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The Official Rebkell's To Hell in a Handbasket Thread
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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 09/08/13 2:17 pm    ::: The Official Rebkell's To Hell in a Handbasket Thread Reply Reply with quote

Let us begin here with this story from today's Washington Post. But feel free. This is only the beginning.



This man owed $134 in property taxes. The District sold the lien to an investor who foreclosed on his $197,000 house and sold it. He and many other homeowners like him were...

Left With Nothing

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didnít pay a $134 property tax bill.

HOMES FOR THE TAKING:
LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS ó Part 1 of 3



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Richard 77



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Posts: 3845
Location: Lake Mills, Wisconsin


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PostPosted: 09/08/13 3:48 pm    ::: Re: The Official Rebkell's To Hell in a Handbasket Thread Reply Reply with quote

I feel I know how this man is feeling. My car was just repossessed last Friday. I am homeless as well. I had to remove my possessions before they took it away. My things had to sit in my company's parking lot for an hour before I could call for a cab and move them to my storage unit. A friend is putting me up for a few days while St. Vincent De Paul helps me to find new housing. All I have with me right now is my backpack with my books and my flash drive in it, my work clothes, a suitcase with a change in clothes and my phone and iPod. I hope and pray for this man to recover. He didn't deserve this kind of treatment, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.



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shrrew



Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: Missouri


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PostPosted: 09/08/13 7:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

it is a rough rough economy. my car repossessed in July. No job since January... Luckily I live with my family (they own their house). I think its ridiculous they stole that mans home for $130+

*prayers up for a home for shyguy1701 and a job for me and good luck for anyone else struggling*



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Richard 77



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PostPosted: 09/08/13 9:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

shrrew wrote:
it is a rough rough economy. my car repossessed in July. No job since January... Luckily I live with my family (they own their house). I think its ridiculous they stole that mans home for $130+

*prayers up for a home for shyguy1701 and a job for me and good luck for anyone else struggling*


I will keep you in my prayers as well. Friends need to stick together during these unknown times. Best wishes to you.



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If you cannot inspire yourself to read a book about women's basketball, or any book about women's sports, you cannot inspire any young girl or boy to write a book about them. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Richardstrek
jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 09/09/13 10:46 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Suspicious Bids

In the District, six firms took turns winning tax liens on properties worth $540 million. The odds that their irregular bidding pattern was a coincidence?
LESS THAN 1 IN 1,000.


Steven Berman, son of a Baltimore banker, swept into the District during the height of the housing boom, flush with money and ready to take on hundreds of bidders at the cityís high-stakes tax lien auction.

From 2005 to 2007, Bermanís companies dominated the bidding room, spending millions to buy the liens placed on properties when owners fall behind on their taxes.

He was a big player at tax lien auctions in Maryland, too, where he was caught in 2007 rigging bids at sales across the state, leading to the largest criminal conspiracy case of its kind at the time.

At the Districtís auctions, no one was watching.

A Washington Post investigation found that during Bermanís spectacular spending spree in the city, his companies engaged in dozens of rounds of irregular bidding similar to what federal agents had discovered in Maryland.

All told, six companies, three owned by Berman, took turns winning hundreds of liens on real estate worth $540 million through unusual back-and-forth patterns of bidding never detected by city government.

Of hundreds of participants, only those six companies stood out for bidding that was so irregular that the odds of it happening by chance were less than 1 in 1,000, according to The Postís analysis, which was conducted with a team of economists and antitrust experts from Boston.

Once the liens were won, the companies charted an aggressive course through the District that would shake families for years to come, pressing to foreclose on homes in every ward ó often over tax debts of $500 or less.

HOMES FOR THE TAKING:
LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS ó Part 2 of 3



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Force10rulz



Joined: 11 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: 09/09/13 10:46 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

If it wasn't for my brother in law I'm not sure what we would have done. Thankfully they had an mil unit for us to move into. It'll be 4 years in Jan since my partner got laid off, only a 3 month x-mas job in the time.

I've been homeless before as a kid, and it's the worse kind of feeling. Just think about all the money spent on wars since 9/11, we wouldn't have homeless if we put it towards getting people out of the streets.

To lose a house for an under $200 tax bill is outrageous!



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pilight



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 10:49 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Force10rulz wrote:
To lose a house for an under $200 tax bill is outrageous!


What should the penalty for failing to pay property tax be instead?



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norwester



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: 09/09/13 11:11 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Force10rulz wrote:
To lose a house for an under $200 tax bill is outrageous!


What should the penalty for failing to pay property tax be instead?

Case by case. Payment plan. Assessment of ability to pay. Maybe grants for low income folks, or programs to help them save for their property tax. Certainly a one-time default shouldn't result in losing one's home that they own outright. That's creating a bigger problem than the unpaid taxes.

At the least they should get a market value for the property. Or a portion of the auction price less their property taxes.

Anyway, there has to be a better solution than creating a bigger problem for all of us by creating another homeless person, even though I'm a big advocate of paying taxes (I like roads, schools, fire/police coverage, etc.).



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 11:33 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

shyguy1701 wrote:
shrrew wrote:
it is a rough rough economy. my car repossessed in July. No job since January... Luckily I live with my family (they own their house). I think its ridiculous they stole that mans home for $130+

*prayers up for a home for shyguy1701 and a job for me and good luck for anyone else struggling*


I will keep you in my prayers as well. Friends need to stick together during these unknown times. Best wishes to you.


I don't pray but my heart and thoughts are with you guys and your struggles.

What I can do and what I intend to do in this thread (for my part, everyone is welcome to add items they believe exemplify the title) is try to push stories that examine what kind of a country we have become and where we are going.

But some stories really rise to the title of To Hell in a Handbasket. The many outrageous stories of abuses of systems that are either flat out rigged or conveniently rife with opportunity for abuse, and the abuses of power that are combining to destroy people's lives, take away their freedoms and property, eliminate their opportunities and security, and the result of destroying a thriving working and weakening the middle class for generations to come.

And this all coming now in a country where people for decades already could be heard commiserating about being one paycheck away from being homeless themselves. It used to be almost a cliche in LA.

It wasn't my intent in thinking about this thread for a long time that the first story should touch on the issue of homelessness in any way. And I do think it's a peripheral element to this particular (and amazing) WaPo feature on the abuses of the tax lien system in DC. But to be sure, homelessness is where it's all heading for millions of Americans. This isn't a country (or a world) that's set up to dust people off and put them back on the right track. But in America, the opportunity to dust yourself off and get back on the right track is, in my opinion, being systematically taken away from you.

I'm sorry and I hope this thread doesn't create or add to any sort of personal hopelessness or despair on anyone's part but I'm certainly not going to pull any punches in describing or using current event situations to show what is becoming of the United States. We all need to start organizing the worst of the worst stories, coalesce the many injustices and try to think about what the bigger meanings are. Because this nation has become a meat grinder of heartless events that sometimes on the surface seem to be and used to be, in a different America, chalked to being accidents of fate or collateral damage in an otherwise thriving country, but now can very easily be seen for what they really are the results of: greed and abuse.

But I have stories that aren't limited to purely economic situations and conditions. There are so many cultural factors that exist that contribute to the decline in the lives of so many Americans. How we handle and process what happens and is happening through politics and the media. Law enforcement. Whose laws are being enforced and why. It's going to be a long thread.

Anyway. Again, my thoughts go out to anyone here who is personally suffering these incredibly difficult life circumstances no matter how they came to be. Good luck to us all because we are all likely going to need it sooner or later.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 11:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Force10rulz wrote:
To lose a house for an under $200 tax bill is outrageous!


What should the penalty for failing to pay property tax be instead?


Losing the house wasn't the result of the mere failure to pay the property tax. That's what the 3-day long Washington Post feature reveals. Very Happy

Except unless you want to robotically think about it that way. Unless you're that guy. Rolling Eyes



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin


Last edited by jammerbirdi on 09/09/13 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
justintyme



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 12:05 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
pilight wrote:
Force10rulz wrote:
To lose a house for an under $200 tax bill is outrageous!


What should the penalty for failing to pay property tax be instead?


Losing the house wasn't the result of the mere failure to pay the property tax. That's what the 3-day long Washington Post feature reveals. Very Happy

Exactly. The underlying problem is that instead of taking other actions to collect on what they are owed (the actions that have allowed many, many municipalities the ability to successfully collect their taxes) they have created a system which harms low-income people with disproportionate penalties. Basically, losing a 200,000 dollar home because of $200 in taxes is ridiculous.

In this system they sell off this debt to predatory companies whose interest lies in not having these taxes paid off. When you have a mortgage, the bank has paid out a bunch of money and they take a fairly significant loss if they foreclose on you (under normal circumstances) which is why most of the time they want to work with you to keep you paying back the loan. However, in this circumstance, these companies are paying out as low as $200 with the chance of being able to sell the property for a 1000 times that amount. There is no risk, and it is in the interest of this company to not have you pay as they can make more money that way. That is why you see all the "finance charges" and such which jack the money owed up into the thousands. They have no interest in helping out the debtor.

This is so much more than a case of not paying taxes.



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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 09/09/13 12:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:

In this system they sell off this debt to predatory companies whose interest lies in not having these taxes paid off.


Cutting to an over-arching solution this early in the thread, let me say this. If we're going to survive and thrive as a country, we're going to be have to be a nation... going to have to MAKE America a place where ...

What SHOULD happen, DOES happen.

What we have now all across this nation are an endless sea of situations where what DOES happen, eh it's actually the result of myriad forces, mostly all of them bent on serving only their own self-interests and enrichment, who rig the system, or cripple it or circumvent it when they can't cripple or rig it... abuse it, use law enforcement and swat teams and surveillance to support it and their needs and perpetuate all of it through cultural forces, the media, and politics, etc. ALL enabling these many forces to destroy people's lives, livelihoods, families, dreams of things like home ownership and security, pretty much totally up to the destruction of the American Dream and anything resembling it.

What should happen, does happen. That's a concept people should start rallying around.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
pilight



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Posts: 57591
Location: Where the action is


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PostPosted: 09/09/13 5:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
justintyme wrote:

In this system they sell off this debt to predatory companies whose interest lies in not having these taxes paid off.


Cutting to an over-arching solution this early in the thread, let me say this. If we're going to survive and thrive as a country, we're going to be have to be a nation... going to have to MAKE America a place where ...

What SHOULD happen, DOES happen.


Now all we have to do it get everyone to agree on what SHOULD happen.



_________________
Make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don't
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Follow your arrow
Wherever it points
sambista



Joined: 25 Sep 2004
Posts: 16473
Location: cidade maravilhosa


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PostPosted: 09/09/13 5:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

i could've sworn i already started a thread with this very name. or maybe i started to start it, then thought, "oh, wtf, never mind." anyway, we shoulda had a running thread like this all along.

just the other day, i was flashing on a particular moment in the past when many of us were posting here about our struggles - myself included - and being not at all convinced that things were much better, even though we kinda stopped talking about it. and then, beyond personal travails, pure, unadulterated bullshit occurring all around us.

what happened to us as a nation? why are we more passionate, it seems, about protecting our right to bear arms than our right to stand up for what's right? why are we taking this sitting down? where's the american spring?



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Richard 77



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 6:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I went St. Vincent De Paul this afternoon. The person I spoke with is going to try and help me obtain temporary housing, and hopefully permanent housing after that. I'm also going to try and budget my money better, which, unfortunately, means I need to cut out my travels to Sky games. I hope to make the last one this Friday if I can get to Madison and catch the bus there and back. But that's going to be it for a while unless something dramatic happens. I've taken the steps I wanted to take to get out of the mess I created for myself, but I still need help. But I'm not going to detour this thread here, that's not what the original topic was posted for. Please see my post in collectables in a bit.



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If you cannot inspire yourself to read a book about women's basketball, or any book about women's sports, you cannot inspire any young girl or boy to write a book about them. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Richardstrek
jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 09/09/13 6:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
justintyme wrote:

In this system they sell off this debt to predatory companies whose interest lies in not having these taxes paid off.


Cutting to an over-arching solution this early in the thread, let me say this. If we're going to survive and thrive as a country, we're going to be have to be a nation... going to have to MAKE America a place where ...

What SHOULD happen, DOES happen.


Now all we have to do it get everyone to agree on what SHOULD happen.


The alternative?



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 09/09/13 6:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

sambista wrote:
i could've sworn i already started a thread with this very name. or maybe i started to start it, then thought, "oh, wtf, never mind." anyway, we shoulda had a running thread like this all along.


You mentioned it, darlin'. At some point. That's where I got the idea.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 11249
Location: Oklahoma (in my heart), whilst on my way to Oregon!


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PostPosted: 09/09/13 7:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
I'm sorry and I hope this thread doesn't create or add to any sort of personal hopelessness or despair on anyone's part but I'm certainly not going to pull any punches in describing or using current event situations to show what is becoming of the United States. We all need to start organizing the worst of the worst stories, coalesce the many injustices and try to think about what the bigger meanings are.....

Anyway. Again, my thoughts go out to anyone here who is personally suffering these incredibly difficult life circumstances no matter how they came to be. Good luck to us all because we are all likely going to need it sooner or later


AAAAA-men.
These stories--here, there, everywhere, it seems--are certainly not brand new, but are MOST CERTAINLY becoming far more common. I agree TOTALLY. Our nation is losing its moral fiber, I'm so afraid....and most of you know I'm not necessarily an uber-religious type.

Right now, what galls me most is how we're *told* (thankyouAmericanMedia) that the economy is recovering nicely, thank you, and are given various signs to document that. Yet....I know so many folks who are NOT feeling any 'recovery', as such. YET AGAIN....look at Corporate America....ExxonMobile, Microsoft, McDonalds, WalMart....how have their corporate earnings fared in the last 3-4 years? Hmmm. SOMEbody's recovering very well, and it AINT Joe/Josephine the Plumber.

And THENNNNN....I talk to my teacher friends: NY is going to Hell in a Handbasket, establishing a template for corporate takeover of education these days. Shocked

(Damn you Jammer....I must find some Prozac and hibernate now... Evil or Very Mad)



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 09/10/13 5:30 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote



This womanís family thought her $639.47 tax bill was paid off. They didnít know the D.C. tax office still listed a debt: $44.79. Because of the mix-up...

SHE LOST HER HOME

District tax officials have made hundreds of mistakes in recent years by counting property owners as delinquent even after they paid their taxes, forcing them to fight for their homes in grueling legal battles that in some cases persisted for years, The Washington Post found.

Since 2007, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue put nearly 1,900 owners at risk of foreclosure by imposing liens on their properties and then erroneously selling them to investors at public auctions.

The sales have stunned property owners across the city ó many of them elderly and poor ó who have scrambled to attend court hearings and plead with city officials to clear their names.

A 48-year-old math teacher paid his taxes in 2007, but the tax office took his $1,400 payment and applied it to the wrong house, crediting an entirely different taxpayer.

A 58-year-old bank employee almost lost her house in 2010 because the tax office mistakenly sent bills and notices to a wooded lot across from a strip shopping center in Virginia ó 12 times.

A 69-year-old hat designer was given the wrong payoff amount and ended up in court to save her property, owned by her family since 1943.

Those homeowners found out about the mistakes in time to fight. Ninety-five-year-old Daisy Dolsey, living in a nursing home and struggling with Alzheimerís, wasnít so lucky: She lost her $300,000 house over a $44.79 tax debt even after she paid her taxes.

HOMES FOR THE TAKING:
LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS ó Part 3 of 3


pilight wrote:
Now all we have to do it get everyone to agree on what SHOULD happen.


Well... we know what Steven Berman, son of a Baltimore banker, and his ilk thought SHOULD happen. Here is what the controlling agency said.

"The DC Tax Office said the foreclosure was proper because Daisy's tax payment was $44 short."

I think, pilight, while we're at it, we also need to figure out what we should do with the people who thought this should happen. That it was "proper." I have some ideas that involve needle-nosed pliers and their asses.

More...

ďWhen is the nightmare going to be over with?Ē said 64-year-old Carmen Starks, who found herself fighting to save her home even after she paid her taxes.

The tax office took four days to credit her payment in 2010, a delay that triggered an $8.61 interest charge ó enough to keep her delinquent and allow a tax lien investor to press to foreclose on her rowhouse in Northwest Washington.

Starks discovered the error. Dolsey did not.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
KCH



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 331
Location: washington, dc


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PostPosted: 09/17/13 10:40 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

For almost three years, every other Wednesday, a group of us have volunteered through the DC Bar Pro Bono Program to staff the "Tax Sale Resource Center" that is held in the witness room just outside of the courtroom where the tax sale lien foreclosure proceedings are heard. As the article states, this isn't really about late taxes, it is about abuse of the system.

Just two months ago, two different people came in who had paid 100% of their taxes on time, but because of a processing delay, the tax liens had been sold. One was facing $2700 in attorneys fees ---- for just preparing and filing a simple form complaint!!! The other was facing $2100. These two people stopped by the resource center only to ask if we thought the attorneys' fees were reasonable. Only after looking through their paperwork and asking a few questions, did I realize that both had actually done everything right and it was a mistake! Luckily, the DC Attorney was there that day and we were able to show him the receipts and he agreed to cancel the sales. Both women were able to go back home that day, with the legal actions against them dismissed and no legal bills to pay. But for every person that comes into the resource center, I wonder how many never get any form of representation?

Last October, we formed a coalition with a number of legal services organizations and drafted and submitted proposed legislation, that was introduced by Councilmember Evans, but never acted on. We worked with the Washington Post reporter who wrote these series for the last year and helped to introduce her to the issue and some of the stories we have encountered at the resource center.

The articles have shed light on the problems with the current system and I am actually listening to a DC City Council hearing right now, waiting on the introduction of "emergency" legislation that would put in place many safeguards that many states already have.

We are hopeful that the legislation will be passed, but won't stop fighting -- and representing people who are caught up in the system -- until the reforms are in place.


Howee



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PostPosted: 09/17/13 10:53 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

KCH wrote:
We are hopeful that the legislation will be passed, but won't stop fighting -- and representing people who are caught up in the system -- until the reforms are in place.


God Bless you for this!

"Liberty and Justice FOR ALL". What a pathetic lie!



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norwester



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: 09/17/13 11:00 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
KCH wrote:
We are hopeful that the legislation will be passed, but won't stop fighting -- and representing people who are caught up in the system -- until the reforms are in place.


God Bless you for this!

"Liberty and Justice FOR ALL". What a pathetic lie!

You missed the post script "who can afford it" Evil or Very Mad



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Richard 77



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PostPosted: 10/08/13 7:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Update:

I have moved into a new apartment. Not a perfect arrangement, far from it, but at least I have some new shelter.

See you in collectables.



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If you cannot inspire yourself to read a book about women's basketball, or any book about women's sports, you cannot inspire any young girl or boy to write a book about them. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Richardstrek
HistoryWomensBasketball



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Location: CT


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PostPosted: 10/09/13 9:27 am    ::: Re: The Official Rebkell's To Hell in a Handbasket Thread Reply Reply with quote

shyguy1701 wrote:
I feel I know how this man is feeling. My car was just repossessed last Friday. I am homeless as well. I had to remove my possessions before they took it away. My things had to sit in my company's parking lot for an hour before I could call for a cab and move them to my storage unit. A friend is putting me up for a few days while St. Vincent De Paul helps me to find new housing. All I have with me right now is my backpack with my books and my flash drive in it, my work clothes, a suitcase with a change in clothes and my phone and iPod. I hope and pray for this man to recover. He didn't deserve this kind of treatment, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.


Prayers to you and others on this board that face challenges on a daily basis just to have basics in life to get by.

Your next book should be about the challenges you are facing while at the same time pursuing your dreams on writing books and having them published.

I tip my hat to you on not giving up



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 12/09/13 3:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Invisible Child - Girl in the Shadows:
Dasaniís Homeless Life


"Dasaniís neighborhood, Fort Greene, is now one of gentrificationís gems. Her family lives in the Auburn Family Residence, a decrepit city-run shelter for the homeless. It is a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers.

It is no place for children. Yet Dasani is among 280 children at the shelter. Beyond its walls, she belongs to a vast and invisible tribe of more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America.

In the short span of Dasaniís life, her city has been reborn. The skyline soars with luxury towers, beacons of a new gilded age. More than 200 miles of fresh bike lanes connect commuters to high-tech jobs, passing through upgraded parks and avant-garde projects like the High Line and Janeís Carousel. Posh retail has spread from its Manhattan roots to the cityís other boroughs. These are the crown jewels of Mayor Michael R. Bloombergís long reign, which began just seven months after Dasani was born.

In the shadows of this renewal, it is Dasaniís population who have been left behind. The ranks of the poor have risen, with almost half of New Yorkers living near or below the poverty line. Their traditional anchors ó affordable housing and jobs that pay a living wage ó have weakened as the city reorders itself around the whims of the wealthy.

Long before Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio rose to power by denouncing the cityís inequality, children like Dasani were being pushed further into the margins, and not just in New York. Cities across the nation have become flash points of polarization, as one population has bounced back from the recession while another continues to struggle. One in five American children is now living in poverty, giving the United States the highest child poverty rate of any developed nation except for Romania."









"City and state inspectors have repeatedly cited the shelter for deplorable conditions, including sexual misconduct by staff members, spoiled food, asbestos exposure, lead paint and vermin. Auburn has no certificate of occupancy, as required by law, and lacks an operational plan that meets state regulations. Most of the shelterís smoke detectors and alarms have been found to be inoperable.

There are few signs that children live at Auburn. Locked gates prevent them from setting foot on the front lawn. In a city that has invested millions of dollars in new ďgreen spaces,Ē Auburnís is often overrun with weeds.

Inside, prepackaged meals are served in a cafeteria where Dasani and her siblings wait in one line for their food before heading to another line to heat it in one of two microwaves that hundreds of residents share. Tempers fly and fights explode. The routine can last more than an hour before the children take their first bite."



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
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