Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I would like to wish all my readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Well today I got a call from an agency. I did not catch the name of the agency. But they wanted to hire me on the spot. They had an assignment that I could have taken and been working tonight. I had all but accepted the assignment until they told me where it was. The assignment was in Carlisle, where I just moved from on the 19th of Dec. Thus due to my lack of transportation I lost another opportunity. That is two in one week.

Also today I applied for medical assistance and food stamps. I have to find a way to get to the assistance office this week to drop off some paperwork that they need.

I also changed the address in my drivers license and for my CNA certification. I still need to change the address on my Ham Radio license, but that costs money that I do not have. Oh well I will get it done as soon as I can.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Turned Down For A Job

Well I have been applying for jobs like crazy. Today I got a call from MedStaffers here in Harrisburg. They did an over the phone interview. Everything was going gangbusters until I told them I did not own a car. They did not care that I have access to a bus system and cabs. Now the bus system is not that great but it is there. They told me that I needed to own a car to be able to work for them. Needless to say I am bummed. Oh well there are other employers out there. Hopefully one will hire me soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Yesterday I was asked by my case worker and the "Y" housing program manager to stop in today to participate in an internet survey for the VA. It is a survey about services that the VA provides and whether they applied to me and if I have been able to access the services.

I told them that I had internet in my room. They gave me the web address to the survey. Last night I typed in the address and went to the page. After some searching I found the survey and filled it out. Many of the service's I knew about but many I did not. I filled it out honestly. I am sure that the survey as I filled it out would not look favorably on the VA. So I hope that they take the information they are gathering and make the needed changes to address the problems I noted.

Things have been going ok. I am starting to run short on cash but am budgeting the best I can. I updated my resume yesterday. Also filled out a bunch of applications on the web for jobs. Hopefully I will soon have a job.

I am also waiting to talk to my jobs counselor about getting into school to improve my skills. The VA has a program that will pay me for my living expenses while I attend school. I want to look into that because if I improve my skills I will be able to get a higher paying job.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Well here I am living at the "Y" on Christmas Eve. Not where I thought I would be last year at this time.

I had a meeting with my Case Worker this morning. She told me I will have to submit 3 applications for work per week. I kind of balked at that idea because I feel it is to low. I will be submitting many more than that per week.

Also we discussed the amount that I would have to save per pay towards getting my own apartment. She wants me to save 10% of my paycheck. I think again that the amount is to low. I will adjust as I see fit. I also informed her that I would be saving for a car. At this point to me a car is of more importance. Lack of transportation is severely limiting my available options.

I kind of did lay down the law. I informed her that if I am unable to find an income in the next two weeks that I would be moving out and back to Carlisle and living in a tent. I can make a call today and start working tomorrow.  She was not keen to that idea. I am surmising that it may be that if I were to do that I would be a black mark against the VA and it's efforts to end homelessness among vets. Oh well I have to do what I have to do.

The last few days I have been doing some exploring of my new city. I have found a few places to eat and a very small neighborhood grocery. I have taken some pictures and am posting them here for you to see.

Friday, December 21, 2012

24 Hours

Well it has been a little over 24 hours since I moved into the YMCA. I am finding it not nearly as bad as I imagined it to be. I expected worse, much worse. I don't know what I expected but it is not a nightmare. It is just like when I was in the Army in that it is barracks living. Anyone that has experienced barracks living will know what I mean.

I met with the case worker assigned to me yesterday and she got me all signed into the program. She was unable to access her one program to work on my care plan. So I will meet with her again on Monday. Not sure what they mean by care plan because it has a medical meaning for me seeing as I am a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). I will find out on Monday.

Today at 1130 I have a meeting with the guy helping me find work. I really need to get an income ASAP. Hopefully he is as good as he portrays himself to be. These folks need to realize that I am putting a lot of trust in them to help me get over this speed bump.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Well folks I am now moved into the YMCA.

I have my own room!!!! But it is tiny. Although I have to share the restroom facilities. I also get full run of the Y's facilities. I am considered a member while I stay here. One minor mishap on moving in. My kool pad for my computer is dead. The power connection is broken. Oh well.

Everyone here is nice and accommodating. There is no curfew, I can come and go as I please. As a Vet we get more privileges than the regular residents. Also the floor I am on is quiet so far. We will see. I plan on doing some exploring tomorrow to see what is around me.

One of the other residents here has internet and I made an agreement to pay him $20.00 a month to use his connection.

As promised I took some pictures here they are;

Moving Day

Well here it is moving day.

Got a call this morning from my last employer. The girl that is taking my place could not get into the clients house with the key I gave her. I made sure I gave her the correct key and I did. I never had a problem with it. Told them to tell her to jiggle the key. Haven't heard back if she got in or not. Oh well.

I have to run up to the my last employers office to pick up my pay stub.

Well the case worker is supposed to get here about 1230 today to pick me up and take me to the Y. I am finally finished packing except for this computer and the router. But that will not take but a few minutes when it is time.

Wish me luck today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Night

Well here it is Tuesday night the night before I move to the YMCA in Harrisburg. I have finally finished the bulk of my packing. Just have to pack this computer, my alarm clock and my bed linens that are on the bed.

Spoke to the social worker assigned to me today. She confirmed that she will pick me up tomorrow at 12:30 pm. I have a move in time of 1300.

Not really looking forward to the move but I will make do. As I promised I will take a few pictures and post them as soon as I can. I am hoping that they have wireless internet. Most places do nowadays. Not sure but will find out tomorrow.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here it is Monday Evening

Well here it is Monday evening. The lady from CAC has not come through for me. She did offer a job that is in Hershey as a House Supervisor for the Hershey School. That really is a non starter seeing as it is farther away from home. So I guess I will be going to Harrisburg on Wednesday. I really don't want to go but I must to keep a roof over my head. Actually I am starting to warm up to the idea a very little bit.

Other than quitting my job of 5 years and moving away from town it think my concern is fear. Fear of the unknown. I will know no one where I am going. Also there has been allot in the new lately about crime in Harrisburg. Oh well I will get over it. 

Well I told work that Tuesday will be my last day. They are not happy. I told them that if they would have paid me more and given me more hours I would not be in this situation. That was like talking to a brick wall.

I have been packing for the last 3 days. A little bit at a time. All I have left to pack is my coffee maker, coffee cup, pen cup, this computer and it's cord, personal care items and clothes. The clothes are pretty much good to go all I need to do is make sure my laundry bags are sealed and the hampers are filled. I will do the clothes tomorrow then I will be ready for Wednesday. Oh forgot have to piss the parents off when I take my wireless router. I will do that Wednesday morning.

I have two 27 gallon tubs filled, my Osprey backpack, and three other day packs. Plus an over  night bag all ready to go. Man are the tubs heavy hehe. I hope when I get to the YMCA I don't have a ton of steps to go up. If I do they better have an elevator, lol.

I need to call the social worker tomorrow to find out when she will pick me up. Thank god she has a van.

Once I get settled into the "Y" I will take a few pics. and post then here so you all can see my new homeless person digs.

Thanks for following my journey it is starting to get interesting.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Found A Great Video On YouTube

Found this great Video on YouTube, Enjoy!!

No News

Well I was hoping I would hear from the CAC lady today since she was supposed to call me yesterday. But alas she did not call. Again I am feeling that I have been let down once again. Oh well at least I have been accepted into the YMCA program and will have a place to stay.

On my way to work this morning I was giving my situation some serious thought. I have made up my mind that I am going to fast track the program. It is my intention that within 1 week after my move in at the YMCA I will have some form of income. Hopefully less. Even if it is part time. I also plan to be out and into my own apartment withing 6 months. I know that may be a bit ambitious but that is my goal. I can guarantee that they have never worked with anyone like me. When I set my mind to something I will do what ever it takes to make it happen.

Thanks for following along on my journey into homelessness. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where This Blog Is Going

I started this Blog to document my decent into homelessness. I will not stop there. I will keep it going until I am back on my feet and in my own apartment.

Any and all encouragement is appreciated. Just leave a comment.

Once I get into the YMCA if that is what happens I am anticipating that internet access will be limited. Thus my posts may become sporadic. Just bear with me. I will get there.

VA Social Worker Called

Well today did not go exactly as I hoped it would. I was hoping that the lady from CAC would have called as she promised. But alas she did not call. See that is the thing, in the past I have elicited the help of others and each and every time I have been let down. Thus I have learned, I have only myself to count on. I do not really trust anyone. Don't get me wrong I do allow people to make the offer to help. Although I do not anticipate that they will follow through because based on my experience they don't. I always give them ample opportunity to prove me wrong. To my detriment, because the letdown is more pronounced.

I will call the CAC lady tomorrow and see where we are.

I did get a call from the VA social worker today. She informed me that I have been accepted into the program at the Harrisburg YMCA. I have a move in date of  Dec. 19, 2012. So I will have to pack up my meager belongings that I am taking with me. I am going to have to abandon a large part of my belongings. Well the silver lining to that is that I get to buy new stuff. I really, really don't want to move to Harrisburg and quit my job. But to keep a roof over my head I will.

One thing is I don't have to move in until next Wednesday so that gives the lady from CAC more time to help me find an alternative solution.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meeting Today with Community Action Commission

While at work today I received a call from one of the programs I applied to during my meeting with the VA social worker. The program is called Victory House our of Lancaster PA. After answering several questions we decided to put it on the back burner until we hear about the YMCA. I called the Social worker and informed her about this development. She also informed me that she spoke to the YMCA and that they have an opening. She told me she would let me know in a couple days.

I had the meeting with the lady from the Community Action Commission today. I am very upbeat after our meeting. She agrees that quitting my job is not a prudent idea. We talked about options here in Carlisle. She is going to check on them. Also she said that her place of employment has an opening in Perry County and that she would get me the information. Her job is to help me find a job and housing. I am very excited because all the options we discussed would allow me to keep my current job. She told me she would call me tomorrow and let me know how she makes out. I am looking forward to that call.

I received an e-mail from the lady from CAC. The job we spoke about requires a BA degree which I do not have. Oh well, we tried.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Web Post on Democratic Underground

Well tonight I posted on Democratic Underground asking for advice. I got some very good advice. The best was a very nice lady from Wishadoo contacted me through DU. She is and has been very helpful. She contacted two of her contacts one of whom emailed me. He has jobs available but they are not in my area. She also hooked me up with a lady from the Community Action Commission. I have a meeting with her on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meeting With YWCA Rep

Today I had a meeting with the rep from the YWCA. His job is to help me find employment once I enter the program at the YMCA.

He went over the program with me and how they would be able to help me find employment. He is very gungho about finding me work. I personally think he is in for surprise.  I asked him if he had ever worked with a male CNA before and he said he has not. Well I know of what I speak and he will have his hands full. You see places don't like to hire older male CNA's. But we will see.

I also asked about job training. he said I will be able to apply and that they will help me with that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meeting With VA

Well today I had a meeting with the VA social worker. The meeting took place at Carlisle Cares a local homeless day shelter.

We filled out applications to several programs and she took a good amount of information from me. She also went over the various programs available. I am not considered homeless yet which is good but also sucks. If I was homeless that would open a few more doors for me. I asked about the VASH program but I am not eligible for that program. It is for the chronically homeless of which I am not considered part of. The program that I am eligible for is in Harrisburg. To get into the program I will be required to quit my job of 5 years. I will be staying at the YMCA which is a temporary shelter or transitional as they call it. Also I will be working through the YWCA to find employment. I have a meeting tomorrow with the rep from the YWCA.

Now don't get me wrong I do appreciate all the help they are offering. I just find it counter productive to quit my job. I will be going from having an income to having no income. I don't want to move to Harrisburg or quit my job. I don't want to but I will do it if it becomes necessary. I plan on pursuing other options if I can find them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

VA Called today

Well the VA called today. I now have an appointment for next Wednesday. They asked more questions also went over a few options nothing concrete just generalities.

I have been doing some research and found the HUD-VASH program. Basically what it is is a program that will help me pay rent through the issue of a voucher. This program seems like a good fit for me as it will help me get housing and also they will work with me to get a better job so that I can once again be self sufficient.

Can't wait till next Wednesday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Contacting the VA

Well I have not been able to secure housing and time is quickly running out. I have to take into account the holidays.

I called the VA hotline tonight and they took my info and will have someone call me tomorrow.

They seemed really helpful but I hear all the bad stuff about the VA so we will see.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Journey Begins

Let me introduce myself. My name is Bob and I am a U.S. Army Veteran. I served from 1979 until 1988. I am the divorced father of three grown boys. I am 51 years old.

Currently employed as a Certified Nursing Aide. I work in Home Health. I currently make $9.50 an hour at my job that gives me 18 to 21 hours a week with no benefits. I really love what I do for a living. I have been trying unsuccessfully to find a better job that will offer more hours and better pay with benefits. I will not give up because I know that someone will hire me. I just find it frustrating.

Prior to becoming a CNA I worked as an industrial mechanic. But was laid off and decided to pursue a different direction.

I learned on 16th of November that I would have to vacate my current residence by the end of December. The owners are abandoning the property and thus I will no longer be able to live here.

Now the dilemma I find myself in is that due to extremely low pay I have no savings and am unable to afford rent, utilities, and food all at the same time. I am working on it though.

I will see what I will see what I am able to accomplish in the next few weeks. I am hoping to have a place to stay in a few days or weeks. But if need be there is always the VA homeless programs.