I heard today that I have been turned down for housing once again. Both the apartments rejected my application. I now have to start from scratch trying to find suitable possibilities, and viewing and applying.
Me and the Boy are beyond dejected, way past sad. The look of disappointment on his face was too much to bear. He thought he had a chance at a chance. He thought he could be happy. He thought he might be able to have a room of his own and our privacy. Instead he is sitting here with me seeing no end to the situation or having to live in the shelter.
The subsidy which should translate to a years free rent to help us get on our feet, instead is an empty promise. There is no landlord which will take it, no housing which wants the guaranteed rent. The housing worker is negative and lazy. What the people who can help want, is for me to give up and not be a burden on the system. It is what they want from all of us who live here. We are problems to them, not people.
I am looking on the bright side, or at least trying to. I have my work, my writing, my novel which is taking shape. I have friends that care. I have my Boy. He has me. I have my freedom. I have San Francisco, even if it doesn’t want me. The streets are quiet tonight. The sky is clear, the weather is cool.
Yet there is no way home, no way to a door that locks, to privacy. No way to not have to talk to people I do not want to talk to. No way to shut negative damaging people out of my life. No way out. I cannot cope with the shelter much longer. My health, both physical and mental can’t take much more. We have been here over nine months. Nine months of not being able to cook. Nine months of undressed salad leaves, glutinous bread croutons and an egg being presented as an acceptable gluten free vegan meal. I have lost so much weight, so has the Boy. He was ten pounds underweight as of last month. He is trying to put it back on with smoothies and sunflower seed butter. We joke about ‘picking up the hashi’ – the chopsticks, but it isn’t funny. Having to hide cooking and eating because it is against the rules of the shelter is inhumane and dangerous. Neither of us eat meat, but are constantly presented with chicken.
Having to hide trays of furtive meals under the bed in the three times daily checks on the room is no way to live. I can’t cope with the disrespect, the lack of privacy, the food issues. It is punishment for being desperate and poor. I feel like I am being punished for leaving and not having the means to do anything other than this.
I suppose we will find, look at and apply for more apartments. I don’t suppose we will get any of them.