In the first two parts of Tips for Homeless People, we defined what homelessness is so that we can have a better understanding. We also gave ten tips for navigating through the world of the Department of Human Services from my perspective. In Part three we talked exclusively about your Homeless Status. For parents, this is absolutely necessary to make sure that you have what you need while you are going through this process to keep your child(ren) on track, healthy and stable.
In part Four, we want to discuss subsidized housing, what that is, how you qualify and where to look for it. For many, you may have heard of this term but if you needed to get some help with your rent you would wait until you’re actually homeless. Consider part four’s information available as homeless prevention and a homeless resource for those looking to find a new home.
Here are the quick tips:
- In some areas, like Arlington Virginia, they do not have any places that go by your income. HOWEVER, they require each apartment community to offer a portion of their apartments as subsidized housing. Depending on where you’re from, this may be a realistic opportunity. Subsidized housing in Arlington is tax properties. They get a tax break by offering you rent at a lower cost than their otherwise outrageously overpriced efficiency sized apartments that they sell as two bedrooms. You have to go to these apartments individually to sign up for waiting lists which could take forever. In my experience though, it is worth it to get on a waiting list when it is offered because you really can’t anticipate that your situation will be turned around in six months even with the best intentions.
When Obama came in office, there were some things that he put in place to help people who were struggling financially. Each county, city etc… were given dollars to help poor people to maintain their housing or to get back on their feet. In Arlington that program is called Housing Grant assistance. All of these programs must be applied for, and do have minimum and maximum salary requirements. In Prince George’s County we know what happened. Many families suffered because Jack Johnson and others were “allegedly” mishandling the money that was appropriated for low-income families. Prince George’s County, Maryland was hit by the foreclosure so hard it made national attention.
- In Washington DC, they have similar programs like Arlington as I have just been informed, and I have a list too 🙂 but Washington DC has in place affordable housing for people who have NO income. People can live in their own apartment on as little as a welfare check. Some people may disagree with this but it’s better than people being on the street. To me, it builds confidence and independence. Some people may stay in the system because of the cheap rent and the fact that they have no vision for their life, but there are others that will take this opportunity and go back to school or map out a long-term plan.
In some places, they will not help you unless you are working 30 or more hours a week. In Prince George’s County Maryland, the help is one time annually on an emergency basis however, in Arlington the Housing Grant will help you monthly on an approved amount. It is a new program different from Section 8 but seems to work something like it.
Just remember that if you are working 30 or more hours per week and you make between $30,000-$40,000 with children, check your local Department of Human Services office to see if there are some options for you to receive discounted rent, especially if you’re having a hard time feeding your family or you are living paycheck to paycheck. The more children you have, the higher the amount that you can make (minimum/maximum). The numbers that I gave as a range above, are just that an approximate range. Many of the programs are not for singles but I know for a fact that a man can receive help in DC. I am not sure about other places.
Welfare was started due to war. It is not reparations. Men were coming home wounded or dead and left behind women and children who would no longer be able to financially care for their children. It was never intended to be and epidemic, to be the sole source of income for anyone, but aid. Regardless of race, welfare is often abused by poverty mindsets. Welfare and other social services are available to ensure that you have the basic human rights as others, to be treated when you need to for medical attention, to make sure that you eat, and to assist you with shelter.
I urge you to remember this as help. In my opinion, the system is designed to keep poverty minded people dependent. It is a clutch, and as an advocate for pursuing your passions and finding your dream, I would like to make a disclaimer that my articles are to help you navigate your way from the bottom to independence so that you can have the life you really want to live.
It is poverty minded to receive social services but walk around with Fendi, Gucci, and Louie. It is poverty minded to live in mice infested apartments with a Mercedes-Benz outside. However, it is a tragedy to be homeless and be denied help because you don’t have an address, valid identification or family that can help you.
Being homeless is not a reflection of you as a person, it is a result of circumstances and you can overcome your financial hardships with the right information, and the right support group.
In my book, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love, I talk about how you must leave behind people who say they love you but their actions do not follow their proclamation. Maybe one of the things that you as a homeless person should be thinking about at this time is your impact on the world, and the relationships that you have that encircle you. It may be time to reevaluate purpose, intention, and motivation.
If you have people who you call friends, or family and you are unable to sleep on their couch, they can’t buy you a meal, listen to you cry or celebrate with a one (wo)man parade about your successes and failures you may be in the presence of a lie.
Stop lying to yourself about your relationships. Homelessness will not defeat you, you can’t walk out, check out or give up because I will not allow you too. The articles one-four give you information on what to do now but if you need more, and you reach out to me, I will do everything in my power to give you the right questions to ask, guide your expectations, and provide solutions by connecting you with the right source(s).
There are options before you are kicked out, but you must know what they are, and you must pursue the answers to the questions that you don’t even know to ask. As the saying goes, if you search for it, you will find the answer.
I am dedicating this song to you, because I believe in you! While other people cave in, give up, commit suicide, you can keep your mind, and walk out of this situation with a testimony for the books, literally.