Out of the Shelter, Into the Fire

New city program for homeless: Keep your job or keep your apartment

Some advocates are still hopeful that HSP can be redeemed: If the stepdowns were eliminated, the public-assistance requirement removed, and more stringest housing-quality requirements imposed, says Coalition for the Homeless senior policy analyst Patrick Markee, it could potentially become as viable a program as Section 8. But Takach, who has spent the last three months fielding HSP complaints, is less sanguine: "I don't think this program is salvageable. They need to scrap it and think of something else."

If the city does decide to rethink HSP from scratch, it needn't look any further than Haneefah Bilal for ideas. "If they said you could work for five years, save as much money as you can, that's different," she suggests. "Or if I had subsidized rent, I would be able to get off of this program. If my rent was $500, I would be gone. I could make it on my own.

"I'm a certified nursing assistant," says Haneefah Bilal (above with son Eric). "I can get a job with no problem. And you're telling me I have to work at McDonald's? Are you serious?"
photo: Cary Conover
"I'm a certified nursing assistant," says Haneefah Bilal (above with son Eric). "I can get a job with no problem. And you're telling me I have to work at McDonald's? Are you serious?"

"I don't want to bash HSP, because if it wasn't for them I wouldn't even be where I'm at now. But I just don't think that they thought it through."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...