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Laundry Update

August 30, 2014

The laundry wasn’t so bad.  I was able to fit about 3/4 of my laundry bag full of underwear and socks into the pillowcase, and they didn’t turn out too badly.  The worst thing that happened was that when the security guard took me to get my laundry, he let me stay upstairs when he saw my cane and bags, and brought up the wrong bag with the right number.  I went down and saw why they don’t have people going down there.  The ceiling is so low that they’d be opening themselves to liability lawsuits, and you have to keep stepping over and ducking under pipes to get to the laundry room. As bad as the setup is, if they made the area public, someone would surely get hurt.  I don’t think signage would be adequate to make it OK. I guess I can put down my outerwear on Tuesday, especially since I have an interview that day and will be wearing a suit rather than my black jeans.

The bedrooms at the shelter are a very dark tan, darker than coffee ice cream but like coffee mildly creamed.  My sheets are a lighter tan than that (they provided them, but that isn’t typical), so it was easy to find it.  I pulled it out and showed that mine had tag #4, just like I said.  For some reason, they had more than one tag #4 in the security booth.

I hope this will be my last shelter, even though it’s a step up from the others.  As long as I don’t get written up for my medication or my non-appearance at the “mandatory” relapse prevention meetings and so forth, my only major complaint that I haven’t noted here is my bed itself, which is like lying on a mesh of springs wrapped in vinyl, even though, unlike at my other shelters, there is actually a box spring below it.

The shelter is a bit more welcoming t the entrance than some others–the walls are cool blue and it smells like a bowling alley.  The handbook even says that visitors are encouraged in the common areas during the day.  We are not forced to leave the building, although this reduces the meal windows to an hour, so I’ve yet to have any meal at the shelter other than breakfast at the shelter, and my SNAP benefits, which replenish on the 8th, are nearly gone (I think I have about $10 left as I write this).  I’m also conserving Metrocards, since my 30-day unlimited ran out yesterday, and I don’t have any money for another one other than drawing off my savings, which is down to just over $1,100 because I had to pay for my storage last month.  I’m glad I checked at the Apple Store before going to see The Winter’s Tale at Riverside Park, since it closed last weekend.  Daniela Robles (my contact at MFY Legal said that I could name her as long as I don’t post her direct line or e-mail address, a courtesy I don’t give to people who are clearly not on my side) told me that the HRA worker was wrong for not submitting my storage request.  HRA found that I was eligible and restored my lost benefits, but without the paperwork that I had filed a request (I did present the residency letter and receipt to the worker), they refused to reimburse me for my August storage.  Ms. Robles said that next time I should insist that they do so (my arrest last year inhibited me), ask to see a supervisor if they refuse, and call her if the supervisor refuses, because they are required by law to at least accept the request under their formal procedures.  This is why I say that DHS owes me, because it was the lies of DHS employees Angelica Jiménez and Natalya Castro that caused my public assistance case to be closed and make it necessary to draw off my savings to pay for storage.

It’s nothing but pure cronyism that the government is willing to pay $3,773.75 each month to keep me in the system and pay for my storage, when keeping me in my apartment at $1,018.75, or whatever the Rent Guidelines Board allowed the landlord to jack it up to, would be so much less expensive, and more conducive to me working.  Since so many jobs in my skill set require telecommuting, needing a third party for computer access is a serious barrier to employment.  They act like they’re helping me when they make me sit through a recruitment session at which 100% of the jobs require constant standing and often heavy lifting, things they have on file that I can’t be doing for extended periods of time.  No rational, reasonable person would consider that “help,” nor is it “job development” to have someone look up jobs for me on Google and Craigslist as though I’m not capable of doing that myself, nor willing to do that myself.  To be a job developer is to have connections, and when job developers don’t have these, they are getting paid for what I do for free.

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