Unemployable - Return to Sender
Unemployable - Return to Sender
Summer 2016 - Fall 2017
While I wasn't looking for housing, I was trying to look for work. After all, landlords were leery about taking in tenants who relied exclusively on SSI, and weren't willing to give me a chance no matter my plea. Even when I got answers, it was from someone who was not authorized to sublet. I was pretty disappointed that she left that out of the classified. She lived in Staten Island's St. George neighborhood. If you see her ads, avoid them. She isn't the owner.
I requested information about Ticket To Work from the Social Security Office shortly after the fourth of July. Ten days later, they send me a letter with locations that I could choose from. These locations are difficult to search online, because the names they use are so ambiguous that robots consider them duplicates and crawl right over them. Many entries said New York LLC but were not in New York State. To avoid the headache, question at the source. Every time.
I dusted off my resume and got started the following August. I attended meetings in an effort to understand what employers were looking for. I learned that khakis weren't exactly professional (and stopped wearing them to interviews from that point), and the locations of thrift stores in the city where I could find suitable attire. I continued to go to thrift stores in Westchester County because I didn't want people to piece my itineraries together. Throughout this saga, I shopped in many illogical, non-proximate areas relative to where I was three hours earlier.
I went to one of the job fairs that was held on the last week of March in 2017. I really thought that I had made a good impression on the employer, and I even went out of my way to clean myself up with the resources I had by renting a room for three nights in North Hempstead. However, I never got the call. I decided to take initiative and call back. I was told I was looked over due to my lack of mobility options (and my status as undomiciled was a turn off too). In an effort to beat the heat, I rented office space in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but was evicted after three months due to using the space as a residential crash point.
I was devastated. I decided to distance myself from AmericaWorks rather than suffer that kind of disappointment again. My worker, [#a2a78f], did reach out to me a few times, and I told her that I wasn't sure that employers wanted to hire me because of my situation. I told her that my homelessness made me toxic to employers, and my dependence on SSI made me toxic to landlords in the city. I informed her that I needed to expand my search for housing rather than jobs, because I needed to demonstrate an effort to get off the street. We stopped communicating after September of 2017.
At that point, I channeled all my anger and frustration into finding housing outside the city. I was willing to live anywhere. I sought out contacts in New Jersey, Upstate New York and Connecticut in the hopes that someone would say yes. I started becoming savvier at Craigslist and used my knowledge of their filters to target keywords for exclusion, and avoid listings with sample photos, which were used to thwart the "☑Has Photos" flag that some people tick because Craigslist asks that we "not rent from sight unseen". I also signed up for Trulia around this time in an attempt to seek higher quality listings. Imagine my joy when I finally got that "yes".
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