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

John Balderson's Homeless Assistance Center (HAC) Diary

April 11-April 17

Thank you for visiting this section of the Tent City/HAC web site. I moved into the Broward County Homeless Assistance Center/Huizenga Family Campus on February 1, 1999 after living at Tent City since March, 1997.

Since I have moved into the Center, 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 April 11, 1999

I had a minor altercation with a resident in the TV room last night, as he was upset that I changed the TV back over to watch tapes after we had stopped because another resident had asked to watch Cops and America's Most Wanted.

We had previously watched the video Daylight, and agreed to switch the TV back over to tape after the TV shows were over with. The resident was not aware of this decision, and accused me of having a mind of my own and changing the TV arbritrarily without any prior consultation from other residents.

This resident has chronically complained about our TV/VCR viewing habits in the past, and I certainly don't want to get kicked out of the Center at this point in time, since I'm already past my 60 days and am waiting for several things to happen before I can move out.

Will meet with my case manager at 6PM to discuss my progress and get bus tickets for my corporate "computer labor pool" adventure tomorrow.

Monday April 12, 1999

A prolonged conversation among several residents last night at bedtime was about the opening of their lockers and finding things missing or moved without their knowledge.

Although everyone signed an agreement that we would voluntarily allow a search if asked, I don't seem to remember allowing the daytime resident coordinators to search the lockers without the owner being present.

When one resident asked one of the daytime resident coordinators whether he had been in his locker, he said yes he had, and removed something from it, although he was not specific as to why he removed it.

The "computer labor pool" job ended up being a nightmare. I spent from 11AM - 10:30PM working on this computer reinstalling Windows 98, all application software, Internet Explorer 5 installation crashed about 80% of the way through, and there are conflicts with the sound card.

Because the system was totally unusable prior to me getting my hands on it, I had no other choice but to do a full reinstall. I am to meet with the computer owner again at 6PM tomorrow, and will probably have to spend the latter part of the week working on it too.

Tuesday April 13, 1999

Will return to "computer labor pool" task at 6PM tonight, (and probably other nights and days too),and I will have a brief conversation with my case manager at 3PM today.

Also went to IRS office to try to find out why refund check was not mailed out even though it was supposed to be sent out March 26. I probably will have to file a form 3911 to have a duplicate check sent to the Center.

Wednesday April 14, 1999

My nerve-racking "computer labor pool" experiences continue. I had to re-install Windows 98 four times before I got a fairly stable system and I was working on the system from 6PM to 3AM. Will continue my adventure with this today at 2PM after I try to catch up with my case manager.

The computer client needs to get all of his tax programs working so he can file his taxes before the midnight deadline tomorrow night.

Thursday April 15, 1999

"Computer labor pool" client came to the Center yesterday at 2PM and informed me that I could not work on his computer any more since the owner of the house was upset, and did not think it was going to take me this long to fix the computer.

I had a meeting yesterday with my case manager for the first time in about a week and a half, and I expressed my concern that while other acquaintances of mine from Tent City were finding employment and housing, that I was not having similar success.

As it now has been 74 days since I moved into the Center, she suggested that I check out a place she recommended, called Foundations, which after reading the brochure, I discovered is actually for substance abuse rehab, I will check it out this afternoon at 1PM.

I had breakfast this morning for the first time in several weeks, and although I had to wait in line for about 10 minutes, because of a shortage of servers, the wait was worth it for sausage, milk, Raisin Bran, and pancakes with syrup.

I only wish I could volunteer more during my final days at the Center, but since I'm on a strong blood pressure medication provided to me by Clinical studies, that causes occasional blackouts, I cannot work in the kitchen area or in the dorm while under the medication.

GED instructor asked me to look at her Macintosh computer and help her get it set up in the new classroom.

I also was pleased that there is another TV/VCR room next to the "library" on the campus, as it appears that some of the things I was hoping would be available are just now beginning to show up, right when I am about ready to leave.

Friday April 18, 1999

Visited Foundations yesterday, and if the voucher arrangements can be made with my case manager, I will be willing to try it out for a while, even though the facility is intended for substance abuse recovery. I will probably be moving into this facility within the next week.

Spoke with Lisa Huriash from Sun-Sentinel as she was interested in filing another story on me once I moved out of the Center. Will call her Monday once I talk to my case manager tomorrow about transition from the Center to Foundations.

One of my acquaintances from Tent City was "kicked out" at 6AM this morning for being confrontational and belligerent. Although he is a friend of mine, I do believe that the morning resident coordinator made the right decision, as this resident has had problems getting along with others in the community, including myself on occasion. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and wish he would have talked to me or his case manager to resolve some of these personality issues.

Resident that I mentioned previously in regards to TV/VCR switchover earlier in the week has left the Center voluntarily, so I woun't be having any more confrontations with him, thank goodness!

Saturday April 17, 1999

Consulted with my friend who owns the laptop computer to fix some problems he had and to give him a status report on the IRS check.

Went to Sawgrass Mills to see Belkys Nerey and Lynn Martinez from Deco Drive on Channel 7 as part of the grand opening festivities for the new Oasis extension to the mall.

Also plan to talk to case manager about moving into Foundations sometime next week.

Resident coordinators from dorm 1 held a meeting in the dining room last night to clear the air about some rumors and to inform new residents about the rules.

April 4-April 10   April 18-April 24

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
March 28-April 3
April 4-April 10

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