[Hpn] [HKU] re: housing reality

UTB crew <nhutbp2001@yahoo.com> HKU@yahoogroups.com
Tue, 18 Feb 2003 16:58:36 +0000

Today I woke up to about 20 inches of snow. Spent three hours 
shoveling just to get the van out and wondering why I still live in 
Anyhow, today's events. 
We have a new familiy that just moved into our building. Since they 
moved in we have heard nothing but complaints, statements like, "I'm 
on TANF and Section 8 and I'm gonna get this building shut down." The 
woman has complaints about her stove, a leak, the fact that the 
landlord doesnt shove, neighbors are too noisy for her, she wanted 
everyone to get togther and file a restraining order against a 
particular man in the buildig because he is loud and on and on. 
So I'm outside shoveling and in a bad mood having to haul snow from 
one lace to another and I am thinking why did the universe place the 
family into my building if I am supposed to be some kind of low 
income advocate, organizer? What lesson am I suppose to learn? What I 
am supposed to teach? 
Now I am $1100 behind on my rent waiting for a sudent loan check so I 
can catch up, the snow is too deep for the mail to run, my daughter 
is too pregnant to be climbing over snow banks and I just keep 

The new neighbor comes outside and walks up to me smoking a butt. No 
good morning, no hello she starts in on her complaints. How come the 
landlord does have a plow over here? I fell on the steps and I'm 
going to call him and tell him to get his ass over here. This snow 
isnt even as deep as Nebraska where I used to live but he should be 
moving the snow, it will take me forever to get my car out, I have 
diabetes and I am pregnant I cant be out here doing this shit.

And so it starts. " Are you from Nebraska? How long have you been in 
NH? You shouldn't complain so much You are lucky to have housing? I 
know thousands of people who dont! Then I fed her the statistics and 
the problems with slum landlords and the landlord blacklist in NH and 
how to make friends rather than isolate herself by making complaints 
and how all of us are just trying to hold onto our housing no matter 
how shitty it is or what we have to put up with because it is better 
than sleeping in a car or under a bridge. I tild her that her being 
on housing doesnt really give her any special privelge other than her 
rent is reduced because even if she complains to housing so much and 
they begin to sanction the landlord, or stop payment she can be 
evicted for non-payment eventually when she cant afford it on her 
own. I told her that because she has a car that the City welfare 
department will put her family in a campground rather than a hotel 
and imagine what she will have to put up with then.And that no one 
was going to get together with her to do anything because we all 
realize the reality of our situation. 
I basically spewed none stop for a hour as I continued to shovel. I 
told her what homelessness looks like and feels like. From 
campgrounds to squats to the car, to doubling up to hanging on or 
clinging to wahtever shelter one can find. So the faucet leaks, at 
least she has water. I lacked compassion for her misery and I told 
her that she is creating it herself because of her lack of graditude 
for housing. 
She didnt even have a chance to say a word. Then she quietly left.
About an hour later she came up to borrow my shovel and pleasantly 
asked for it. 

I cant help but wonder where Hope has gove to.
I cant help but wonder what I taught in that hour of lecture to her.
I was thinking I was trying to give her survival skills so that she 
doesnt end up homeless, but somehow in that moment, I think I spewed 
all of my frustrations about the world of the haves and have nots
I think now as I read my messages from Michael Stoops (NCH) and 
others that we arent going to end homelessness because the status quo 
of greed wont allow it. No matter ow much hosing gets built where 
ever, we will never catch up nor will be be able to afford housing. 
So in that survival skills are essential.
How to live outside or in autos or abandon buildings.
Where to get free food and other basic essentials. How to build 
communites amongst ourselves, because we will need each other as 
society continues through this great divide.
My been there, done that attitude will only carry me so far, in 
reality it will be more like going there again, know what it looks 
like, hate it but will survive. 
How long can any of us hold on? 

My apoligies not for a life full of frustration, but for expressing 
it in such a disruptive manner.


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