When you walk down your city’s street , you see many different things. You view people shopping, laughing and just looking like they are living the good life. While you are seeing that you will see the other side of life , the homeless. Whether you call them “losers”, “slackers”or “bums” , they are still homeless. They are still people and deserve to be treated as such. You may never know when you will go from having a nice home with a good life to a person people wish to ignore on the train.
You would like to believe that when you see a person without a home that it is their fault for their situation. I would like to believe that too and I did when I was younger in some way but never really admitted it to. Now that Im older and a little more wiser then yesterday I see that is not far from the truth. You dont ask to be homeless and you sure dont put yourself in that situation.
Believe it or not the laws that are there to protect can be the ones that do the most harm. Why? you ask because they are people out there that use the law to protect the bad things that they do. They use the law to hurt the ones that never did anything to them until they decide to fight back. “They” are slumlords and the ones they hurt are tenants. Dont get me wrong they are good landlords but the bad ones are the ones that hide behind the laws that protect them. I going to tell you a story of just one situation.
Slumlords just takes the tenants’ money without doing what needs to be done. A tenant will call the landlord to get their sink in the bathroom fixed a month ago but come the first of the month to collect rent eventhough your sink is not fix. The tenant doesnt want to cause problems thinking “hey he has other tenants besides me that he probably has to attend to and will get to me”.
Its now six months later and the tenants sink is not fixed and there is water leaking causing mold to develop. This tenant has been living here for the past 3 years and always paid rent on time but has no lease. Why no lease because the landlord refused to give one. Now back to the sink. The tenant is now tired of the delay , so come the first of the next month the tenant refuses to pay the rent until the toilet is fixed. After three years of paying on time, you know what the landlord tells the tenant ? The landlords says “ok I want you to leave since you are unhappy here”.
A week later , the tenant is at housing court with no legal representation and the landlord not there but his attorney is. So its the tenant arguing his cased against an attorney in front of a judge. They both say their side and judge listens closely but because he hears there was no lease , the decision has already been made. It didnt matter that this tenant paid every month and had proof. In the eyes of law it means nothing because its the landlords property and it is a private house turned into an apartment. So the tenant must leave at the end of the month.
The tenant goes to the government office for help to get housing. He goes there and he gets is “you must have a note from the landlord plus the judgement”. Now see the tenant trapped because him and the landlord has badblood how can he possible get a note from him. He still fills out the application for housing but is told it will take maybe 3 years before they can find him somewhere to go unless he goes into a shelter. Everyone repeating to him that is the rules and there is nothing that can be done. He doesnt want to go to family and burden them with this. So he sucks in his pride and goes to the landlord. The tenant asked for the letter that he needs for housing at first the landlord is like fine but I have to talk to my lawyer.
Three days later , the landlord also knows as the slumlord comes by. He still didnt fix anything and didnt bring the note. The landlord tells his soon to be ex-tenant ” I want another months rent and I will let you stay one more month before I give you the paper”. The tenant says “no way , thats not fair” and landlord leaves with just 2 more weeks until the tenants has to leave.
2 weeks later and still no luck of an apartment because the tenant doesnt make enough for anyone to rent to him. He ends up homeless. When you become homeless you dont have a place to take a shower , so you cant go to work. That is how the tenant lost his job. No body tells you what to do when you out on the streets and you have no money to even use a payphone. Now its two years later and the always faithfully paying tenant is now a homeless “bum” being laughed at by people who use to see him as just another person.
So you see , it is not always the homeless persons fault for their situation. Everyone would like to believe that they was crack addicts who just got thrown out by their families. Society in some ways help view as its their fault and they wanted to turn out that way. Some homeless are good people , who had faith in the wrong people.
The people you thought was here to help you will be the first to turn their back on you and that is your local government. They are times I go to medicaid office or housing office and I wonder how this person get their job. I see myself and other people I know that would be more helpful then he or she sitting at their desk. Some of them have this “if I dont like you or your attitude I will not help you” type of demeanor , then you think to yourself “Why are you working here?”.
You have that plus the laws that your local government has on housing. I believe that with the protection these landlords recieve should come with guidelines to protect tenants. Every three months there should annual inspection of private homes turned into apartment buildings and commercial apartment buildings that houses more than 5 families. To make sure the landlords are doing what needs to be done. So that taxpaying citzens dont become the forgotten people just because they dont make 50,000 or more a year.
Until then they will be more nameless tenants that will become the scums of society just like the one in the situation I had wrote about. People that have the power need to wake up and not just turn their face away to it. All the fundraising and charity work is not going to do it.