John Balderson's <a href="">Homelessness</a> Diary
John Balderson's Homelessness Diary

July 1999

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

Thank you for visiting this section of my web site. I am currently finding various places on the street from Fort Lauderdale to Hollywood to stay since I got kicked out of the Salvation Army recently.

I am chronicling my experiences 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 diary of my activities.

Monday July 5, 1999

As a result of working late on Thursday July 1 to make up for time I lost waiting fot an appointment at the Salvation Army, I was knocked off the bed list and will not be able to get back in until I talk to my counselor tomorrow. I have made arrangementsd to stay at the Sally for two months based on a agreed-upon paycheck keeping program and a woork verification form I had signed by my boss this morning.

These events all took place since I was kicked out of Foundations for having a couple of beers after I was unable to watch the College World Series baseball game due to some inconsiderate roommates.

Originally I was only supposed to be out of Foundations for a week, but the county case manager, Clyde Whyte, pulled my voucher, since he said I made no attempt to see him. Although there is some truth to the fact I couldn't see him, I was not about to lose my new job while I wait around to see if Clyde was going to show up. The good part is that he said that the county would put up the security deposit once I did find an apartment, but I'll believe it when the time comes.

Saturday July 10, 1999

It has now been 1 month since I started working at Speed Net, and all is going well. My boss, Jay Taylor, has been very helpful, and very patient with me in coping with all my housing difficulties, from my dismissal at Foundations to the confusion at the Salvation Army whereby I had to stay out on the streets over the 4th of July weekend due to some misunderstandings and bureaucratic paperwork mixups.

On Wednesday, Jay talked with Brenda Kennedy at the Salvation Army (my case manager) and explained how important it was for him to have my fullest attention at work and not have to worry about whether I'm going to have a place to sleep at night. He spent about 10 minutes on the phone, and I later called the Salvation Army myself to make sure I actually DID have a bed again.

All is well there now, and I have a voucher to stay there for two months while I save enough money to get an apartment, which again, the county will help me with the down payment, courtesy of Clyde Whyte, if this situation is actually to be believed.

I have realized in the one month I have been working at Speed Net, that there are so many facets of the Internet other than HTML (the code used to design these pages) that I did not know as much as I thought I knew, and I appreciate Jay hiring me direct from the library and giving me a chance to redeem myself. It is for this reason that I do not mind the $5.25 hourly rate, as I also was a minimum-wage worker almost 20 years ago when I had my first job as a computer operator at the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Also this week, a photographer from the Sun-Sentinel came by, at the direction of Lisa Huriash, to take pictures at Speed Net of me working at the computer, as part of the story about me that will be appearing in the Sun-Sentinel Sunday Sunshine (try saying that 3 times real fast) magazine sometime in the near future.

Friday July 23, 1999

I just can seem to elude trouble when it comes to work or the Salvation Army. I went out for dinner last Friday, since I knew I would not make it in time for curfew. Once again, I got kicked out of the Salvation Army, and I have been staying various places in Hollywood for the last week.

The photographer Preston Mack from the Sun-Sentinel, met me at Publix at Young Circle and he took some pictures of me at Publix and at Howard Johnson's in Hollywood after I shaved since he was nice enough to buy me a birthday dinner which was July 22.

I talked to one of the attorneys at Advantage Paralegal which is located in the same office suite as Speed Net, and he said he would try to get me a referral into the Broward Outreach Coalition (BOC) in Hollywood, as he sits on the board of directors.

With these events, I'm still not sure whether I even have a job, but the folks at the office let me use the phone and change my clothes. I'm not sure when my boss will be back as I have e-mailed him twice, with no response, and his line is busy at home.

As more details become available on apartment hunting or anything else, I will report them here.

Wednesday July 28, 1999

Yesterday my world came crashing down, as a result of my own stupidity. Because of all these external problems between Salvation Army, Foundations, and missed curfews, I am now not only out of housing but out of a job too.

I stopped by the office yesterday to talk to my boss Jay Taylor,we figured out how much he still owes me, and I will get my last paycheck on Friday.

I am going to make a call to 524-BEDS to see if I can get a referral back into the HAC, if not I am considering buying a Greyhound bus ticket with my last check and heading out west to San Francisco,LA,or Seattle to see if I make my luck work any better there.

I would have to make due with whatever homeless assistance facilities I could find, just as I did when I moved to Atlanta in 1996.

As I make my final decisions, please check back here to the diary, as I will continue to keep those interested aware of my plans.

June 1999          August 1999

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

HAC Diary Entries

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
April 11-April 17
April 18-April 24

Post-HAC Diary Entries

May 1999
June 1999
July 1999

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