables, juices, bread, bagels and meat on occasions. The one thing that you had to do was to be patient and just sign a sheet no ID needed. Thanksgiving and Christmas – I was blessed with a Holiday Dinner and a new jacket: also won a raffle and received a nice warm blanket. This church is to be commented for it’s outreach programs.

As of January 2017, they have extended the meals program to include breakfast every Monday at 10 AM. Come and join their prayer service as well, you will not be disappointed.

Homebase Transfer

Well, my intake at the first shelter did not last too long. Silly me i figured if I completed the criteria quicker then I would be placed faster. The system has it’s own agenda. Please note that I found out by trial and error that the system wants you placed with them for at least six months before they even begin to work on your issues.

All that filing to HRA for PA {Public Assistance- Cash Money}, Medical Insurance etc. is for their benefit first and foremost. They need to get paid – for housing you. If by chance you are able to work or receive any Gov’t assistance SSI, SSD etc. then most likely you will be denied any PA, but they will provide you with a EBT card Benefit’s Card for food stamps. Basic amount is usually $16.00 every month. I fell in the weird place of receiving Social Security Disability {SSD}, but as per Medicaid they only allowed $800.00, I received more then the monetary allowance and since as per the system I had no expenses – so I was subjected to a spend down criteria before Medicaid would even consider covering me with medical insurance.

Get your HRA statement and look towards the top area there should be a income, housing and food stamp notation listed above the page. The shelter that was housing me was getting paid $2,500 for my bed and $575 in food stamps to feed me per month. My shelter housed 200 females. Do the math – those numbers were standard. The bed was nothing more that a cot with a very thin mattress, you were lucky if they gave you a set of sheets, a blanket and a pillow upon entry. They are suppose to provide you with a welcome kit of toilette’s as well. Needless to say, any major health concerns are your responsibility. I am a Diabetic, the shelter would not even consider having a separate meal plan for us nor were we provided with any snacks to supplement any difficulties like low blood sugars attacks. We met with the cook and he shot the menu plan down. Later on, I found out that the kitchen serving staff  composed of resident members that were getting $40.00, every two weeks – a little side job for them. The cooks were not licensed and I tried to find out whether anyone in the kitchen had at least taken  food safety courses – couldn’t get a handle on that, but I do know that No one was a dietitian.

The Homeless Are Not Your Enemy

 

As we grow older our ability to dream becomes slimmer and slimmer if not completely gone. We face the empty nest syndrome with dread, wondering how to fill our days and hopefully how to rekindle that lost part of the committed relationship. Husbands have become second class citizens in consideration to children and wives have become the second mistress to jobs. It’s no one’s fault, it unfortunately happens to thousands of people daily.

We are so focused on making ends meet that we forget to take stock of IMPORTANT matters. Each Other!!!. How close is the average American from the edge of Homelessness? Yes, that dark pit in society, that we don’t want to talk about, acknowledge or address. Maybe if we pretend that it doesn’t exist it will go away. NOT!!

Homelessness stems from many issues: Lost employment, medical bills, bankruptcy, under funded pension plans, foreclosure, student loans, incarceration, mental health issues, divorce, migration laws, etc.

The homeless are not your enemy: Stop buying into the hype that our economy is being threaten from countries outside of the United States. The United States has done what it has being doing for hundreds of years all in the name of Democracy – whose????

Pharmaceutical industry, Insurance Companies, Prison System, IRS, Banks, Home Owner Insurance, Military, Politicians, Lobbyists, Corporate America, Law Enforcement  – all within our own borders have crippled the American Dream and misled it’s citizens.

In June, 2016 I became apart of the invisible society – this was by choice, and I say choice due to the fact that I was recently divorced and decided to relocate back to my home town to start over again. Please note that I am not in the best of health and have been out of the main steam of things for @ 20 years. Who in their right mind decides to divorce at 60 years young and re-invent themselves?  Having family helped at least as far as moral support my family is extremely small and they do not have any extra money or space to house another being. I knew this and accepted it. I took the clothes on my back and started my journey.

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