autobiography, comic books, disability, disease, economic justice, food poisoning, greed, health, homelessness, job market, politics, poverty, public health, recession, shelter system, social justice, unemployment
Gang Raped by the System
This morning I went to the Waverly Food Stamp Office, where my case was transferred by Honeywell after the May 24 meeting with the BEV inspector. I was told that the reason I received $78 in SNAP benefits this month instead of the usual $200 is because I lack expenses, because I don’t pay rent at the shelter. I kept asking to talk to someone higher, but they just kept feeding me the same line about how the system budgeted me. The fact that I live in the shelter, where the provided food had proven risky, that I cannot store (unless I hide it) or prepare food means that I am restricted to buying some of the most expensive food. That isn’t taken into account. That a monthly Metrocard is exactly 1/4 of my month’s unemployment insurance, taking the entirety of my first week of the month, wasn’t taken into account either. Whether my $202.67 storage bill was taken into account is something that I will have to take up with P.A., but at this point I was too angry. I yelled that the system is run by perverts, and that what I ought to do is eat the shelter food, come into the office and spray vomit and diarrhea on everyone. Of course, that’s over the top, and I would never do that. I don’t even like the fact that I have to take my undershirt off before I put on my bathrobe to change my underwear.
This brings me to an important issue for homeless people that’s not terribly relevant to sheltered homeless like me. Often on public transportation, you find homeless people that smell like urine and/or feces. We tend to write such people off at mentally ill, and it may be in some cases, but in most cases, it is again the choices of greedy rich people that are the problem. Grand Central Terminal closes its restrooms at 11 PM. They used to close their restrooms at 2 AM. None of the places I rely on where I can go to the restroom during the day are open 24 hours. Those who are street homeless are left with essentially three options– 1) hold it in, which may or may not be possible; 2) risk arrest for indecent exposure by relieving themselves on the sidewalk, or 3) relieve themselves in their pants. Most people would probably try #1 and end up doing #3 rather than go to jail.
Now with this enormous gouge, obviously the thing to do is to stop buying comic books, but as most psychologists know, stopping pleasure purchases completely is a good way to make you splurge recklessly at a later point. It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t told that I have used my final adjournment. I have until August 15, 2013 to obtain employment or I will be forced to hand over the entirety of my savings to my former landlord. “Get a job!” will scream my critics. I’m now up to 1,760 applications in the past 14 months. I have had five interviews for decent jobs that selected other people (one of which had a stated bias for people fluent in Hebrew), five interviews with staffing services that never placed me, two interviews for jobs where neither I nor the interviewer thought I was a good fit, two interviews for apparent scams, one interview for an 8-day temp job from a temp service in which I was already enrolled, one presentation for a multilevel marketing scam, and two interviews with companies that brought me on a a short-term freelancer. I also did two under-the-table short-term gigs. I don’t know what more I can do, because it’s as though I keep flinging balls into the other court and they go dead. Unless I get a job, I can’t set up a payment plan and will have to pay in a lump for two months on an apartment I had already vacated simply because I was under contract, leaving me no way to move out of the shelter once I find a new job.
In addition, I either go to soup kitchens or I go to Brooklyn College. There are no soup kitchens near Brooklyn College, and CUNY has not allowed me to use the computer labs at any other school besides The College of Staten Island, the one from which I am actually an alumnus.
Whoever said justice is blind hasn’t really taken a look at the facts of my case.