This is the case of an average family experiencing homelessness in New Bedford.
1. Family became homeless for whatever reason: a. fire, condemned house; no payment of rent, poor housekeeping, etc…
2. The family started to live in their car
3. They go to any agency to get help; they do not qualify: no income, no family shelters, have a boy over 6 years or older and they cannot be accepted in a women’s shelter, etc. (PI, SS, BC,)
4. One of the agencies decides that even though they have no place to live that a job will be very helpful.
5. The head of the family takes the job and when they get their first check they return to the agency to prove that now the family has an income.
6. The family doesn’t qualify now because they make too much money. $11 dollar minimum wage multiplied by 40 hours equal= $440, 52 weeks=$22,880 and the income limit of the New Bedford DHCD for a family of 4 is $21,050.00.
In contrast, the same family has a dog and a cat. Because of their situation, they can’t afford the pets anymore and reluctantly release them. A few hours later, Animal Rescue shows up, take the pets and bring them to the shelter. They get a good shower, shampoo, a complete check-up, the necessary shots, a warm place to sleep. The shelter takes pictures and puts them on the internet with a slogan saying “ADOPT A PET.”
The family is still homeless and living in their car, and still do not qualify for anything because of all the technicalities I mentioned.
What have we become as a society? This is New Bedford? NOOO, this is Macondo.
Ivan e/d Juana 2018