Search

We Are NOT Invisible

Giving Thanks to God

I’m so thankful now for the experiences that I have unwitty placed myself in discovering that God cared for me enough and brought me out from some of them whole. This is my daily pray beginning when I wake up every morning. This is a new adventure for me ~ giving Thanks to God for allowing me to put myself in situations not knowing if they were right for me and being beside me each step of the way to say ~ No More My Child.

I comforted by the following words/song of which I assume no credit for:  Axwell~ I Found U (Remode) [feat. Max’C]

Lyrics

Everybody wanna know
Why I’m walking round with a big smile on my face
Hey I’m happy and it shows
Hey I’m back and I’m part of a human race
‘Cause you know I’ve been down so long
Never thought I’d ever feel this way again
And everything was going wrong
‘Til you found me and you made me believe again

Oh yeah, I found you, oh
I found you, oh
I found you
Damn I’m happy that I found you

I don’t know what you did
But what you did you can keep on doing it yeah
I’m so happy I wanna fly
‘Cause your love just keeps on taking me higher
Don’t you know I’ve been down so long, down so long
Never thought I’d ever feel this way again
And everything was going wrong, going wrong
‘Til you found me and you made me believe again

Ooh, yes I, yes I did
Thank God I
Oh yeah, I found you, oh
I found you, oh
I found you
Damn I’m happy that I found you

The above my mantra every morning for the past year since my divorce. Thank you for waking me up each and every morning.  I have nothing that has not been provided for by You and your Grace. I suffer from Diabetic Ulcers, left an 18-year marriage, moved to the city with no place and no money, placed myself in a woman’s shelter and was granted my new abode six months later. God has been exceedingly gracious to me and I’m thankful. He’s still working on me, it’s a daily process but, I’m happy, free and learning to live again.

I learning to listen and be still, waiting on God to direct my steps. I’ve had some hard lessons, but God has brought me out whole and unharmed. Thank You, Jesus

Lottery Applications R Being Reviewed

I’m happy to inform you that Housing Lottery Applications are being reviewed. My question to you is this Are you on board? If you can spend money on a pipe dream of winning the State Lottery hundreds of dollars your hard earn money on a chance then take that same dedication and enter the Housing Lottery. The cost of a stamp and envelope not to mention if you set up on the computer its an automatic submission. Don’t pass up those free newspapers in certain areas The Metro is one of them, as well as the amNY they usually have information about developments that up and coming. 

Last time I checked Section 8 in New York was still closed. If this is incorrect then I ask someone to please leave corrected information on this site. Make sure that you apply to NYCHA, a 6-year waiting list for 1 bedroom apartments, but each case is different so don’t let that deter you. Once you receive notification from them be diligent and call to EVERY 6 months to keep your name on the waiting list.

Again, it’s just a matter of getting to a computer, using a tablet, most of us own cell phones ~ visit your local library utilize their computers just get those applications in and by all means ask your family relative to use their mailing address, to receive the application acceptance letters.

If you are residing in a shelter a Housing Specialist can assist you with the breakdown of what your contribution is going to be if you are receiving any monetary subsidy. SSI, SSD etc. Remember Link Program only allows you $1268.00, for any rentals.

So far, I’ve received three interview request from some of the lottery applications that I’ve filled out. I’ve declined them because I have my studio now and I’m not about to move again. Besides if I had waited for them that would have placed me in a shelter for 13 months, by God’s Grace, I got out in six months. Granted my building was built in the 1980’s, it is well maintained, the area is quiet, near a beach and culturally diverse, that works for me. Would not even consider a New building directly in a concrete jungle regardless of the borough.

Homeless but Employed

Being Homeless is not an easy situation, but there are different levels of homeless. If by chance you do have a family member that will allow you to use their Internet connection, for a few hours every day you might be able to earn money to support yourself. Remember every bit of support is crucial to your continued survival. We all have at least one relative that might not want you to stay at their crib unless you’re contributing to the household expenses. This is your situation, not theirs so you might have to bite the bullet and capitulate. It’s better than being on the street worrying about your personal safety.

Do you have the drive to do whatever is needed to advance yourself? If you feel safe and close to this family member can you come up with a game plan which will allow for your continued safety and earn some money? If you don’t ask and have a conversation you will never know the possibilities that lie in store for you.

While I was in the shelter, I was trying writing my novel, I didn’t have my laptop with me for fear of someone breaking into my locker and stealing it. I went to the neighborhood library every day. Now they were charging five cents for BW and 10 cents for color. I had written over 100 pages on the first draft. They only allowed you thirty minutes on the computer and you were lucky at times for the library to be fairly empty such that you could get your time extended to continue your work. I needed more than thirty minutes per section. There was a nice librarian that held classes every in Micro Soft Word every Monday for two hours in the basement of the facility. I happened to approach her one day explaining that I lived at the shelter and I was trying to write a novel. Once she understood the situation, she invited me to come to her class and not to worry about the time parameters upstairs. That was terrific because not only could I work on my novel for two hours uninterrupted that also allowed me to print my work without paying any fees. She also informed me of free beginner writer’s classes that were held at various central libraries.

So take that example above and step out on faith: check out this site for work at home programs that you might be able to do part-time.

RatRaceRebellion

WAH

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?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑