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It Should Be Obvious

Brenda Farrar-Ejemai is the author of the book/documentary:            The Family in the Car, a Revelation.  In this on-time documentary, she depicts a family surviving on the streets of New York City who were once sheltered and somewhat privileged.  It shows a working class family struggling through the homeless shelters of New York City including: The Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.That was over 17 years ago.  Now New York City is planning to charge homeless residents rent to live in their rodent infested dwellings.  This is nothing more than a ploy to get the vulnerable citizens of N.Y.C. to seek other means of shelter, even if it means a card board box.Brenda Farrar-EjemaiISBN: 978-1-58909-485-7www.TheFamilyInTheCar.comwww.youtube.com/thefamilyinthecarRead article below from Change.org:It Should Be Obvious: Homeless Shelters Shouldn't Charge Rent

by Rich and Elizabeth Lombino April 13, 2010 12:51 PM (PT) Topics: Homeless Shelters, Working Homeless

New York City is planning to charge its shelter residents rent! This is nothing new for the Bloomberg administration. Last year the New York Times reported that the city began charging rent to families living in a public shelter who have a member of the family who is working. The practice subsided for some time, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at it again.

In the past in New York, and currently in most shelters, there are requirements that working homeless persons save a certain percentage of their income each month. The savings are to assist the residents in finding an apartment and paying the move-in fees. These fees add up, so a savings plan is a good idea. The savings could also be for other necessities and long term goals, including school tuition. Generally, we agree with this policy.

Charging rent, though, makes no sense at all. The city says it is trying to instill a sense of responsibility in its shelter residents, but all this will accomplish is prolonging their stays in the shelter system. If they pay rent to stay in the shelter, how will they save money to afford to move out and into an apartment? How can they achieve their goals of independence if they are paying all their disposable income towards being stuck in the shelter? All of this at a time of record homelessness in New York City.

The Working Families Party is currently running a campaign to pass a law in New York State to prohibit the charging of rent in homeless shelters. Join the cause!

Photo credit: Rich Lombino