Posts Tagged ‘HSU’

After graduating from Humboldt State University I got a job at the Welfare Department of the County of Humboldt in the “General Relief” office.

April 2, 2018

GR is cash payments to clients that do not have children. Families were served by a different department. GR is designed to help people that cannot help themselves. Typical clients included Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were suffering from PTSD and found themselves homeless. We also served people recently released from prison. Some clients could not support themselves because they were disabled. We would help people pay rent and find a job.

Since I worked there for seven years I got to know many of the chronically homeless people in Humboldt County. A couple of my clients died. One man was always argumentative and annoying whenever he came into the office. He also had tattoos on his face. He was murdered a by knife wound to the stomach. What happened was that he was argumentative and annoying to a man who worked at a fish cannery and the man simply stuck him with his filet knife. Remember this, you can be an asshole at the Welfare office because we are being paid to serve the public but DO NOT try that lifestyle out there in the real world! The police solved the murder by watching all the surveillance cameras in Eureka at the time of the murder. Yes, my client was seen getting into a yellow Chevy at a gas station about ten minutes before he died. The police asked “Who drives a yellow Chevy?” and it turned out that a man that was already incarcerated at Humboldt County Jail on a different charge was the owner…

Another client died from overexposure to the weather. He was an old drunk who slept outdoors. A cool and rainy climate killed him.

A third client overdosed on Heroin. This fellow took advantage of our one way transportation program. Basically, if a client wanted to LEAVE Humboldt County and travel to ANYWHERE in the Continental United States where they had family or friends who would take them in… we would buy them a ONE WAY Bus ticket or gas for their car. It’s a very inexpensive solution to homelessness to simply ship a problem citizen somewhere else… and then that problem citizen is NOT OUR problem! Anyway, Robert was from The South and we gave him enough money to buy gas and food all the way from Eureka to Tennessee! So Robert drove to rural Humboldt County and bought enough Heroin to finally kill himself… He was supposed to drive all the way home but instead he just got high… and it was a ONE WAY ticket to the morgue.

We did have some successes. We were very good at sheltering battered women. We introduced our clients to employees of the State Employment Office. They would find jobs and help with transportation to interviews. We also made arrangements for people that had lost their Photo ID to get a CAL-ID card. An ID card is required for every job. If a person loses their wallet (for example: if they were mugged), they have great difficulty getting a new ID card because they have no money or proof of US Citizenship. We also assisted people that were applying for Social Security Disability. We would provide food and shelter during the LONG and involved process of getting SSDI. Usually it would take a client OVER a year to qualify. The federal government makes it extremely difficult to get paid in the hopes that applicants would simply give up…

Many of our clients couldn’t work due to mental illness. We had our own psychologist who could verify if the client was actually mentally ill or if they were just faking it in order to get Welfare Benefits. Our psychologisst was a charming and sympathetic person and she was very helpful to me while my Father was dying… If a client couldn’t work due to physical health problems they were required to go visit a doctor and get verification. Most clients had Medi-Cal insurance paid fo by the State of California and Food Stamps paid for by the Federal Government. Often the task of attending a free doctor’s appointment was too much for my clients. That required a client to be aware of time and space. A doctor’s appointment is at a specific location at a specific time… and for people applying for Welfare… they just can’t do it. Lost in Time and Lost in Space… We did have social workers that rounded up clients that were in remote locations and would bring them to the office to attend appointments. Fundamentally, it was cheaper for the Taxpayers of the State of California for these people to receive General Relief than it was to Incarcerate them… And many clients spent large parts of their lives incarcerated.

Read more of my autobiography at: http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2018/03/growing-up-in-los-gatos-california-in.html

Humboldt Calypso Band Arcata CA

October 8, 2015
GE

HSU Calypso Band 

Belly Dancers and HSU Calypso Band

Belly Dancers and HSU Calypso Band

GE

HSU Calypso Band

HSU Calypso Band


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