evening everyone, happy International
I’m Uncle Jamie from Just housing, I’m a homeless advocate and a
I can tell you from experience that it can be difficult to find work
when you’re homeless. Employers are, well lets say their hesitant.
They have a lot of questions. Legitimate questions.
this person suffering from substances abuse or mental health
problems? Can this person maintain their appearance and hygiene
properly? How reliable is this person? What if they get swept or
arrested and I have to find someone to cover their shift?”
are all legitimate questions but they also make for very high
barriers for employment when your unhoused.
the thing is though a lot of us do work. Studies have shown that
between 22 and 25%, depending on the study, of unhoused people, are
technically employed full time.
between 40 and 60% are intermittently employed, seasonal work, day
labor, gig jobs.
whatever the exact numbers are – that is a significant portion of
our population that is gainfully employed and working. But here’s
the thing according to another study statistically in this country –
in order to afford a modest two bedroom apartment, one needs to be
working at, get this, 21.21 an hour.
so places that are only one bedroom or studios, competition for them
is fierce. And a lot of us unhoused people we have spotty rental
histories. So for a lot of us, even if we are bringing in a weekly
income rent is simply out of reach for us.
think about that for second. Maybe the person that checks your
groceries out, or blended your latte, went home that night to a
shelter, or a car, or a tent.
while we are here today in solidarity celebrating working people
around the world please lets not forget those working people whose
gainful employment cannot cover the rent.
you would like to learn more about just housing we are available at
justhousingolympia.org and we are also on Facebook.