You are visitor to John Balderson's Foundations Diary web page.
Thank you for visiting this section of the Tent City/HAC/Foundations web site. I moved into Foundations on April 26, 1999. Prior to that date, I was one of the first residents to move into the new Broward County Homeless Assistance Center/Huizenga Family Campus (HAC) on February 1, 1999 where I lived until April 26. These two facilities were a pleasant change after living at Tent City since March, 1997.
I am chronicling my experiences at Foundations for those interesting in learning about "breaking the cycle of homelessness", a quote I like from the resource development director of the HAC, Ezra Krieg.
Below is a daily diary of my activities from the time I moved into Foundations until the time that I will be leaving, estimated to be June 26, 1999.
I finally got some of my sleep caught up after the events of the last few days and am awaiting tomorrow when I move to Foundations.
After 85 days of residency at the Center, I am leaving to start a new transition, both in person at Foundations, and on this web site.
It would not have been possible to achieve the progress and mild success at the center had it not been for the following individuals. I have referred to these people in previous diary entries, but kept their names disguised since I maintain a policy of not mentioning any names in this diary, but now that I have left the center, these people deserve recognition for their help to me and others that will follow in my footsteps.
|Ezra Krieg||Resource Development Director|
|Jean Fisher||Case Manager Supervisor|
|Laura Hawley||Case Manager|
|Danny Osley||Resident Coordinator Supervisor|
|Marc Buldok,Don Levar,Dave Swartz,Donald Washum,Joe,Charles,Kathleen||Resident Coordinators|
|John Coombs||Facilities Manager|
|Sabrina,Vicky McCord (resigned),Evelyn Perez||Receptionists|
|Laura Buday||Executive Assistant|
|Carol Bentley||Broward General Health Clinic|
I would also like to thank Diane Mangum, Jimmy Velez, Michael Calderin (resigned), Rodney Fuller, Laurie Sherry, and Irene Wild who are the other case managers at this fine facility, and whom I've had interaction with for bus passes and other things when I could not contact Laura Hawley because of days off, etc.
I would also like to commend Navarro security for the strenuous job they have in coping with the more difficult residents, as well as preventing walk-ins and other matters.
The day started with breakfast at 6AM, then I went to the driver's license facility at 19th and Powerline to get a Florida ID since I would have to surrender my "swipe card" ID once I left the facility.
At the driver's license facility they determined that I had previously had a Florida driver's license (in 1987) as well as Pennsylvania and Indiana licenses. Once they verified from my information and identification I was who I said I was, they issued me a driver's license instead, since all I had to do was take the eye exam.
When I got back to the Center, I cleared out my locker and stripped the linens off my bed, and pushed the cart of my belongings down by the storage locker, where I would retrieve the rest of my belongings after lunch.
At 1PM,Lisa Huriash and a photographer from the Sun-Sentinel came by to chronicle my last day at the HAC, and they talked to both me and Ezra about my stay there, and took some pictures of me in the dining hall as well as in the dorm where I spent my last 85 days.
Laura drove me over to Foundations around 2PM in her Jeep,with all of my worldly possessions (about 9 plastic bags and 3 cardboard boxes), and after a few minutes delay I checked in and was assigned apartment 5, where I will stay with three other men.
At 7PM there was a community meeting in the "Tiki Hut" with all of the other men in the facility, after which I went to another office and got my food allotment for the day.
Went to LensCrafters at Plantation Fashion Mall to see if I needed any glasses, and to get a general eye exam. Since I occasionally get blurred vision reading books or because of my frequent exposure to computer monitors, I got a pair of reading glasses.
Since I was in the neighborhood, I went to the West Regional branch of the library to retool this web site and diary to reflect my transition to Foundations.
It has now been one week since I moved into Foundations and despite my having minor adjustment difficulties with living with 3 other men instead of 97 others, I am slowly but surely adjusting to transitional housing.
I have only had to attend the mandatory Monday community meetings so far, and enjoy the fact that I can watch cable TV and catch up on the news on MSNBC and movies on HBO that I might have missed at the theaters.
Keep posted as further developments in my transition take place.
Tomorrow will be my final meeting at Clinical Studies regarding my high blood pressure, and will be eligible for another study in another month.
I stopped off at the HAC to pick up my mail (I had a lot of it in one week), and Laura Hawley wanted to take a picture of myself and another current resident because we had both been to LensCrafters based on her referral.
I got back to Foundations around 7:30, as I also forgot that there was a community meeting, and I had to apologize to the whole group as to why I was late. I also talked with the director as I forgot that I was to attend two other meetings in addition to the community meeting, even though I have no substance issues. I will need to work out something with the director and a representative from Broward County as to when I will be able to attend these meetings since I work Wednesday-Friday 10PM-10AM.
A former resident of the HAC has failed to return a videotape that was due on April 26, so I asked Donald Washum to look into this matter for me, and to return the tape if he found it.
This is exactly the reason why I was apprehensive about renting tapes at the HAC in the first place, because residents from the 600 dorm would come into the 500 dorm and get the tapes without asking or assuming any responsibility.
Today was my last visit at Clinical Studies. I got an EKG, did routine lab work, was provided with some medication to tide me over until I can begin the next high blood pressure study, in another month. I was told that I would be able to pick up the check for my services in about 10-14 days.
It has now been 2 weeks since I moved into Foundations, and I have made a point to attend more of the "required" meetings, as I had a visit from Clyde White from Broward County to work out some kind of transition program for me.
It has also been 2 weeks since the video Mercury Rising has still been missing from the 600 dorm at the HAC. Although I have not yet been charged, the late fee for the tape is already at $14 ($1 a day), and I think it is totally irresponsible that not only did the residents of 600 dorm take the tape from 500 dorm without my knowledge or permission, they don't have the courtesy to haul their ass (pardon my French!) down to the library to return it. If they have so much idle time on their hands that the only way they can get videos is to steal them from others, it's no wonder that any of the residents of 600 dorm want to get a library card. I almost wish that they could conduct a locker search to find out who the guilty culprit is, and I think the residents of the 600 dorm should pool their money and pay the fine whenever the tape finally shows up. I do not think it is fair that I run the risk of losing my library lending privileges because of some inconsiderate residents!
On the lighter side of things, I called my mom yesterday for Mother's Day. This is the first Mother's Day in 7 years that I talked to her, as of course due to a variety of events, we were out of communication with each other for those 7 years.
I seem to remember that I might have to meet Clyde White today or tomorrow and there is another community meeting tonight which I will go to after I stop off at the HAC to check on my mail.
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