April 24, 2004

'Honoring' those who served.

Nicole Goodwin recently returned home to New York after three years in the US Army, which included service in Iraq. Two months after her return, she and her one-year-old daughter are homeless. Why hasn't the City of New York been able to find a home for this Iraq veteran?

On April 17, the Department of Homeless Services denied housing to the Iraqi war veteran on the grounds that she could live with her mother. Beyond the overcrowding that such a return would create (four women and two small children in a two-bedroom apartment), she says that the decision ignored the untenable situation between mother and daughter.

Moving back was not an option, she said. Not an option.

Ms. Goodwin immediately reapplied, thus entering a limbo world known as fast track, in which families who have already been denied housing return within 48 hours to the Emergency Assistance Unit to apply again, and to wait, again, for that late-night bus to somewhere.

City officials say that under the fast-track process, the applications of the recently rejected are expedited to see whether any new information might make them eligible. But according to Ms. Goodwin, fast track seems designed to generate so much frustration that the applicant gives up and goes away.

Via NY Times

Posted by Magpie at April 24, 2004 07:57 PM | Iraq | Technorati links |