Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Do Republicans Hate The Homeless?

From Think Progress:

As Republicans gather for their national party convention in Tampa, they will be aware of the stormy weather but may not see another issue clouding the city.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in a report issued earlier this year — 57 homeless for every 10,000 residents.

There are about 16,000 homeless people in the Tampa area, and one in five of them are children.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has not laid out any plans when it comes to combating homelessness. However, back in April, an NBC News reporter overheard Romney telling rich donors that he may eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which would bring an end to critical programs like Section 8 housing vouchers and community development block grants, assuming Romney didn’t just shuffle them around to another department.

The budget crafted by Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), could cause housing assistance to disappear for about one million households, according to HUD. GOP Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has also shown little sympathy for his state’s homeless population, proposing to completely zero out funding for homelessness prevention programs.

I took in a homeless person for a couple of months, just to help him out and get his social security increased to a livable wage. He left about a week ago after living here for two months (and he paid $200 for the room). The sad part is, I think he went back to the streets, just with more money in his pocket in order to eat and stuff. I don't know why he left, as I was not left a note; I just came home one day and he was gone, and the keys were on my table. No one has seen him around his usual spot, and those that knew he was staying with me (including friends and family whom I consulted before I even took him in, and they all gave me the thumbs up) don't have an explanation to offer either. Some say that once on the street, it's hard to get off the streets. This was by no means one of those bedraggled and dirty/smelly persons. This was a well groomed man, clean as a whistle (in fact, he showered daily and did his laundry, including the sheets he slept on in the extra bedroom every week), bought food, and I sometimes cooked dinner for the both of us. It was an interesting experience for me, but it saddened me a great deal that he would just leave without an explanation, especially since he constantly thanked me for giving him a roof over his head.

As I scramble for work to get money to pay MY rent and my few bills, it's sobering to realize that I am close to being homeless every month now, without a regular paycheck coming in.

The Republican party has no concept of how we middle class people are a paycheck away from being on the streets. I've managed to scrape by doing a job here and there (from home) for a criminal attorney that really doesn't have an office and needs administrative things taken care of, for which he pays me $100 here and there, but I have had to reach out to a friend to borrow $300 to make my rent this month, and a family friend is renting out my extra room for a couple of months for the same $200 (my rent is $1,100 for a one bedroom, 750 square feet, but huge based on the layout - I have always slept on a futon, since the 1980's, so I have one for my couch during the day, and my bed at night). I made my bills this month, and am probably $350 shy of making the rent -- crossing fingers I get paid from a client I am doing two motions for and a temporary restraining order (family law) which could put me over the top.

It's strange to not have the life I had for 12 years. I haven't been to my watering hole in over a month because I really do not have the extra money for the dinner and drinks. I have to buy on the cheap now for food, which is something I haven't done in 12 years. I'm 60 so it's not like there is a regular 9-5 job out there waiting for someone my age, even with my legal skills. The attorney I left at the office (not my boss, my co-worker) is just dying (not literally) at the job having to pick up the slack since I left. He told me he had no idea that "our" boss did absolutely nothing, nada, and even though he is an attorney, he can't draft even a simple complaint or go to a simple hearing. He's worthless, which is why I started hating my job the past two years. It was my way or the highway, and he said no, so I left. My friend would leave but he has a higher threshold of income he needs to survive than I do (like 2-1/2 times more), so he can't leave. I almost feel more sorry for him than I do for myself. I've always been a hustler, so it is not like I haven't lived like this before (without a 9-5 job), but it is a bit different doing it when you are in your 30's vs. doing it when you are 60!

Anyway, this tome is much more personal than I intended it to be, but after reading about how many homeless people are in Tampa, Florida, and given the Republican's methodical elimination of assistance to poor/middle class people, I just felt the need to share one liberal person's plight and acknowledge my understanding of the situation.

On the bright side, since leaving my job, my blood pressure stabilized such that the doctor has me on a lower medication and is now seeing me every two months instead of every month! It truly demonstrates just how much I hated my job and my stress level decreased despite the fact that I have no regular source of income and what should be a stressful situation for me is actually less so than my old job!!!!!!!

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