What if you were a single parent with a child? You work full time for $14.00 hr. You bring home roughly $800 per paycheck (bi-weekly).
So, let’s do the math:
You bring home about
$1,600 a month and your bills average about $1,550 (give or take).
You’re making it, but barely. This doesn't even include groceries, internet, cable, cell phone, etc. (nor does it include child tax credit, or child support).
Now, it’s a really cold December and you get a power bill for $600. How do you pay that? To put it simply, you don’t. Because you can’t.
So, your power gets shut off. But you know what your lease says?
It says you get evicted if your utilities are terminated.
So now you’re in court crying to a judge who doesn’t care, and you have 10 days to get out.
Well, you’re in luck, because you found somewhere with 3 days to spare and it’s only $650.00 a month!
But to get in, you must pass a background and credit check. Which you can’t because you just got evicted.
You’ve never been a criminal, but even if you could pass it, you’re looking at $1300 to move in, after paying the deposit and first month’s rent.
Time’s up ... Landlord shows up at 7am with the police and changed your locks.
So, now you’re living in your car with your 7-year-old son and everything you need to get by.
You tried to get a storage unit, but you don’t have a billing address, so they won’t sell one to you. So, you could only take what would fit in your backseat.
You pay to shower at local truck stops and eat whatever can be cooked in a gas station microwave. Someone sees you and your son living like this and calls Children’s Services; guess what happens next?
They remove your child from your care. As if this isn’t devastating enough, you lose your job too. (Because “an employee losing their child reflects poorly on this company.”)
So now, you apply for an apartment with the region where the waiting list is 3-7 years. Then you go into Wal-Mart to put in an application.
When you get back to your car you see that your back window has been smashed and someone helped themselves to your belongings. Remember that it is December and really cold. Now you have damage to your only shelter.
You call your car insurance, who says your deductible is $1,000.00
~ AND~ they’re going to increase your monthly rate since you’re now “high risk.”
You call the homeless shelter as a last resort and all their beds are full.
I’ll stop here ... Because I think you get the point.
The people we work with every day are these people.
WE ARE THESE PEOPLE.
We are all so close to homelessness and don’t even realize it.
All it takes is:
* One unexpected bill
* One fender bender
* One lay-off
* One house fire, etc.
Based on Thomasville/Thomas County Homeless Count for January 2015, there were only 52 documented homeless in our county. This count only included those who were confined within the Thomasville City Limits (meaning within the perimeter of Pinetree Blvd.)
WE WERE WRONG! The number of residentially challenged is growing daily – we are in a crisis that cannot be ignored!!!
We are here to impact the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Together, we can make a difference and change the outcome of low-wealth families with the valuable resources that are needed to create sustainability.
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