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Project Renewal=Project Raving Lunancy

July 16, 2013

Today, I met with my caseworker.  We were supposed to discuss the aforementioned rebudgeting subsequent to my Next Step hearing.  He refused to rebudget me any less than $40 per week, or $160 per month, even though paying my storage and a monthly Metrocard leaves me with $133 per month for all other expenses.  I currently have about $5 in my checking account and less than $3 in food stamps remaining for the rest of the month, and $1,681 in savings, which is short of the $1,697 I was instructed to have in my account at the previous meeting with my caseworker.

It is standard practice for HRA to pay storage of those living under DHS, either in shelters or in SROs.  They are making an exception/example of me because of the $112 unemployment insurance pittance I receive for the next nine weeks.

I am afraid they may expedite my transfer to a Next Step shelter with an 8 PM curfew.  I started raising my voice when my caseworker reused to go any lower than $40 per week on my savings, by the time I left the floor, I was shouting insults and possibly obscenities across the mezzanine, but I focused on his incompetence at doing basic mathematics and his irrationality in demanding that I save more than I have remaining after these two expenditures alone.

My caseworker no-showed my appointment Wednesday, then I got a delinquent notice because I didn’t attend the rescheduled one on Saturday, for which I never received a notice.  I wrote an e-mail to my caseworker about this, and he sent me a response today claiming that I was given the notice on Thursday and he watched me sign it.  In reality, he watched me sign for the Wednesday appointment the evening of the same day I attended the Next Step conference.  I had planned a diplomatic e-mail explaining what he had done wrong.  When I saw this lie in my inbox, I about perforated.  I was going to be very gentle about his lack of ethics and focus on his mathematical error.  Instead, his dishonest e-mail made me do the reverse, although there were certainly no obscenities and I was as diplomatic as my rage would allow:

That is not correct.  That is the sheet for the Wednesday meeting that you missed, which was signed in your presence.  If the date says otherwise, the document was post-dated.

It is extremely unethical for you to demand that I save $160 per month when you’ve already been shown that the $202.67 storage bill and the $112 Metrocard leave me $133 for everything.  I have only about $3 in food stamps for the rest of the month since HRA cut me from $200 to $78, so demanding that I save $130 isn’t ethical either.

At the next step conference, I explained that I could save 60% of that $133, and they seemed OK with that but said that I would need to discuss it with my caseworker, but you have refused to do that.

You have essentially said that I need to choose between an 8 PM curfew and keeping my stored belongings, a choice no ethical person would present, and then you blamed me when I flew off the handle.

I trust that this was merely a mathematical error and you will not continue to persist in this saving $40 per week nonsense when the money is clearly not available for that purpose.

Sincerely,
Scott Andrew Hutchins

 

 

Mr. Hutchins,
Thursday night you was given a sheet in which you signed in front me while standing in the lobby. Nevertheless you were given another one so please comply.
In the future please express any concerns or comments in person. Thank you.
 
This is the second time this week I have raised my voice at the improper behavior and been threatened in response.  On Wednesday night, Randy, the guy in ops, refused to do my weekly linen exchange, insisting that it ends at 9:30.  Linen exchange has always ended at 10 PM, and because it’s close to the curfew, I have been told so routinely to go to bed count first that I no longer ask, because it has always appeared to be a standard policy.  At least in that case, dozens of shelter residents witnessed my tirade and agreed with me that Randy was being lazy and choosing not to do the job for which he is paid indirectly by taxpayer dollars, and that this was especially egregious because of the shelter’s lack of air conditioning and inadequate fans.  Randy threatened to write me up.  On previous occasions, he has told me I was wrong for getting water from the only water cooler in the building, which is on the mezzanine, where one normally goes only on a pass for the staff.  Both Bellevue and Eddie Harris had water coolers on each floor for residents to access.  At Project Renewal, we are expected to drink the foul tasting sink water that probably travels through leaden pipes.  The building’s keystone says 1875.  The staff purchased three new air conditioners for themselves, while we are left to swelter and not allowed to have clean water at all or to have clean sheets unless we are “home” more than half an hour before curfew.
 
I hope I don’t return at 9:50 tonight to have an administrative shelter transfer, in particular to a Next Step.  I lost the charger on my phone and it is now dead, and I have not been able to get in touch with my friend, who has a spare charger compatible with my phone but no longer owns a cell phone because it got stolen.  He is very difficult to reach for that reason.  This means if I get such a transfer, I can’t heave him help me move, and the weight will be more agonizing than the last administrative transfer I received because of the higher number of comic books, which I certainly don’t want to entrust to the staff, given their unethical and dishonest behavior.
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