In the world of social services this dynamic makes life easy for the employee, considering that they only have to do as they are told. But at the same time may make their job very difficult if all the issues relating to their job have not been thoroughly thought out by the regulation creators. And that always happens.
And this is where the concept of “falling through the cracks” comes from. The cracks in social services are all those issues concerning the people the bureaucracy is attempting to help, that the bureaucracy has overlooked, or has not adequately addressed.
By HUDs definition I am considered “Chronically Homeless” and so that should prioritize me for receiving help in getting off the streets. BUT because I have not been a great nuisance to the city – I never get drunk and end up in the emergency room, or in jail, and I never act out like mentally ill homeless people do, causing the police to arrest me – so I am passed over for assistance and am left to continue suffering on the streets. I also don’t qualify for help from the VA because I was in the Navy for only 22 months instead of the required 24. And I don’t get any Social Security payments because I never had a steady work history, (all because my mental health issues prevented me from staying employed for very long at any one job) . I do get a check from SSI, but it does not cover the cost of living even a minimal life. SSI payments have not kept up with the cost of living.
What help that is available from Housing First or Rapid Rehousing in San Diego (perhaps my only real chance of help to get off the streets) is conditional on the homeless person’s ability to go out and acquire their own housing, first. Only after a homeless person has applied for and has been accepted for an apartment will agencies step up to offer more assistances. For my situation, that will never happen. To get an apartment, a social worker would have to make the arrangements for me, will have to convince the landlord to accept me as a renter, regardless of my condition. And at least here in San Diego, no one is doing that for the homeless.
Being homeless is a miserable existence, and if I’m not able to get off the streets for good and soon, I will end up dying this way.