Monday, July 27, 2009

Housing Crisis in Nashville, Tennessee

Monday, July 27, 2009
Community Apathy in Nashville, Tennessee

UPDATE: July 27, 2009

This has yet to bet settled. I received no response to my last inquiry received no response. I have lost my apartment and my section 8 coverage will end on the first of the month yet I cannot find an apartment due to the negative reference from the last landlord.

After spending 4 days in court, judges insisted that I hire (and pay for) a court reporter since they would not accept an affidavit from my an attorney in Pennsylvania.

The landlord did a "garnishment execution" without my knowledge for several hundreds of dollars which included attorneys fees, however the attorney refused to speak with me directly throughout the entire process, and told me if I wanted any information about my account, I would have too have an attorney contact him. 

I have received no response from anyone in Metro despite multiple communications with virtually every office ranging from the Metro City Council, the Mayors Office of Neighborhoods, Metro Social Services, my Congressman, my state representative. I am truly disgusted by the apathy and lack of human decency and courtesy that I have received from a city I have thought of as home for the last fourteen years. In fact, the only time I received any calls or emails from people I once respected and supported, were in reference to campaign contributions asking me to support them at upcoming events and elections.

That makes me sick. I have volunteered my time and money even when I didn't have it. I have decided to leave this place, however I don't even have enough money to do that. I do not have an address so I cannot even update my drivers license or voter registration.

I spend my nights sitting outside CyberSquatting since the temporary housing facility I have been staying at removed the modem to prevent me from filing complaints. The other residents have destroyed my property, disposed of my food and became violent with me. One came within inches of hitting me with a waffle iron simply because I asked where I could place my food since it keeps getting thrown out or moved. I have been told by instructed not to call mobile crisis since they do not want to neighbors to know that this place is really just a nut house in disguise.

My personal items including paperwork that is necessary to appeal my Social Security disability scheduled to be terminated on the 1st as well as other benefits I receive such as food stamps to help me scrape by on $606.00 per month.

I had to pay substantial fees to obtain certified documents from Court in order to verify that the account had in fact been settled, yet I still cannot find a single person to assist me in resolving this horrific situation yet even homeless prevention services is unable to assist me.

Welcome to my city: Nashville, Tennessee. You #fail

Updated July 27, 2009 8:45am

Elyssa Durant
Anytown, USA

FOR A CURRENT UPDATE: PLEASE REFER TO THIS LINK: August 30, 2009 No Hope for the Homeless in Nashville, TN

That type of desensitization is what allows people to look the other way and blame the victim. This creates a culture of silence, fear, and indifference.

Community apathy is what leaves me wondering why I am completely invisible to everyone within a 60 mile radius of my home. Not a single person seems to hear a word I am saying.

I know they hear me. I way too loud for anyone to pretend for second that they don't know who I am or why I am so sad and angry to be trapped in this big little city.

No one should be invisible, and it concerns to live in a community that has demonstrated a total lack of empathy and compassion. So yes, once again, my neighbors may hate me, blame me, or just plain pretend I don't exist. Unless, of course they need something... the simple that I don't have anything to give.

Perhaps you made a profit of the publication of this article, just as the news story I sold for $1.00 a year ago made the publishes 47 times that amount.

But I need a job. I am invisible to everyone around me until they are confronted with their own crisis.

By implying the my "problems" getting the help that I was begging for, had anything to do with psychosis, or a mental health diagnosis, you have astly underestimated me and let the world know exactly how you deal with the people who put you where you are.  People like me. And you know who I who i am so form letters,just don't fucking cut it.

I am your neighbor, your fundraiser, your neighbors, constituents, and dare I say "friends" you have shown how muxh you value my "vote and my support."

Thanks, but no thanks. That just convinces me that you are no different from all the other mediawhores who use labels to exploit those who have already been marginalized by society.

It seems to me, that the perpetrator and the witness should have to answer for there actions rather than placing the blame on me,

Is there anything I could have done to invite such a violent and personal atack in my own home? Is there anything any woman, man, or child can do that justifies years of trauma, isolation an fear?

Perhaps you should have commented on what kind of illness allows a man to watch a man use such force to put a woman of 122 lbs against the wall, his hands on a women without even lifting a finger to call 911.

Ever heard of Kitty Genovese? She was murdered as 38 people watched, yet not a single person called the police or did anything to help as she was brutally murdered in the city of New York. This is due to "Bystander Apathy" We often look to others for cues as to how to respond in a crisis.

Having been a both a witness and a victim, I decided that I would never look the other way. It would serve our communities well to adopt the same philosophy. Not only to create a more cohesive community, but a safer one as well.

When was the last time you called the police or filed a police report? We have criminalized and marginalized too many members of society. So where does it end?

I made a decision a long time that it would end with me. But if you were to ask me today, I might have a different answer.

Blaming the victim not only further stigmatized vulnerable populations, prevents witnesses and victims from coming forward to prevent and report criminal activity. It contributes to bystander apathy and prevents people from reporting crimes.

We already have enough problems putting rape victims on trial. As the editor of a publication dedicated to improving the lives of persons diagnosed with mental illness, I can see why you just went out of business. Good Riddance.

Maybe I'll start my own.

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.

Contributing Author

New York City Voices

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