I included this Abstract regarding the Homeless Problem in Franklin County in our March/2020 Newsletter –
FRANKLIN COUNTY HOMELESS SHELTER
What began as a simple commitment to help fix the Smartphone of a homeless individual, morphed into how to get the people off-the-streets of Louisburg. While doing so, a broader concern evolved that questions “Why Franklin County lacks a Homeless Shelter?”
My work thus far to help Bob Shiles has been incredibly revealing. Why should a college educated, career investigative reporter, be homeless and living at fast food restaurants on the Boulevard? In a County with over 100 churches, community outreach police, EMS and social service resources, and an new animal shelter – “Why is there no Homeless Shelter available?”
The common answer I have found is that we don’t have a homeless problem – although Franklin Times editor, Gary Cunard, has reported that the FC School System reports it has over 200 homeless students. I also hear that Franklin County simply transports the homeless to neighboring counties that have shelters – like Wake and Durham.
I discovered that Bob Shiles, now age 63, qualified for Social Security and should not ever have been on-the-street. Many advised him to get Social Security, but IT IS IMPOSSIBLE when you don’t have a permanent address. In fact no one can get a PO BOX, Checking Account or file for Social Security if you do not have proof of a Resident Address.
It would appear that an overnight walk-in shelter could very economically be provided, that provides basic heat/light, bathroom/shower facilities and security – no food service is necessary – with daily hours restricted from 6:00pm to 6:00am. Why can’t this be provided?
Since then, I have refined and refocused my thoughts about what I believe should become a Ben Franklin Society Project.
I would like to examine why a US Citizen or Veteran who becomes Homeless is prevented from receiving Earned Benefits ( Social Security, Military Pensions ) because they lack a Verifiable Resident Address. That issue was crucial to my decision to become involved in helping Bob Shiles. It remains a mystery why this is so!
Is it a matter of Law or Policy? – Postal Service, Banking and Social Security Regulations
What can be done to remedy this injustice?
That remains the essence of what this Study will endeavor to determine.