25 April 2014

Don't Let The Door Hit Your Ass On The Way Out

It wasn't long ago that I wrote about my rent issues with Porchlight being resolved. The situation has been resolved, but the details of the resolution have changed. I paid the March payment on time, but the check amount came out of my checking account before my first disability payment was deposited.

Yeah, exactly. Booiinnggg.

The details of (signed and legally binding) mediation agreement I'd reached with Porchlight said that if I was even a day late with a rent payment, Porchlight had the right to evict me immediately. Once I found out my check had bounced, I knew what would happen next and I honestly am surprised that it took so long. On Wednesday afternoon, a Dane County Sheriff's Deputy knocked on my door and handed me a notice to vacate the premises IMMEDIATELY. The Deputy was very reasonable and professional. He let me know that he didn't intend to force me out right then and there, but that I needed to either GTFO or work something out with Porchlight ASAP.

I started packing up my stuff, and had my stuff packed up before suppertime. There's a time to fight, and there's a time to GTFO. This was the time to GTFO. If the Sheriff's Department has to remove you they pack up your stuff and take it to storage. Therefore it is a Very Good Idea to drop whatever else is going on, get everything packed up, and get it out of here (which is a place that as a former tenant, you no longer control) and into somewhere that you control.

Of course, I didn't sleep Wednesday night-- aside from being anxious and triggered as hell, I didn't want to take a chance on being asleep and waking up to another Deputy knocking on my door. I waited until Case Manager arrived at her office, let her know that I was moving out now, and asked if she'd be able to help me get my stuff from vets house to my storage unit on the other side of town.

I was surprised when she said yes, once she'd finished some already scheduled appointments. She did ask where I planned to go-- my response was, of course, that once my stuff was secured I was headed out to the streets again.  What she said next stopped me in my tracks:
"You don't have to sleep on the street tonight, you have lots of money. Go stay in a hotel."
That was followed soon after by:
"You can't load all of your stuff in my car. It's a new car, and I don't want anything too heavy put into it."
Note to social work professionals: please add those two statements to the list of things you should never, ever, ever say to a homeless veteran who will be sleeping in a doorway in the rain in a few hours while you are snug and warm and dry at home.

As you might expect, during the ride to and from my storage unit, Case Manager and I didn't talk except for me giving directions on where to turn to get there. She had brought along a magazine to read while I ferried my stuff from car to storage unit, and once we were back at vets house that was that.

I said thank you for the ride there and back, and I meant it.

There was no saying goodbye, and there were no wishes for good luck.

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