Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011

My long nightmare is over. After 2 lengthy stints of homelessness, I am now employed and housed. The 2 week break between the shelters was spent at a rooming house in the Cap Hill section of Denver. I moved back there this afternoon, with slightly cheaper rent and a much bigger 3rd floor unit with great digital reception. As my main computer is still in storage in the Springs, I don't know how good any wi-fi reception is yet- or whether I will end up going with the new phone company Century Link for service whenever my computer gets to Denver.

It took a very long time, but I now have a permanent job with a certain automotive warehouse north of Denver. My temp job with Randstad's Denver office lasted 2 weeks, and I've already exceeded the number of hours and days worked with the new job. The supervisor was nice enough to let me store my bags in the office when I was staying at the Denver Rescue Mission. Interestingly enough, that warehouse is the first non-temp job I've ever held in Colorado. Randstad and all my Springs jobs were temporary, and technically I don't know if I was ever considered an employee of GCA. I never got paid for their orientation last month.

While as far as amenities, the Denver shelters are much nicer than their New York counterparts, the admission and bed policies would probably be illegal in New York. Just because one signs up to stay at a shelter like Denver Rescue Mission, there is no guarantee that person will even get a bed. A shelter forcing people out on the streets because there are no alternative beds would be mucho illegal in NYC. Indeed, the New York ACLU would howl about it and the city would end up housing people in an overpriced hotel or in Rikers (if they did something illegal to get kicked out of the shelter). And someone has not been checking who has been getting to the Denver shelters. There was a joint Denver PD/FBI/ICE raid on the Denver Rescue Mission last Tuesday (August 16). The local media ignored this 3+ hour raid, with the probable exception of KCNC, because I spent over an hour that night trying to e-mail them camera phone photos (below) of the raid taken from the 2nd floor of the Mission. After I posted about it on Facebook, my former roommate (from 1993) Vince Shovlin loaned me money to get out of the shelter, and I haven't been back since Wednesday morning. (Between Wednesday night and this morning, I was staying at the Denver hostel I first stayed at when I arrived in Denver nearly 3 months ago.) Several others never returned to the Mission, but that's because they are in jail- or in one case, a mental institution in Pueblo.

I guess the last 3 months have shown me who my real friends are. I didn't expect any help from my New York friends on this, but I did get support messages from them on my voice mail and on Facebook. I sure as hell didn't solicit Vince for money (I haven't heard from him in years until Wednesday), but I was offered the money and now have housing because of it, in addition to my first paycheck, which probably won't clear my account until next week. I definitely wasn't expecting moral support from other homeless people when I was kicked out of Samaritan House and when the Denver Rescue Mission was full, but I managed to get it. Apparently some people are praying for this semi-broken 39 year old former Brooklynite. And I don't know how or if I could ever thank them.