This very moving video highlights the reality of homelessness and how homelessness facts affect all of us. We would like to thank Ron Kemp for all of his help in making this video for us.
Our residents deal with many problems brought about by being homeless. The three major issues are:
- lack of transportation
- available jobs that are available for their skill level
- access to affordable and safe housing
Add to that the potential of a criminal record and you have a mountain to climb.
Greenville itself also has issues that restrict opportunities. The city buses do not operate after 6:30 at night. That pretty much eliminates working 2nd shift jobs. ECU students have a lot of the jobs in neighboring towns that may be available to our residents. Most local apartments require a deposit and month’s rent up front. The utility companies require a deposit. This is usually a figure of around $1,200 or more. When you take into consideration someone who makes a salary of ten dollars an hour, that’s still a large amount of money to save while trying to survive at the shelter.
Some of the criminal offences our residents have committed are very minor and happened long ago, but still prevent them from being eligible to work for better employers. Being homeless can also create a feeling of being invisible to the rest of society and being less of a person. Recently, we had the privilege of finding a nice suit for a gentleman who was interviewing for jobs. He said in response: “it’s nice to be treated like a human.”
Some employers will not interview our residents even though they are qualified. There is no privacy within the shelter and many times items like phones are stolen.
In short: being homeless can be like a minefield for our residents, most of whom have never experienced being without money, family support, or a place to live.