A housing liason gathered   all the newcomers in a room to give us  the rundown. We had four options: join Ready Willing and Able’s program,  which   prepared men to become street sweepers and janitors; sign up  for a Bloomberg administration program which presents participants with a  one-way ticket out of   town, so long as the applicants could provide a  contact person in the destination city who would agree to host them;  enter the city’s   shelter system, which the liaison accurately  portrayed as a horror show, with gang-and-drug-infested death traps like  Wards Island   (Said one of my brethren, “Yo, I was at Wards Island one  night, woke up and a dude was laying there dead, all cut the fuck    up.”); or hop in the van with him to tour Brooklyn’s three-quarter sober  houses, which were private residences that sounded   a lot more  promising than a shelter.
I  opted for the last one, and ended up staying at a three-quarter house  in East New York, Brooklyn for seven months, until   the economic crisis  that fall brought in a whole new influx of desperate homeless. Then,  suddenly, our utopia on the first floor   was disrupted by violent,  mentally ill housemates and a rodent problem that I tried in vain to  solve with traps and an   adopted cat.

Steven Boone making us feel incredibly lucky to have him writing for us at Capital New York ——>

A housing liason gathered all the newcomers in a room to give us the rundown. We had four options: join Ready Willing and Able’s program, which prepared men to become street sweepers and janitors; sign up for a Bloomberg administration program which presents participants with a one-way ticket out of town, so long as the applicants could provide a contact person in the destination city who would agree to host them; enter the city’s shelter system, which the liaison accurately portrayed as a horror show, with gang-and-drug-infested death traps like Wards Island (Said one of my brethren, “Yo, I was at Wards Island one night, woke up and a dude was laying there dead, all cut the fuck up.”); or hop in the van with him to tour Brooklyn’s three-quarter sober houses, which were private residences that sounded a lot more promising than a shelter.

I opted for the last one, and ended up staying at a three-quarter house in East New York, Brooklyn for seven months, until the economic crisis that fall brought in a whole new influx of desperate homeless. Then, suddenly, our utopia on the first floor was disrupted by violent, mentally ill housemates and a rodent problem that I tried in vain to solve with traps and an adopted cat.

Steven Boone making us feel incredibly lucky to have him writing for us at Capital New York ——>