The Anthony & Me project is off to a good start. I checked in on Anthony on Thursday morning – he was bundled up at his corner selling the paper. He’s working on his to do list for our next check-in.
I bought his latest edition of Street Sense, pushed some singles into Anthony’s glove covered hand and tucked the paper into my book bag. It was only today that I cracked the paper open to read through it.
I thumbed it open to the first page where I saw an article by Editor-in-Chief Mary Otto. “DC Housing Authority to Freeze Waiting List” was printed at the top of the article. Fearing that this could hurt Anthony’s dream of housing, I read on.
The article talks about the 66,000 families in the DC area who are on the waiting list for affordable housing. Although that number sounds staggering for a city that only has about 260,000 families according to the most recent US Census Bureau statistics, what was even more shocking was that, “families applying for a four-bedroom apartment [now] can expect to wait for 10 years for a suitable unit.” And it gets worse, “The wait for a studio apartment is estimated to be 43 years.” Holy cow…that’s insane!
Thankfully Anthony is already on the list…but he’s 55 years old and without being morbid I honestly don’t think he’ll be alive at 98 to get his studio through DC’s assisted housing program. We’ll have to have a plan b – somehow get Anthony a job that pays enough for him to have an apartment.
Oh, and that reminds me. Anthony needs a pair of XXL thermal underwear. It’s starting to get cold and living outdoors without warm clothing chills the body’s core. If you would like to help out Anthony with some warm clothing – drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help get items to him.