Adventures in homelessness!
At the end of March I got kicked out/left sober living. I possibly could have stayed but it had been 6 months and that was the agreed to length with my family. And I've had a social worker since January who was supposed to be working on getting me housing. That's the part I want to talk about because it was fucked up and I don't want to bitch about my mistakes and what a raw deal I got because of them.
I slept in my car for a bout a week. I got a couple nights in hotels but that didn't last long because I'm poor. After a week or two I got ahold of my social worker. I'd not seen her in a few weeks because of work. I got ahold of her by calling her supervisor. That process took a week or two. She told me the housing program she'd applied to for me took six months. A detail that would have been nice to know up front and I have no idea why she left out because I told her I wanted to leave sober living because it was expensive and not very beneficial. So we meet the next week and she has two more immediate programs I can apply for. The one through her agency involves the application that I fill out with her, a letter from a random shelter I've never been to verifying that I am homeless (pretty much because I said so, but I need a fucking letter from a stranger who doesn't know anything about me), and a medical records release. From the doctor who works in the agency I'm applying for the program through. I have to drive to the shelter, twice I think it was, drive to the doctor's building and wait like three days for the doctor to sign the ROI. That's a lot of fucking leg work in an area with piss poor public transportation to apply to a program meant for mentally ill homeless people. How the fuck do you do this without a car?
I get all this bullshit, give it to the social worker and a week or so later I get interviewed for the program. Not admitted. I do get admitted right away and get a call about an apart a few hours later. The state agency contracts with apartment complexes in the area. So I go to the complex the next day and fill out the application like I'm a regular tenant. And the next day I fail the background check for a misdemeanor. Why the fuck would you contract with a complex that is that strict about renting if you're serving a population not known for clean criminal histories?
A little about the agency, I don't know the exact structure of how things work in Georgia but we have community mental health boards that serve low income people who need mental health and/or substance abuse treatment. Which is great in theory. I've dealt with the ones in three other counties and had no serious problems. The one in a different suburb got me into a similar arrangement to the one I'm in now in a week and put me in a hotel while I waited. Whoever is distributing money here decided to combine the largest suburban metro county with a neighboring county that's not small itself. There seems to be some flex in how these different agencies run themselves and this one is a dumpster fire. Structurally and due to the burden they're under.
But back to the joy of dealing with them. I get turned down which was pretty devastating itself but now I have a second social worker who tells me there's an availability at a different complex with a roommate. I get a call a Week(?) later from a third social worker telling me that that unit is available and he'll call me the following week. I don't hear from him. I wait until Wednesday and try to call him. II tell my original social worker what's going on. By this point I've lost my new, housing social worker's number because I over estimated how long numbers stay in recent calls on an iPhone. She doesn't know who the other two are and they don't know who she is. They all do the same job in the same location in the same agency.
The timeline is not as clear at this point. It was about forty days from the denial to actually getting into the apartment. And the two new social workers are under the impression that I'm sleeping in my car the whole time. My mom was putting me up in Air BNBs. Which is not legally homeless here. I'm legally more homeless now than when I was in an Air BNB or a hotel. According to the first social worker I was homeless for six months according to the state because part of the definition is being in temporary housing which according to her a sober living qualifies as. So luxury apartment in boujie Cobb county: homeless. Hotel room in ghetto Cobb: not homeless.
I forgot the part where I had to meet social worker 3 in a parking lot one day for no reason I can figure out.
This is a shortened version of all this bullshit. Last year I was on the street for a similar amount of time and this has been so much worse. I spent a lot of that time last year in hospitals for a few different things. I got more dramatic sounding stories from that experience but repeatedly having the ladder kicked out from under me this time has been way more taxing. And I'm getting better treatment than a lot of the people in this area.