Category Archives: housed homeless

Program for homeless N.H. vets could close

Program for homeless N.H. vets not funded
 

Something is wrong here.  

Something is very wrong!  

We seem to be backing up.   The article below is just one of many like it.   Federal funds in support of our homeless are drying up, and even worse, many homeless veterans that have found shelter are themselves cast out onto the streets.  At least Liberty House is determined to keep up the fight for our veterans.   Our government doesn’t seem to really care.   To paraphrase: “We cut the funds, but it is local yokels that decide where the remainder is used.”   

I’ve seen some of the inside workings of these interagency counsels.  It is kind of like, “they cut our funds for band-aids.  Which wound needs the dressings the most?  Where are the screams coming from?    Do we save that arm or let that leg go?   It is a fact of life that there are no good choices when there isn’t even close to enough money to go around and people are in serious trouble everywhere you look.    So they prioritize, hoping that HUD will not cut funding for the vets.    When an application has 6 choices and HUD chooses to fund the first 5, they are in effect saying, “the homeless veterans on the list are not worth our money”.   Even the VA shortchanges our homeless vets – they allocate only a net of $1.37 a day per homeless veteran.  

Find the rest of this story here

Program for homeless N.H. vets could close 

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2007

CONCORD – A temporary home for homeless veterans in Manchester will lose its entire federal budget next year, officials said Tuesday. Liberty House received $150,000 over the past three years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, founder Don Duhamel said. But the money wasn’t included in the proposed federal budget. “We’re fighting for our life,” Duhamel said. “We’re going to have to go out and beg and whatever and find other sources.”Liberty House was at the bottom of Manchester’s six-item, $881,000 HUD application. The agency funded the first five requests and awarded them $723,000. It also set aside $82,000 for emergency shelters. “We don’t pick and choose the projects to receive funding in any local community,” HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said. Those are chosen by local interagency committees, he said. Liberty House didn’t make the cut. “There’s only so much money that HUD gives,” said Paul Crawford, chair of Manchester’s board that reviews potential federal homeless programs. “We’ve been waiting for six months to hear. It wasn’t until the federal budget for the last year was done that we could find out.” Mary Sliney helped coordinate the city’s applications. She said outside experts in homelessness reviewed the proposals and ranked them.Liberty House has 10 beds for homeless vets and recently started letting another two sleep on couches, Duhamel said.

“I’ll be damned if we’re going to close our door,” he said. “We’re taking them off the street and sending them back out there as taxpayers. We want to get them a job, an apartment, have them walk out of here as taxpayers and living a clean life.”

Duhamel pointed to the growing number of Iraq war vets as a reason to keep funding his program.

“They are giving us a hard time and this is when they need us the most. With this kind of war and all these brain injuries, they’re going to be hurting for the next 20 years,” he said.

Sliney agreed that veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan need attention. 

“This is a critical time as we’re looking at the folks who are the new veterans from our current wars,” Sliney said. “This is something we need to pay attention to.”

Oldtimer’s comment:

Wave more than just flags ’cause…

 Heros are out there too.

For all homeless Veteran Posts

“Houseless and Homeless Not Same Thing”

Houseless and Homeless Same?  Not exactly. 

Many think so, but they are different and overlap.   Many think that if you have a roof over your head – housed that is (shelter, rooming house, somebody’s couch) then you are not homeless.   They think you are homeless only if you live outside, on the streets.  They are wrong. 

If you don’t get the difference, think about it until you do.  Read the words of the homeless veteran below and see if anything clicks.   The old saying, “home  is where the heart is” is quite valid and true.  Just because a homeless person is in shelter or sleeping on a friend’s couch, or living in a cheap motel, doesn’t mean he or she is not still homeless. 

They may be housed and homeless at the same time.  This is a big issue and a terribly sore spot with the homeless.  To them there is a world of difference; almost fighting words!   There are homeless veterans and houseless veterans, two different levels of homeless, but don’t say that someone housed cannot be homeless.  The houseless veteran is one that sleeps in a doorway or back alley or along some creek bank somewhere.   The homeless veteran covers that and also the housed that cannot make a home out of their accomidations.

Definition

From Wikipedia:  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines the term “homeless” or “homeless individual or homeless person” as — (1) an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and (2) an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is: A) supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill); B) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or C) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodations for human beings.

Definition 1) covers the unhoused homeless and 2) covers the housed homeless.  There are others, including those living in cars, campers, paid motel rooms/flop houses, rooming houses, bus terminals, transit cars, and couch surfing that kind of blur whether they are covered at all or included in C). 

Most homeless census counts do not count the homeless that are able to score time in a motel or hotel as homeless, although usually they get that brief stay for only a few days or a week.  Most homeless census counts also do not count homeless in transit (those at bus or train stations or actually in transit), even though some live in the metro transit systems for years.   The result is an undercount. 

 Comment from a Homeless Vet in Ohio on homeless and houseless:

From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: homeless
One entry found for homeless.
Function: adjective
: having no home or permanent place of residence
– home·less·ness noun

 “Today, my mother and I had the “homeless” conversation for the first time ever. It was terribly brief. I had mentioned having spent the last year as a homeless veteran. She said that I have never been homeless — I was staying with [my last host] until I moved into her house.  I told her that being homeless and being houseless are not the same thing.  She said she didn’t have time to discuss it and walked away.

“Yes, there was a roof over my head and there is still a roof over my head at her house; however, it was crystal clear from the moment I was told that I could move in — both places — that I was allowed to stay for a while, transient, short term, not permanent or anything close to it. I was permitted a temporary stay in someone else’s home, permitted to “make myself at home”, but never permitted to make the home my home.

“It was clear from day one — this is temporary, it had better not last very long, or a day will arrive when my belongings are moved out for me.  My last host placed them safely covered and well hidden (from the road) on his front porch. “

(Oldtimer’s note, he was recently moved out – van loaded up and transported elsewhere by his parents – wore out his welcome – their home was not his home and he was homeless even there – housed homeless in his parent’s home.)

Maybe some people really do have to be homeless for a while to understand that houseless and homeless are not the same thing. “Houseless” and “homeless” frequently overlap, but they are not interchangeable synonyms, not at all.  No, my mother really has zero clue what spending a year without a place where I was welcome to stay permanently has done to my psyche.  “Coming back” from this might be a little easier if my family had the slightest clue where I “went”.  Yeah, I think it is going to take me a while.”

Elsewhere in his blog he says this: “Housed-homeless”, it seems like such a strange concept, but there’s probably more of us “couch surfing” veterans than anyone is counting as “officially” homeless .

He has an interesting blog.  Go visit.

Click here for All Homeless Veteran Articles

Homeless Veteran in Ohio cites Cat, “Companion Animal” as therapy

Companion Animal – One Cat Dose 

The following is from a blog by a disabled veteran living in NE Ohio.  He has been blogging since June of 2006 about his life and his attempts to negotiate through the VA system for medical care and also into some sort of housing.   I’ve had a copy of this article for some time because I was doing a little research on the homeless-with-pets problem.  Most shelters will not allow pets, and thus disenfranchise shelters as an option for many.   This homeless vet has at least been able to do some couch surfing with friends, but only those that allow a cat in the house.   Some won’t, but he can’t function without it.    He is working on a disability claim for 10 months now and is stewing over whether or not the VA will let him keep his cat if they find him an affordable place. 

The following came from his June 2006 archiveSee his blog here

Since last July when I became homeless, I have had to pare down even more of my belonging, throwing a lot of stuff out. Last July, between garbage and GoodWill bags — we counted 28. I really used to be an “adult” — a rack of kitchen small appliances, formal dining room, china, flatware, full living room, “home office”, guest bed, my own washer&dryer, all of that “adult” stuff, and now here I am, 30-something, with my “world” in a rented storage bay, trying to find a place to sleep where my cat is welcome too.

“Housed-homeless”, it seems like such a strange concept, but there’s probably more of us “couch surfing” veterans than anyone is counting as “officially” homeless

As to VA Homeless resources: the biggest set-back to me accessing VA homeless assistance right now is my cat. My social worker and [new!] psychiatrist have very well documented the fact that during the 10 months my disability claim was re-opened and still now that I am waiting on my I.U. claim — one singular thought “my cat can’t feed herself” has kept me from doing really stupid things more times than I can count.

In January, my psychiatrist amusingly asked me if I was OK with just one cat or if I felt I needed to “move up to a two cat dose.” No crap, he really asked me that! I told him that if she had a playmate, she would probably ignore me, so one cat works plenty fine for me. 8lbs of nothing but fuzz and cuddles can really make a difference on an ugly day.

They won’t let me move without her, and finding open space with any friends where both of us are welcome is really tough. It’s true, she does keep me alive, so I can’t really argue with them, but trying to find yet another place where both of us are welcome drives me completely insane whenever I wear out my welcome where I am at. The VA prefers that I spend $20/month on food and litter, rather than ask them to spend several thousand dollars to keep me inpatient every time the world looks really black and I can’t even fathom as far as “lunchtime tomorrow.”

Every time it takes me weeks to find somewhere I can keep her with me and actually have to consider the reality that I might just have to give her up — yes, my world falls apart. My cat is listed as a “companion animal” in my records, not as a pet, but do you think the VA is doing much to help me find an affordable place where I can keep her? Cats are not the VA’s job.

Oldtimer’s Comment:  Click for All Homeless Veteran Posts