Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Low Income Should NOT Equal Low Class!

     Now that we are out of Washington's "helpful" housing program I can publish this ALL over the internet----I hope it opens a few peoples eyes. If you live in Washington, please pass this on.  I added the pictures here to show some of the issues.    Please tell me your thoughts before it goes to the Bellingham Herald:

                                           Low Income Should Not Equal Low Class

My family of five has seen some hard times financially. As I am sure you have also. My wife is terminal and can not return to the work force. She collects Social Security, deffinatly not a lot, but everything helps. She has no problem working hard, or finding a job. And provided for our kids just fine on her own, before I came into the picture. Now she spends her days volunteering and helping others. I have spent plenty of time in the area with no work. So three years ago when we got accepted to live in housing, we were beyond thankful. Our goal has always been to continually advance ourselves, use the help to better ourselves and our kids lives, and not need the states help anymore. We have discovered a few things along the journey. And maybe these discoveries will open the eyes to others allowing for changes in the system. So that the system is not cut any more-- because of a few bad seeds that maybe take advantage.

As I said, we have been always trying to get out of the system. In fact my wife had to drag me to the offices, to be put on assistance in the first place. We had hit some very hard times, but before that we were always capable of making it on our own. Recently I landed a very good job. One of the best I have had in a long while. The pay is great, with benefits, and management that treats there workers very well. But I only work part time. Very soon after landing the job, housing re-figured our rent, based on income. Rent should go up, I am making cash now, daily. But our rent was raised to the highest level the very next billing cycle. This makes me wonder how anyone is supposed to save cash and get ahead enough to remove themselves from the system?

We also now have to worry about being removed from the system when our lease runs out, because the state can make more money off of low income family's, that can not pay full rent.

More disturbing is the huge abuse of the system. Ultimately un -twining the structure for people that legitimately need the help. We have lived in several local housing community's and the abuse is wide spread. Everyone bends the rules a little bit, that is the American way. But at some point it goes above and beyond small rebellion and at this point the entire system needs monitored.

People fully capable of finding jobs- grow used to being leaches to the society, and blame it all on not having mental stability. Soon they can not take care of there own children. In our community my wife and I are the only adults ever at the local school bus stop, surrounded by children whose parents choose sleep over getting there kids off to school. None of these adults work, or do much of anything, please note. Many of our neighbors have been in housing for over five years. They are comfortable and continually find new ways to milk the system, so why should they be forced to change?

They use the money they save on rent, and gas, not to buy food --food stamps cover that, but to buy things. Booze and drugs usually top the list. Just check out the community recycling bin for bottles. This state should join Florida in drug testing of all welfare/housing clients. I do not care what a single person does, but when you are in the system, hooked on drugs, and have children--I personally think you should loose your children and than your home. With many of our neighbors using drugs, they have frequent visitors at there home. Many who spend the night. None of these visitors do I want around my home or children. So we keep the kids inside to play. And attempt to keep our belongings locked up.

Many of these neighbors are to poor to pay rent, but have multiple cats. 

                               The cats --no one owns, eat very well    as do the residents, and the above rat, until it died.   

 They need these animals, even though they are not taken care of or actually on there housing leases. The residents can not even seem to get there own house garbage in the provided dumpsters. There is trash on the ground around the dumpsters daily. Bringing in rats and more unwanted visitors. 

Yes we had a dog, and we cleaned up it's gigantic poo.
Along with most of the other dog poo in the neighborhood.

After several giving related Sunday sermons we as a family have tried to help many of the residents. But they have become accustomed to there non productive life styles. And being handed everything. Instead of taking a hand up, they bite the hand that feeds them and return to living off the system. We as a family recently feed many of the local home less---and will do it more. Because the homeless were genuinely thankful. A few even volunteered to use there next food stamps on us. Not true of anyone in housing. They have become accustomed to "the good life" and do not want the scrapes we have to give out, when they can eat and live very well courtesy of the state. One of our neighbors has a baby on SSI and until latly, both adults did not work, and lived off of the baby's income. And why find a job, if your rent is going to quadruple, instantly putting you in the same financial position you were in with no job?
The list could go on and on. Believe what you wish, but our family really needs the system, right now. But we are on our way out. Hoping to be in an actual house next year, or at least a rental. We want to keep the system great for those that really need it, now and in the future. Not have it shut down, or reduced because of the many abusers. I use this letter as a last resort to open peoples eyes. If housing residents notify housing managers about abuses--- they open themselves up to having there home inspected even more. Or are promptly told that the observations are a police matter. When you contact the police department, you are told that it is a housing security matter. OR that they can do nothing with out ultimate proof. Like pictures of drug use with kids in the same room, or ones house actually being robed to fund a future drug buy.

Housing's own web sight tells about there commitment to security and safety. And how they have security that visits all locations daily. We were surprised to learn this, because in four years we had never once seen any type of security. In fact we had to push to even meet a police officer that works specifically for housing. After months of problems with neighbors -many that threatened our family's safety. All matters housing was fully aware of.

It is nearly imposable to get out of the system that is supposed to help people. It should never be a long term option. When you start to do better in life, they add on charges and fees quickly, not gradually. When your rent jumps up in price, you soon after loose any other benefits. Including medical help, and food stamps. Yes you are now making more money, but why cut all benefits with in the same month of finding a job?

We finally did it two months ago --and got out of the system, and the state that held us down for so long. One reason I can now put this letter EVERY WERE. I hope this opens some eyes---and at the least you read this and pass it on. We just received our final bill from housing---and are not receiving any of our deposit back. We actually owe money. Even though we had been in the residence for three years, and all damages were normal wear and tear----they do not see it that way, and are charging for everything. One can not easily get out of this system that is set aside to help not punish people in need.

Maybe something like on-sight managers would be a great start. Someone that does not live in housing or is not related to housing workers. If this is not in the budget, an over-seer that showed up daily and actually talked to the residents would be beyond great! Workers almost never set foot on any of the properties. Hopefully anyone that reads this will help push local government to deeply re-look into this once great option, and help make it great again.

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