OT: motel, article
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OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Sep 14, 2020 5:40 AM
       OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Sep 14, 2020 10:29 AM
       OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Sep 14, 2020 10:34 AM
       OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Sep 14, 2020 11:19 AM
       OT: motel, article (by WMH [NC]) Sep 14, 2020 11:25 AM
       OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Sep 14, 2020 11:33 AM
       OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Sep 14, 2020 11:36 AM
       OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Sep 14, 2020 2:14 PM
       OT: motel, article (by melinda [MD]) Sep 14, 2020 2:23 PM

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OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 5:40 AM

Did anyone here read the article from the Washington Post about the people living just above homelessness in an abandoned motel here in Orlando?

I tried to paste the link it wouldn't allow me but if you google the words "motel", "pandemic", "Orlando", "future" you will find it.


OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 10:29 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. Good read.

Like a bunch of people in the comments section, I thought back to having read "Nickel and Dimed" (1998-2000, published 2001) as well. (Affluent journalist with a PhD hopscotches around a few unskilled jobs, sees the problems of the working poor up close and personal, returns back to the comfort of her own real life to write up her observations, rinse and repeat, and manages to be condescending to both the struggling poor and the affluent homeowners in the process.)

I also thought back to the Ruby Payne-- about how poverty wasn't just a lack of money, but also a lack of multiple other resources. (Health/physical, role models/relationships, mental/cognitive, spiritual, emotional, support systems, language, etc.)

It was interesting to see what was foremost on the commenters' minds. ("These people should be registered to vote so they can fully participate in our political system", "Why didn't the people organize stuff so that trash went into the trash? they need to have a bunch of military vets move in and impose some sort of order so they can work collectively for the good of all", "People are scared of socialism/communism/whatever sounds scary, but we're just skipping all that and going straight to Venezuela" etc.

But the things I noticed--

"The owner, who had emigrated from Bangladesh, complained that more than three-quarters of his 40 guests were weeks or months behind on their room bills. Many had jobs or were collecting unemployment insurance, he said, but were refusing to pay because they were protected by the state’s eviction moratorium."


"Sheldon and Jones brought in only about $1,500 a month in Social Security and disability payments, which meant that most motels were beyond their budget. Austria found a $1,000-a-month motel that would take them and promised that she would help Sheldon and Jones with the bill until she could find them a cheaper option."


"Later that evening, a county commissioner called her [a woman who runs a homeless ministry] for help hauling away the growing hill of rotting garbage in the Star parking lot. Austria had organized a similar effort a few weeks earlier, handing out shovels, marshaling volunteers and finding a company to haul away the trash."


“We’ll miss you, Mister Richard,” said a mother who was raising two young boys in a room on the second floor and spent many evenings stumbling around the parking lot in a drug-induced haze.


"But her grandmother suffered a heart attack and the family income shrank to about $2,000 a month, the sum total of her mother’s and grandmother’s disability checks."


"The rent for the new place was $1,350 a month. For it to last, Rose’s stepfather, who was starting at Burger King and Boston Market, would need to work 50 to 60 hours a week. Rose’s mother, who can only work part time because she collects disability, needed 20 hours a week."

I agree that it's a terrible thing for every single one of them to have ended up there. But it was a process-- a series of bad decisions that piled on each other. It might have been their own decisions, or it might have been a parent's. But, after dealing with this segment of society up-close-and-personal (although the ones I've encountered have had the sense to live in a place way more affordable than Orlando, whether on purpose or by accident), I realized that you can change their surroundings all you want, and you can give them all the opportunities in the world... but until they figure things out on the inside first, they're going to continue their self-destructive behavior that got them into the bad circumstances in the first place.

And that's a really rough thing to think about your fellow human beings... but over and over and over again, it proves to be true. :( --137.118.xx.xxx

OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 10:34 AM

(Ah-- rereading the juxtaposition of a few thoughts, health problems aren't a bad decision in and of themselves, although they can certainly be the tipping point between making bad decisions and getting away with them, vs making bad decisions and then not being able to get away from them. And sometimes, health problems can result from accumulated bad decisions. But just "I had a stroke" or "I had a heart attack" by itself isn't a bad decision, and whether you're able to overcome it or if it takes you down is a matter of what other resources you also lack, in addition to having suddenly lost your good health.)


OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 11:19 AM

Thanks for your comments Deanna...I too have mixed feelings about the situation. I feel badly for that 17 year old girl in the story--what a terrible situation to be put in--but the others I'm not so sure about.

They are already not paying their motel bill because the owner abandoned the place, now they seem to want free electricity. --72.188.xxx.xxx

OT: motel, article (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 11:25 AM

50-60 hours per week? Isn't that pretty normal? Does a 40-hour work week even exist anymore, given that we are all connected day and night? I don't think so? --50.82.xxx.xxx

OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 11:33 AM

WMH, yeah that is the norm in Florida if you are working at a service job that's close to min wage. You can't make it on 40 hours a week doing that unless maybe you're a single person.


OT: motel, article (by J [FL]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 11:36 AM

Can someone explain this part (seriously):

"Rose’s mother, who can only work part time because she collects disability, needed 20 hours a week."

So does Disability pay more than a full time job would, and that's why she doesn't want to give it up? Otherwise I don't get the rationale for this. --72.188.xxx.xxx

OT: motel, article (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 2:14 PM

Re: disability, I had a friend who lost a leg. He was physically active in sports, which was how I knew him, and a very smart guy, and good with computers. But he couldn't work more than x hours or else he wouldn't qualify for his disability check. I remember one time, he was talking about being hired to be in a movie, because they needed a one-legged biker dude for a few scenes. But he had to be super-cautious during that time period, to make sure the extra income didn't interfere with his check.

I just got an application from a single mom. She's worked at the grocery store for a few weeks and makes $1150/month. I'd rented to her before, in better times, in a different relationship-- things were good when they were good, but when they went bad, they went bad quickly. I wasn't interested in giving her a second shot at the merry-go-round, but it was obvious her path was not going in a good direction in the three years since I last saw her.

But I do applaud her for having a job. Who wants to work when you can lean back and let "the system" throw you a safety net? Who wants to build a family or cultivate relationships when "the system" will provide? And then when things go south, despite "the system" being there... obviously, we need more system, right?

I do know around here, a check might be from $750-$1200'ish. It's definitely a problem with schools. Parents want to get their kids labeled with a learning disability so they can get a disability check on their behalf; the schools cooperate, because kids with learning disabilities don't get counted in the testing stats. And even if there's not a real disability in play--- it's not the Honor Roll kids whose futures are at stake.

It's really sad all around. I grew up poor for a period, but we never grew up trashy---- and distinguishing that difference has been the hardest thing for me to grasp as a landlord. The tuition has not been cheap. :( --107.77.xxx.xx

OT: motel, article (by melinda [MD]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 2:23 PM

I probably should not post this, but here goes-----

there will always be poor people. There are always going to be people on drugs and alcohol. There will always be "wrongs" that need to be made right. Children need to be taught from when they are old enough to understand that they will have to provide for themselves. That means that they need to learn a skill that will enable them to support themselves and their family if they have children. They need to have the talent and pride to support themselves. Tired of those excuses as to why SOME people are always entitled to government handouts. Believe me I know plenty and I imagine you all do too. --24.233.xxx.xx

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