Saturday, June 28, 2014
Oh, hi. I'm Lydia. I'll be your tour guide to HOMELESSNESS today. If you could just please take your shoes off at the door... socks, too.. much appreciated. Oh, and you can leave your dignity there, too - you won't be needing that where we're going. Oh, dear... You're not really dressed for the occasion... But, that's ok. I'll help you. Don't worry... Just take my hand... here, let's go -
Ok, first - if you could fill out this form, yeah - that one too... then, uhm...turn it over and put your name here, sign here, there, yeah - there too. Initial this, sign that, good. Now, flip the page and - what did you say your name was? Nevermind, it doesn't matter.... Right, okay - then - let's speed this up, it's almost lunchtime... okay - did you get that? Read this, sign that... Initial here, here and there.... Now, date it... No, you don't need a copy, it's just for my files....
You have kids? you get child support? do you know who their dads are? do you know WHERE their dads are? Hhhhmmnn... What? I'm sorry, no. I didn't hear you - it doesn't matter. So, Uuuhhmmnn... You're gonna definitely need to come up with some additional income before we can help you.... How much? Oh, I don't know.. you might have to come back tomorrow to complete the interview. Wait. Could you just wait here for a minute?
20 M I N U T E S L A T E R ------------>
Ok, I'm back, just a few more questions... What did you say happened with your family? Really? When was that? Could you call them for help? Oh, you already did? What did they say? Oh, huh.... Well, what about your friends? Neighbors? Co-workers? Really... oh, that's interesting... Well, do you have a contact number for them? Maybe if I called them , and told them you were about to be homeless, they might want to help you more.... ? You think? Well, uuuhhmmnn.... aahhhhh... I mean, we could give it a try... So, otherwise - what's your plan? Hhhhmmnn.. That hardly seems workable... Well, let me ask you this - what did you do with your tax refund? Don't remember? We really need that information for our files... Car payment, okay, clothes... A mini VACATION ??!! Wow, maybe we should sign you up for budget counseling... Right, okay - that's uhhh.. You know what else we need? Do you have your drivers license, birth certificate, social security cards, leases, utility bills, most recent bank statement ...Well, could you at least get your tax information for us? No. Right - I understand, well .... It's just procedure, really - for our files... So, when do you think you could bring in this information? The sooner, the better.... Well, we can't help you without it..... No. Sorry.... Yeah, I wish we could... But, without a workable plan ... It'll be hard to do... Uh huh.... I don't know the answer to that, let me check on it later.... Okay... No, that's not important..... Right... Just bring us the information we need, and maybe we can work something out from there... Meanwhile.... Why don't you call your mom and dad.. Oh, your moms dead? Right, sorry to hear that - what about your dad? No? but maybe if you tell him your situation... And then... no, well... uhh.... I don't know.... I don't think so.... Let me go check on that......
25 M I N U T E S L A T E R ----------------->
Oh, hi - wow ... I almost forgot you were in here... Now, where were we? Right, you were going to call your long, long, lost cousin on your Uncles side of the family, and .... Uh huh, right - you don't know his number? Well, could you find it? Yeah, no... We can't really do anything for you until you've exhausted all of your resources.. Let me ask you this - when was the last time you smoked, drank? How often? Uh, huh.... oh,.... I see... okay.... uhhhmmnn..... so.... is this a problem for you? I mean.... do you need counseling or something? Maybe I could give you a referral to the drug treatment program... right... okay, oh - I almost forgot - could you read this and sign here? There, too. Uh, huh... No, that's ok - i understand, it's a lot to do - but we need this information for our files... This? Oh, it's just a consent to talk to your counselor about the drug test results you're going to take this Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.... Don't have a car? have to be at work? Well, no... no.. we aren't allowed to place you until you complete this mandatory drug testing and counseling... well, that depends... if you come up positive, we would need to have another meeting to discuss it... No, not really - yes - you have to go to every single one, you can't miss one. Yes, someone will be in the room with you while you pee... It's just a process,.... don't worry - everyone does it... Yeah... Ok - so - did you have any other questions?
Sorry, i don't know anything about that.... No, we won't have an answer for at least another week or so.... where are you supposed to sleep? Well, I don't know... the shelters are full, and there're no hotel or motel rooms available, so i guess you'll just have to... make do.... are you SURE you don't have anyone you can call? No? Oh, wow - that's really too bad.... sorry we couldn't do more for you.... Maybe if you come back next month, we might have an opening then.... Bye bye.