4/22/08 by Courtenay Shinn

8:00am Pick-up Janet at home (SE Pardee and 104th) and take her to apply for a job at the Doubletree Laundry. JOIN has been supporting Janet, her husband, and her 6 month old baby with a housing voucher that will soon timeout. Janet and her husband are both looking for work so that they can begin paying their own rent and utilities. Janet was interviewed for two other jobs last week; we are hopeful that one of the three will work out.

9:00am Weekly staff meeting at JOIN. Vy Swiftcloud from Central City Concern stops in to discuss the 45 of our folks for whom she administers housing vouchers.

10:00am Do a little office business at JOIN: Make a to-do list for the day. Call some folks to remind them about the Oaks Bottom field trip tomorrow. Call a landlord to check on the status of one of my folks’ application for tenancy. Respond to an e-mail from Michael, a potential new volunteer at JOIN. Michael wants to do some friendly visiting to folks that we’ve recently housed; he and I are trying to coordinate schedules so that he can shadow me for a day. Just before heading out, chat with Margaret, president of JOIN’s board, who is stopping by to see Marc, our Executive Director.

11:15 am Stop by Motel 6 on SE Powell and 31st to visit Morgan. He is working with Quinn (an outreach worker), and they are in the final steps of moving Morgan into his own apartment. Since Morgan just had a hernia operation 10 days ago, we have put him up in a hotel while he waits for the final approval from the Housing Authority. Morgan says he slept terribly last night. He shows me his surgical incision, which is totally infected. I encourage him to return to the hospital today to have it checked out. Otherwise, he is excited about moving inside next week!

12: 05pm Stop by Walter’s house on SE Division and 117th. He isn’t home. Just as I am writing a note to leave on his door, my phone rings. It’s Walter! He has gotten some temporary, part-time work and is calling me from the job site. I remind him that JOIN is taking an outing to Oaks Bottom tomorrow, and he decides to come along. We also make plans to stop by the financial aid office at the hospital tomorrow. Walter spent 3 weeks there in December and is still fighting for assistance in paying the bills. Since he is zero income and has no insurance, I don’t quite understand why it is taking so long for him to get approved for financial aid. I hope we can sort it out tomorrow. One of Walter’s neighbors also works with JOIN, but I have no time to visit him today. Moving on!

12:17pm Head over to an apartment complex on SE Stark and 148th where five JOIN households reside. Visit Darren and Linda first. Linda just had elective bypass surgery on a blocked artery in her leg, but is recovering fairly well. I help her fill out a 1040 form for the IRS. Since she receives Social Security Disability, she is eligible for the $300 Economic Stimulus Reimbursement. Next, visit Andrew downstairs. His application for Social Security Disability was recently denied, so we call his lawyer to hear about the appeals process. He asks me to bring him a mop and some cleaning supplies the next time that I visit. I am happy to do that; these items can’t be purchased with food stamps. A few doors down, I visit Ronald. One of his neighbors had thrown out a fish tank, and he has set it up nicely. I brought him a couple fish a few weeks ago, and they are looking very happy. Ronald is really proud of his fishtank, so we make plans to get some plants to add to it. As I am getting ready to leave, Ronald presents me with a belated b-day gift; 2 CDs of rap music that he bought at the 7-11. I promise to listen to them as soon as I get back in the car. Last visit at the apartment, Craig. Craig is in an extremely bad mood — he has a really high utility bill that will cost him half of his SSD check, and then he worries he won’t have enough left for his portion of his monthly rent, his groceries, and food for his cat. Craig was in this same situation back in February, thus the terrible mood. He is hoping I can help him get a pair of reading glasses; I will contact the Lyons Club Gift of Sight program.

3:00pm Visit Caroline and her son Vincent. JOIN is helping them pay a late fee on their rent, so I am just dropping off the check. Caroline needs diapers for Vincent, so I make her a list of agencies that might provide them. She also asks if I can get her 4 kitchen chairs and a couch. We make plans to visit the Community Warehouse next Thursday.

4:15pm Last stop of the day, Foster and 122nd. Roger was hit by a car last week and is recovering from a broken leg. His neighbor Jack, who was also helped by JOIN, is visiting him when I stop by. Roger’s leg has a giant cast and he says he is in a lot of pain. He asks if I can take him to a pharmacy to fill his prescription for pain medication. I had some other plans for the rest of the afternoon, but this seems much more important. First we have to drive across town to a friend’s house where he has stowed his knapsack and the prescription from the hospital. We swing by the accident site to see if his bike is still there (it couldn’t be brought in the ambulance with him), but it is gone. We hit a pharmacy, I bring him home, and at around 6:30pm the day is finally done!