December 8, 2008

Guidance for the Freshly Homeless

Joel John Roberts of L.A. Homeless Blog brings to our attention an article in today’s L.A. Times, “A guide for the newly poor,” of help to the tens of thousands who are finding themselves rookies to homelessness, out on the streets in the Los Angeles area.

Ideas in the Times guide can be helpful to anyone freshly down-and-out in any metropolitan area, though most of the linked resources are only helpful to Angelinos. But resources that are similar are available here in metropolitan Sacramento, and I would suppose, in other sprawling areas in this country. But you’ll have to find them on your own. Hopeful, my locality's Bee will put together a guide for the benefit of our homeless-to-be citizens.

The shock aspect of suddenly being out on the street is alluded to rather well. As is the idea of “entering a world of delays and bureaucracy.” But it will be good for the many, many anxious people out there to be aware that there are services that can help them – though the glut of people that will be crowding the streets and crowding the system is sure to foster anguish and depression for both newbie homeless and those of us who have been out here a while and now will have to contend with and compete with a growing hoard.

UPDATE: This says something about the times we're living in, I think. On the day the L.A. Times published its guide, the Tribune Company that owns the Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and a lot else, including ten smaller newspapers and 23 TV stations, filed for bankruptcy. Here's yesterday's New York Times story about it, "Tribune Company Seeks Bankruptcy Protection." It all has to make you think, wistfully, that the guide story was published in part as an aid for the newspaper's employees [whose jobs may be in jeopardy] and former employees [who took a buyout, recently]. At the Tribune website they posted this notice: “All ongoing severance payments, deferred compensation and other payments to former employees have been discontinued and will be the subject of later proceedings before the court.”

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