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Corruption at Project Renewal Third Street Shelter

December 8, 2012

I can’t really make an exposé about Third Street Shelter yet the way I was doing about Eddie Harris Shelter that got me sent there, but when I arrived home last night after a visit to MoMA (which is free on Friday evenings), guys were talking about bringing a video camera in there to document what was going on here. An older lady security guard kept going on and on about how there would be no point because it wouldn’t be allowed as evidence without a subpoena. They said they wanted to make a documentary to show the outside world how horrible the conditions are here, while the shelter rakes in at least $595,000 per month, since there are 170 residents here. They of course want the general population out because their bread and butter are the substance abusers that they have the facilities to treat, unlike at Eddie Harris.

One of the shelter residents is a former classmate of mine from the web design program at the Mid-Manhattan Adult Learning Center. He has thousands of dollars worth of software that he downloaded from Pirate’s Bay, and unlike Raj Amit Kumar, he knows how to get by the off-disk copy protection. He dismissed Mr. Kumar as an amateur when I reported how he vented his frustrations upon me when he couldn’t get past the program’s demand for a serial number and never had me do the editing work he claimed that I would be doing before I went to Jacksonville. Another person there is a tattoo-covered current NYU film student. He gave me his business card. I met a man at breakfast this morning who has worked as a licensed electrician since 1968 and is now unable to find housing that he can afford. He also has no substance abuse problems. He is attempting to use the system to get a room, and is still waiting to go through the process. I just want to use the $1,823.19 I have in the bank to get out as soon as I have income. I had over $2,000, but I was forced to pay for my storage myself because my PA case is now pending as a result of my previous job. PA is supposed to pay for storage of anyone who is a current resident of a homeless shelter, but even though I showed them the shelter letter and the letter stating that there would be no work for me for the forseeable future form my previous employer, I have to wait for a fair hearing. I suspect they will send (or have sent) the fair hearing request to Eddie Harris, even though I asked them to send it to my mailing address, and an employee even called me to confirm that I wanted it sent to that address rather than the shelter. Maybe they’re harboring that mailing address as evidence that I’m not “really” a shelter resident, even though this is hardly an unusual thing for shelter residents to do.

I hate being at this shelter even more than Eddie Harris. I want to sleep in a room and not a big open area. I don’t know what it takes in this society to do that if you can’t work in retail/food service. Statistically, there are four applicants for every one job opening when you go with pure numbers and don’t take qualifications into account. Then you’ve got companies like Kenexa that control the application process for any company where anyone would want to work, and I can’t seem to complete an application with them without hitting an error message that erases my previous work, which is in so many different form boxes that I don’t know how I would even save it to try again. Kenexa’s BrassRing application system seems to be a huge waste of time to pay lip service to the people who want to work for NBC/Univwrsal or Simon & Schuster (my most recent applications) and not make it look like the jobs are going only to rich kids who know the management.

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