Homeless camp

Recently I have become aware of the homeless community in Columbus. The first thing I have observed is the ecological impact. The pictures are of a homeless encampment under I-70 East bound on Central Avenue. Much of the embankment of I-70 East bound (North of Mound street) across from the old stadium has been cleared to keep the homeless out. Zumstein Drive near the Continent Shopping center is experiencing another large contingent of homelessness.

Housing issues I have seen include:

Slum lords refusing vouchers for fear of the dreaded "inspection." Meager by any standards the Section 8 or voucher inspections are so feared landlords refuse the vouchers. Attached is a copy of code complaint where it is suspected the rental agent feared a Section 8 inspection more than code enforcement. One must ask why a cash applicant is willing to accept such substandard housing. More so why isn't code enforcement bringing housing up to livable standards.

Next is the fraud. In the example of Duncan Street an application was made and an application fee of $20 was paid This was with the rental agent fully knowing applicant was going to use a voucher. Many applications are $45 to $50 and require a $100 "down payment" towards the security deposit equal to one month. Often they will tell potential renters they have no specific units available but "units become available all of the time." This equates to them banking applications along with your money. Reminds me of going to a haberdashery and ordering and paying for a shirt not knowing when it will be available, size color and in some cases style. Housing is NOT fungible. One unit might be desirable as accessible to someone while undesirable as noisy to another. Interesting buying a house one is prequalified yet renting you are applying for speculation. Many rental agents are in the "application business" as opposed to renting.

In most cases shelters are simply a bed with classifications by sex, family/single and little more. This ends in services over a large geographical area and staff with such a broad range of clientele services are known by a staff earning a meager wage.

Last is the inability to have or earn livable wage. On SSDI one can work for nine months before losing benefits. At about 75% of the poverty level ican earn $65 before $1 for every $2 earned is taken from my $918 a month benefit.

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