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Listen to my cover of “NOW That’s What I Call Polka – Weird Al” via #Smule: #SingKaraoke

Now That’s What I Call Polka!

Listen to my cover of “NOW That’s What I Call Polka – Weird Al” via #Smule: #SingKaraoke

Shelter Sausage Suicide

I walked all the way to the Bowery Whole Foods Market since the public library has closed as a result of the snow storm. Since I’m on my tablet, this will be short. I has to go anyway, because the sick fucks who run the shelter decided that today would be a sausage party–sausage and grits for lunch, beefaroni and hot dogs for lunch, and sausage and peppers for dinner. Even before I gave up red meat, my family can tell you how much I hate sausage, and now that I’m working, I’m pretty resistant to red meat, in spite of the savings plan. Although my current shelter is by far the best and will probably be the last unless I have another extended period of unemployment, I really have to grouse about the lack of thought put into a healthy diet for the residents. Considering that the DHS budget is $1 billion a year, you would think they would have some kind of nutritional standards. A menu like this comes across as downright sinister, even if it sounds conspiratorial to call such a menu slow genocide. They also posted that there would be room inspections yesterday, but decided to wait until today when they would be most disturbing to the residents, since this is a working men’s shelter. It’s depraved enough as it is to not have housing working people can afford in this city, but then to be given the same unhealthy crap for every meal makes it all the more offensive.  Friday nights are normally fish, but I went hungry because they had chili. At least I knew in advance and didn’t request a late plate. I have requested a late plate and gotten chili that I felt compelled to eat even though it was not the posted meal, or I would not have requested a late plate.

It’s really rough out there, and I came close to falling several times. The local supermarkets do not take debit cards unless you spend at least $6, which is less than I spent for my late lunch at Whole Foods, and there is nowhere within walking distance I can think of where I can get free WiFi that isn’t closed. The snow is continuing to come down, and we have no mass transit service until the authorities feel its safe, so I hope I don’t have a spill walking back. If the capitalists can’t kill you slowly, they will force you to commit suicide, even if accidentally.

About Work

I have to be very careful in a blog entry about work so that I don’t get fired for saying the wrong things, but I thought I’d provide a few insights.  First, I make $12.60 an hour, which is not enough to live on in New York City, but the shelter staff wants me to move out, even if paying for a room might make paying for my storage unfeasible, and my stuff is not going to fit inside a little room.  I’ve been told that the staffing service makes as much at the job as we do, so it’s really a $25 an hour job, and there have been people temping there for four and a half years, so the prospect of becoming a full employee with benefits seems nil.

My immediate supervisor is really nice, but if you try to bring anomalies to her attention, she repeats it back to you, but re-configuring it as if the situation is normal.  I don’t know if this is a language barrier, but I know it isn’t me, because other people have had the same problem with her.  Her supervisors favorite thing to say is “Do it however you want, just get it done.”  This is a sensitive area, so I’ll let the reader interpret my feelings about this without stating more than that the way he says things with an air that reminds me of Stan Freberg’s “Green Christmas.”

I don’t want to reveal their names without their consent, but among my fellow temps are an aerospace engineer and a comic book artist (some of whose work is in my collection, but he was not credited for colorist work while at Valiant doing Nintendo comics).  The aerospace engineer’s story is almost identical to mine–a very low rate of responses to job applications, relocation for a job that didn’t pan out (in fact, because it took him three days to get from New York to Mesa, Arizona, his job was given to the second choice, a Navajo who was local.  This is reminiscent of the YouTube story about the engineer who traveled to Boston for a job only to find that it had been given to someone else, and he ended up homeless (and plenty of commentators have insisted his is a substance abuser because they know nothing about homelessness except stereotypes).  This engineer is not homeless, but he says he’s a paycheck away.

The comic book artist has dealings with HRA being in breach of contract, as they continue to be with me.  He kept showing them a document that shows that people of a certain age are entitled to SNAP benefits, and they kept saying that their income was too high even though his wife, who is a little older than he is, was eligible for the benefits based on what was stated in writing.  They’ve always been financially struggling, and SNAP benefits would help them eat better.

He has story after story about incompetent supervisors and employed people.  For example, the High Society publisher who made all his employees wear suits into the building for a job at a skin rage and who accused him of not being a team player for not playing sports on a company trip when he has a heart murmur.  He also had horror stories about incompetent paramedics who claimed that his neighbor, who died as a result, was saying “incoherent numbers,” which were his address and the phone number of an emergency contact after he slipped and fell when he was dropped at the wrong building.  Another time, he was picking up his wife at the train station and saw an old lady slip and fall and bust her head open.  The only way he got emergency responders to the scene was by having a kid tell the fire department he thought she was dead.  When the cops arrive, the idiots kept asking him who she was, and he didn’t know.  The cop said he should have gone through her purse to get her ID.  The artist told the cop that was an idiot, that that was the cop’s job and a very foolish thing for him to do with the cops coming for a woman bleeding from her head.  I responded to his story by saying he probably would have wound up dead faster than Tamir Rice if she had done what the cop wanted him to have done.  He sees my supervisor’s supervisor as indicative of the Peter Principle, as one might guess by his own admission not knowing the best way to organize what he asks us to organize.

@NYCHRA persists in Breach of Contract


This is the actual letter that was sent to me promising to pay for my storage “as long as [I] live in a Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter.”  To date, I am still in bed #306 of the Bowery Mission Transitional Center, which is part of the DHS system, and therefore, HRA should still be paying rent on my storage, but it still has not been paid for January 2016.

According to MFY Legal Services, HRA should be continuing to pay for my storage.  Tamara Yasmin at HRA insists that I need to have an active public assistance case, for which my wages make me no longer eligible, and tells me that her supervisor, Luís Lopez, agrees, and insists that I take off work and apply again to get the payment.  MFY advised me not to pay because their legal team looked at the policy bulletin posted previously and determined that it means exactly what it says, that HRA is to pay for storage of all shelter residents, and that HRA is willfully violating its own policies in my case.  I am to learn Thursday or Friday if MFY will be taking my case.  If they do not, I will have to pay for the late fees myself.

I do not mind paying for my storage (and the housing specialist at the shelter said that my storage fee could be worked around for finding me housing, although it’s unrealistic in New York City’s housing market), I mind being given false information by HRA, and I mind if MFY is mistaken because their job is to provide me with correct legal advice, and I mind if I have to pay a late fee because I followed their legal advice.  Urban Justice Center’s Safety Net Advocacy Program says that there is “a discrepancy in the policy bulletins” at HRA, and that the correct policy is only to pay storage for people on public assistance or SSI.  I am tempted to pay my bill now while I am on the computer, but it seems premature while I am still waiting on MFY.

I’m not a lawyer, but HRA’s actions compared to this document sure looks like breach of contract to me, so I am accusing them without hesitation.  I’m bringing in over $300 a week, so I can accept paying $275 a month to retain all my worldly possessions.  I saw HRA Commissioner Steven Banks at a forum on housing last night, and it seemed like he looked away every time I looked at him.  When I met with him with a group from Picture the Homeless, which at the forum  asked the most hardball questions and got the weakest answers, I handed him a hard copy of the blog entry about my unlawful arrest at HRA.  It would also not surprise me if his staffers have shown him my previous tweets accusing HRA of breach of contract.  He did not stay long enough to take questions, saying he had a meeting with BRC, and ducking out after he introduced himself and what he had been doing with HRA and now taking over DHS after Gilbert Taylor resigned from his position as commissioner of that department.

Going Under

Listen to this cover of “Going Under” via #Smule: @evanescence #SingKaraoke

The New York Post Covers My Story

It’s less flattering than I would like, and ignores a lot of the insights I gave to the writer (including references to Edward Bellamy and Edward E. Baptist), but at least it’s something:


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