John Balderson's <a href="">Homeless</a> <a href="">Assistance</a> Center (HAC) Diary

John Balderson's Homeless Assistance Center (HAC) Diary

March 28- April 3

Thank you for visiting this section of the Tent City/HAC web site. Since I moved into the Broward County Homeless Assistance Center/Huizenga Family Campus on February 1, 1999 after spending time from March,1997 at Tent City, I have had a variety of interesting experiences.

You are visitor to John Balderson's HAC Diary web page.

Below is a daily diary of my activities from the time I moved into the HAC until the time that I will be leaving.

Sunday March 28, 1999

Three videotapes that I rented out from the library mysteriously disappeared,and they are due back on March 30, but I'll bet dollars to donuts that somebody from 600 dorm probably came over to 500 and snagged the tapes because some of the residents there are too irresponsible to get a libray card, they would rather be dishonest and take the tapes and have me run the risk of losing my library lending privileges.

Was able to watch 60 Minutes interview with George Lucas, despite a minor complaint, watched the last 3 quarters of the Lakers-Knicks game and watched the TV movie Mutiny since the tapes disappeared.

Also got a chance to get on Internet and read 130 messages piled up in my 2 major Hotmail accounts that had accumulated for a week because of all the activity last week with seminars and interviews.

Monday March 29, 1999

Watched UConn beat Duke in the NCAA tournament final as the game went past the 11PM curfew. I also discovered that a resident from the 600 dorm had my videotapes in his locker, but I told him that I wish that I had been informed that someone was going to take them.

Postponed appointment with case manager until later in the week.

Tuesday March 30, 1999

Due to Geocities server problems could not update diary entries. Since the selection of TV programs was not to my liking, I went to bed early.

Wednesday March 31, 1999

Went to Clinical Studies for my fifth visit, final appointment for high blood pressure study is May 4.

I am concerned that despite IRS recording on check being sent out March 26, that I haven't received it yet. If it doesn't come by Friday afternoon's mail, I'll call them to see what happened, if that's possible.

Had lunch at the Center, called case manager to let her know I would be an hour late past curfew.

City Link article about me, with my picture on the cover and several more inside, came out today. I went over to City Link office to thank Jane Musgrave for the nice lead-in story to this diary, which was printed in its entirety from February 1-March 28. Also left message with Lisa Huriash from Sun-Sentinel to confer with her about the article they wanted to print in light of Jane's article today.

Wednesday April 1, 1999

Today is April Fools day. In addition it is now my 2 month anniversary of my coming to the Center. I am extremely worried that I will not have the kind of job I am looking for and that I may be sent out into the street, despite reassurances from staff,as apparently some residents, including my neighbor from the Tent, have had better luck in job placement than I have.

I plan on accelerating my efforts to get a job as well as putting a push on BETA to accept me into Keiser College once I get the birth certificate, as I think they have the best program that adapts to my success in the PC/high-tech world.

I spoke with the resource development director to explain my concern about today's "deadline" and he said ,as he also stated in the City Link article, that it is only an average, that someone like myself, who has been highly complimented by other case management personnel for continuing to try to find a job, can stay, while those who are there, as he puts it, for "three hots and a cot" will not be extended past 60 days.

I spoke with my case manager about this issue as well and I outlined my plans to accelerate the transition process as I still have the cloud over my head as to when I will be able to leave the center and when I will find a suitable job.

Friday April 2, 1999

Went to main library to help reconfigure IBM 365XD ThinkPad laptop computer (that I hope to be buying shortly) after the current user installed some programs that corrupted the Win98 registry and required a re-boot from the floppy drive. Also installed Office 2000 and did general troubleshooting to make sure system is working properly.

Picked up 4 tapes for viewing over the weekend as the library will be closed for Easter Sunday, and the new Bill Gates book that I reserved also came in.

Saturday April 3, 1999

I received several phone messages and e-mails yesterday as a direct response from the article in City Link. However, one resident was upset that I did not consult with him or other residents before writing the diary or having it published. I tried to explain to him that the diary was printed with my First Amendment rights and that it is only to give others a picture of how my life at the Center has been so far.

In addition, a member of the kitchen staff asked me to spend a day with them, as I suppose they thought I was maligning them too, but my comments about the kitchen were not necessarily about the food, but the inconsistent times at which it is served. However, I told this kitchen staff worker that I would try to make it on Tuesday , if no other conflicts or job opportunities/interviews arise before then.

I have received 50 hits on the main web page, and 25 hits on the diary since the article was published Wednesday. I also submitted a letter to City Link defending my position on the diary,but I don't know whether it will be published. I really don't think I should have to defend myself, as they are my opinions, but I did it anyway to placate those whom I have offended.

Mar 21-Mar 27    April 4-April 10

To read previous weekly entries from the diary please click on any of the links below.

January 31-February 6
February 7-February 13
February 14-February 20
February 21-February 27
February 28-March 6
March 7-March 13
March 14-March 20
March 21-March 27

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