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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Winding Roads: Helping everyone

Thursday, November 9, 2006

I think most folks do not mind lending a helping hand to those who need it. It is when our trust has been violated that we become thoroughly disgusted. Let me explain. I have heard similar tales before but thought those folks were talking beyond what they really knew and gave it no credence.

Last week I heard this first hand and every time I think back to this conversation, it really ticks me off. With elections tomorrow, perhaps this will get you to the polls or again, may make you want to throw your hands up in the air and scream, "I give up."

There is housing assistance for those folks who are either handicapped or just unable to take care of their housing costs. Thus, we have an agency that hires folks with knowledge to run it and provide hands-on experience dealing with all kinds of people. I don't think you or I really are against helping those who truly need it. We don't want folks having to sleep out on the streets.

Well this agency has quarterly meetings for a large area. Districts in which they report what's happening to representatives from every community around in this area that participate in this housing assistance program. These communities have either single family homes or apartments and so forth, so singles, couples or families may be provided for. I'm assuming so many square feet per individual is allowed so housing checks (costs) will vary.

At this quarterly meeting, the person in charge informed these representatives from all these communities how busy they are making sure the strict guidelines are followed. To be approved for housing assistance takes much time and paper work. It is quite necessary to make sure the applicant meets all these guidelines. Once one is on the approved list, the person has truly achieved something. The agency follows with check-ups to make sure the individuals remain qualified. This is the rub---hold on.

At this last meeting, the administrator informed the group what a difficult time was being had following up on one Mexican female who qualified with her children. The monthly housing check in northwest Iowa was $450. But low and behold, she moved to Texas where her monthly rent shot up to $1,500. As long as she remains qualified, she gets her housing paid. They are not to have live-in male friends in the home and her income was to be below a certain amount. The administrator thought she had violated both of these but she was having a terrible time trying to get it down in black and white. In fact, it was very frustrating to the administrator as it was demanding practically all of her time while other work was piling up.

This is when the cat was let out of the bag. This most difficult client was not a U.S. citizen and was here illegally. They just had to nail her on other violations before they could drop her off their list. The client is threatening the agency with a law suit. How's your blood pressure doing now? This is just one person.

The number of checks mailed out for housing assistance is many more than you may think. This administrator had many, many checks to sign off on. That is only for this area alone, a few counties. Just remember this money comes from your tax dollars. Are we chumps or did politicians who wrote up the rules and regulations for this agency cover it all? They are more interested in keeping our votes than cleaning up this mess.

Wouldn't you think if one is known to be here illegally, that would just automatically kick them off housing assistance? I don't get it.