Every town should and must have a homeless shelter. Kudos to Rhinelander for having one, and good one from what I hear. Last week there were four stories (Star Journal, June 24) of individuals who came to the shelter. The premise was that the individuals were not lazy and wanted to work, but their stories didn’t show this…they showed the opposite.
Let’s examine three out of the four:
Bruce: Borrowed $200 to hold an apartment for 30 days. How unrealistic. State law requires a full security deposit and first month’s rent with the lease. Legally the landlord can charge rent the minute the lease is signed. Bruce, you got a bonus. What did you do? A landlord doesn’t rent to you after 30 days of holding a place for you. Sounds to me like your drunken friends made an appearance. Where are you moving from, another state that your drunken friends can’t find you? I bet you didn’t get your $200 back. This story is bogus.
Mindy: You had a witch for a landlady who constantly violated your rights. Why didn’t you move, as you had every right to? The laws in Wisconsin favor the tenant. Oh, a five day eviction notice? Poor you. Five day evictions are for one thing only-non-payment of rent. You moved in with Daddy, which means you decided not to pay your rent. Sorry, but what the heck did you expect your landlady to do, allow you to live there for free? Obviously you did. How were you going to work things out with her if you had no job? You have no job and are complaining about living with Daddy? Here’s a novel idea-get another job. This story is full of holes.
Linda: You, two small children and friends all lived together, but the landlord kicked you out. Who is listed on the lease? My gut tells me the landlord had no idea you and your kids were sponging off friends. Kids doing damage? Easy to check…if you’re not on the lease, the landlord has a right to charge extra rent or evict you. The place had better be huge, because there are housing codes, you know. This story is full of holes.
These stories depict problems due to lack of money. But how do any of these stories negate the stereotype that the homeless “don’t want to work,” “spend money on drugs, etc.” or “are lazy?” They don’t.
Myron Butler, Racine