Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Samaritan Village lacking in samaritans
My name is Elischia Fludd. I became homeless in October 2013 as a result of Domestic Violence. Eventually, I settled at Van Siclen Women's Shelter located in East New York, Brooklyn, zip code 11207. It is run by Samaritan Village Inc, a place that was recently in the news for being investigated for "missing" 1.1 million dollars. I am divulging where I am because at this point, it is a necessity.
There are many things that are violating about becoming homeless, including how the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and individual shelter administration treats us as a population. I can speak about many angles, but the most poignant at this time for me is related to my disabilities.
I've declined in health for a number of years, to the point where it was prompted by my doctor to apply to Social Security Disability (SSD). I have conditions that render it hard for me to walk on a daily basis, and that is with pain medication that has been increased over time. I even have been dubbed as "homebound" by the Human Resources Administration (HRA) until August when they will review my status again, as well as have been granted a scooter to use as a medical necessity by my insurance and team of specialists.
At Van Siclen, as per DHS rules, dorms are not accessible Monday-Friday between 9am to 5pm. In order to have access to the dorm, you have to have what is called a bed pass. Since arriving on 22 Oct 2013, I had been getting bed passes to cover me every day Mon-Fri up until March, when I was suddenly denied. I've tried to work with DHS and Van Siclen Social Services Director to no avail. I had gotten a pass re-instated after providing additional documentation to update that my situation had not changed in regards to needing access to the dorm, until the last week in May.
In May, I was suddenly denied again, no explanation. I was then told that my doctor's note was not specific. So, I provided another one. Today, I was told by the Social Services Director a bunch of things, including what I think is an admission to discriminatory practices.
I have been taping conversations I've been having for a while and I also have emails that proves that DHS was aware of what's happening as well as the Coalition for the Homeless.
Kindly review the tape of Ms. Simone Ross, Director of Social Services that is attached. Ms. Ross and I had a tense conversation where she was in my opinion disrespectful and admits to an abuse of power. I now have bed passes daily, only for a limited time where I'm supposed to be kicked out of the dorm. The only portion that is not on tape is when I had just stopped it; Ms. Ross says "THIS IS ENTERTAINMENT FOR ME!" as she laughs at me.
This injustice must stop, this is more than a personal issue, but a policy one as well. I just happen to be one of the ones that fights back. Hard.
Huffington Post Blogger
NY Politics and Bronx Community Activism Examiner
Wow, after listening to that tape, it's hard to believe that someone like that would be hired to provide sensitive services to the public.
Samaritan Village is the same entity that wants to open homeless shelters in Glendale and elsewhere. Their shelters are notorious for their poor conditions. Yet they get contract after contract with the City. Why? Here's who they gave money to: DeBlasio, Katz and Stringer, among others. -- QC