Thursday, February 23, 2017
Conversation about GR Vets home between 2 admins
A1 = There was a man, homeless, standing at the entrance to Walmart by me. I was in my car.
I lowered my window and he told me he was a veteran. He had a wife who was going to have a baby in the next month or so
She was living with her parents but he wasn't allowed to be with her as his inlaws didn't like him.
I made some calls and got him a ride to the GRHV where he stayed for about a year.
He is now gainfully employed at Home Depot. They have an adorable little boy
The Home was an essential part of his recovery.
We cannot forget the purpose of the Home. Yes, it is in bad shape now
BUT it has helped many in many ways, it helped you too
A2 = It won't be in the future. And it is not now.
A1 = I know it’s not now
A2 = Dom unit was, and I think still is needed, but its no longer functional.
A1 = I have been working on some things here. Who, in your opinion, should be held accountable?
A2 = Poor administrating from MVAA DOWN, they lost focus of what the Dom unit was for and did nothing when the feds changed the "homeless" rule.
A1 = Homeless Rule???
A2 = Yes. When I first arrived, vets in Dom were classified as homeless, qualifying them for HUD-VASH section 8 vouchers.. then in 2011, the Feds changed that rule, saying since we had a roof over our heads, beds to sleep in, and being fed 3 hots a day, we were no longer "homeless" per definition and thus no longer qualified to apply for hud-vash. Hud-vash was part of the transitory program at the home.
Without it, it is difficult if not impossible for a veteran to transition out of the place.
A1 = Here me out on this.
The Dom unit is the worst place for a healthy man, capable of contributing to society in meaningful employment.
I think of J who you and I both agree became institutionalized
J was working after his discharge from the Navy. Correct?
Steelcase closed up shop and he became a displaced worker
J had many options at that time and did not take advantage of any of them. Why?
A2 = First there needs to be employment available. . 2nd, age discrimination kicks in for most of the guys at Dom since their age is usually over 45 or older. 3rd, the ones there with drug and alchaol problems, and 4th no job resume/interview training. . but by 45 they should already know how to do that kind of thing. . As for J, No idea what he did after Navy. . think steelcase, yes. .
A1 = Instead, he applied to the Home and was accepted.
A2 = J has mental issues - course we all do.. but that’s beside the point You have to remember, to even qualify to go to Dom at the time you had to be penny less, and “worthless” I.E. Have no assets. A man going from the position of being a productive member of society who takes care of himself, needing no help, to lose everything and end up a penny less homeless person is quite a mental shock for most people. This is why guys in Dom need that “time out” to get their minds back to normal. The stress and emotional roller coaster ride these guys go thru is just unbelievable. I see now why so many turn to drinking or worse, suicide.
A1 = In J’s case I agree. When did the mental issues occur?
A2 = No idea.. I can only guess at the time when he realized that once again the US government sold out the American people with NAFT and Generation X (which we are both part of) was about to get F’ed over yet again.
For example, I knew it was over when the economy collapsed in 2004-2008. It finally caught up with me in 2008, but I saw it coming and had no options at all. In fact, I am surprised I am alive now. In 2008 I was wondering if I would be alive at the end of the year, let alone 10 years later (which next year will be 10 years). And it has been a very, very, ruff road to travel.
At the time of the Eco crash, I was working 50-60 hours a week just to survive, trying to get student loans out of default, keep a roof over my head, and my car kept up. The Eco crash put an end to all of that.
And I think the stress of the fear that the home could have become a financial prison for me, contributed to my having that major heart attack which resulted in my becoming 100 percent disabled.
I just did not want to spend the rest of my life living like that.
My future did a 180 degree flip-flop with no hope for recovery. I still have student loans haunting me and I am now 150 percent disabled, gearing up for a 6th heart attack, and I no longer give a sh*it about Student loans or much of anything else.
I mean what can they do to me now? I am damn near dead. But that was part of the roller coaster mental stuff that I went through, and other guys went thru a lot more with child support problems, VA disability claims, and other things. This is why we needed a “safe place”, a “time out” to sort things out and get things together so we could return to the ‘real world’.
A1 = Jobs are now available for anybody who wants to work Why aren't they being filled?
Chassix in Montague has openings for over 200 people. It is not a glory job where a suit and tie is worn. It does have a starting pay at $15 per hour.
A2 = A few jobs now, for too many people out of work, that have no benefits. 12 an hr is not enough to survive on let alone live on here. And guys at the home, remember most have already lost EVERYTHHING including their cars, savings, transportation, everything. Some places do not accept the bus lines as an acceptable form of transportation, and the busses don't always go where the jobs are.
Also remember, Montague and Chassix is in the middle of nowhere..why would someone from GR want to go there???
A=1 For a job
A2= 15 an hour? I was making 18 in 2008... 15 for starters isn't bad.. but after 90 needs to go a wee bit higher, like 18 to 20
A1 = What does GR have to offer if you don't have a job?
A2 = What good is Montiegue if ya can't even get there? And where they gonna live? These people can’t just pack up and relocate 100 miles away overnight. What is the housing situation there? What is the transportation situation there? If these people don’t have vehicles, how are they going to get to work?
Remember, current population of Dom unit is 25 percent capacity. Average age is 55 there now. So this really is a nowhere discussion as it will never apply to those who are left.
Dom unit today is a pre-morgueatorium. These people are just waiting to die.
A1 = Those that are left are at the end of the line so to speak. The damage done to them is extensive
A2 = Correct
A1 = aAnd it never should have happened to them
A2 = I dare say out of 30, only about 7 could make it on the outside - and all 7 would need help
A1 = Sadly, I know
A2 = Out of sight, out of mind. Problem solved. let them rot is the mentality for the most part. No one is addressing the quality of daily life at the place. They are all focused on the future instead of dealing with the harsh reality of today at the place.
A1 = well, we are trying to change that mentality
A2 = Dom unit; if it still exists in the new place will probably be less than 5 beds. I dare say 10 at most.
A1 = A Home for veterans must be that. A Home. You cannot mix a Home with a hospital or nursing facility
A2 = well its not going to be a home,, it never was a HOME except in its name... This is clear by countless documents we have obtained. NO one recognizes the location as a place of residency. Post office, UPS, State and Federal governments, nothing. No one is acknowledging that people actually LIVE there. It’s like area 51, you can see it, you know it’s there but no one admits it’s really there. Again, denial, and out of sight, out of mind, let em rot mentality.
A1 = If they take the facility on Monroe and turn it into a Home where those who reside there are educated and taught how to fit into society again, it would work.
A2 = Maybe before 1980 it was a home, but not since then.
Doing that now will cost too much - and the legislatures are making it clear, they want solutions that use federal money not state money.
A1 = The Republicans and Democrats in Lansing have one goal. Protect Snyder's backside
A2 = Not sure about the democrats... LOL But yeah, I think a lot of what we have seen is about protecting Snyder, because the MVAA is his baby. He inherited Flint and Detroit, and part even the veterans problems, but he created MVAA and its been the focus point of a lot of the stuff going on at the veterans place in G.R. Snyder cannot escape the fact that if it becomes a political quagmire, it will land square on his lap and there is no way he can brush it off or blame anyone else for it.