About one year ago I was fresh out of a mental hospital — having stayed for a bit to prevent my quitting the struggle in a very final way — I’d just become homeless after years of debilitating illness, and had just arrived to Long Beach, California with hopes of somehow making a life. I’d read about a ginormous low-income housing development and drove right to it, hoping they’d hear my story, understand my situation, and be able to help in some way. HA! 🤣
That’s not how it works. At. All. In order to get a shot at low-income housing there’s an *annual* lottery to get on a list (competing with all of LA county), and if you are among the lucky small percentage that wins the lottery you get....to be on the end of a waiting list! A DECADE-long waiting list! It felt infuriatingly pointless at the time. Shelters also generally have zero-occupancy. And it takes several *years* to get a disability hearing. Our country’s safety nets aren’t what I was led to believe, I had no idea how little support there is. (But I did find showers! And a place that accepted only mail pertaining to my Disability case. That’s about it.)
Anyways, things have kinda come full circle. I’m worlds healthier, and just started a job with the very city department that created the low-income housing community I oh-so-fruitlessly visited a year ago. And looking through the materials covering the last ten years of low-income housing creation and it’s effects — it’s easy to see that it’s far from pointless. It’s pretty darn amazing. (And pretty darn insufficient, but you gotta start somewhere, eh?) This here lovely building is one such community. What a year.