Just a quick #thread about evictions & housing assistance from the perspective of someone “downstream” who is trying to drag people out of the river of #homelessmess on a regular basis: the best way to help people who are already homeless is to stop others from falling into it.
1. Math: there simply aren’t enough beds in shelters, food resources, clothing banks, & most of all, there just isn’t enough housing for those who are already homeless. So what happens when more people get evicted? They end up in the same lines as everyone else.
2. Quicksand: the longer one struggles with homelessness, the harder it is to escape. Rental history & unemployment gaps start to stack up, credit debt skyrockets while credit scores plunge. Options with family & friends start to dry up. That “short term” stay becomes a problem.
3. Health: the longer one lives in “survival mode” the harder it is to get help. Desperate people do desperate things & the social safety net in the richest country in the world has LOTS of gaps. It is NOT easy to apply for housing, for #SNAP or Medicaid.
Simply put: getting help requires a clear head, perseverance, & the physical & mental capacity to make phone calls, use public transport (which isn’t free), stand for hours, while also being polite & friendly when you finally get to speak to someone who may or may not help you.
So if you have any interest in helping homeless folks, please start by helping housed people stay that way. We need #rentrelief now! If you have a family member in crisis and an extra bedroom, consider inviting them in for a longer period of time (be clear about expectations).
If you’re politically minded, call your congress representatives. Call the senate. A wave of #evictions will be like an earthquake in the ocean. The initial quake will be nothing compared to the tsunami that will drown thousands of people who live just off shore. We can help!
If you’d like more info on any of this stuff, feel free to reach out directly: [email protected] I will continue to help homeless people either way, but selfishly my job would be a lot easier if we could stop as many evictions as possible. Please do what you can!