Demand Justice for Scott Hutchins
This petition had 222 supporters
Scott Hutchins has a master's degree from the College of Staten Island. He is currently being evicted from a low-income apartment in the Bronx from non-payment of rent due to a partial disability that leaves him ineligible for Social Security Disability but restricts him to a desk job. He has qualified for assistance from a state agency called ACCESS-VR, formerly known as V.E.S.I.D. (Vocational and Educational Support for Individuals with Disabilities), which assists disabled people in finding work. In addition to applying to jobs that he would want or at least tolerate, he has even applied to be a cashier at Target even though his condition causes him to spasm and fall down when standing for long periods. His problems include plantar fasciitis, L4-L5-S1 herniated discs, sciatica in both legs, neurogenic bladder, and severe scoliosis that somehow went undiagnosed until he was 29 years old. He has had multiple injuries to his face, hands, and ribs due to this condition, in addition to being in constant pain. He has been looking for work for the past two years, and was let go from a work from home job as an effect of a sluggish computer, and the only other income he has been able to find is tutoring, which is seasonal and meager. Because most of the work that he has done in the past few years has been 1099 independent contract work, he is ineligible for unemployment insurance.
Temporary agencies have not found anything for him, other than GoodTemps inviting him to a cattle call for computer technicians with the caveat that the job requires prolonged standing. His training is in English, communication, and media, and his skills include writing, proofreading, copyediting, and video editing. Staffing agencies specializing in creative have rejected him based on a portfolio that shows no experience in three key industries: pharmaceutical, finance, or advertising. With the aid of the New York City Department of Education, he has recently received Adobe Certifications in Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash, but has no live professional websites to his credit, which has been used against him.
Because he has family in another state that will not take him in, he will be rejected from the shelter system and forced to find accommodations elsewhere, such as a hospital waiting room or other building open 24 hours, such as Grand Central Terminal or Pennslvania Station, where he will have inadequate sleep and access to cleaning facilities that will make him unfit to be interviewed.
We request that Hutchins be granted additional time in order to work with ACCESS-VR and gain employment via that route.
Thanks to a one-shot deal from the Human Resources Administration (Welfare), which must be paid back in a way he knows not how thanks to two and a half months of freelance work, he paid all of his arrears on October 19, 2011. Because this money is still waiting at the post office for the landlord to take it, his next court date is set for November 7. If he fails to pay his November rent in time, with the case not having been dismissed, he could be given another 6-day notice to vacate the apartment, with no evidence to allow another stay to be granted.
In the past two years, he has been granted only twenty-two interviews that did not ask him for money (such as multilevel marketing scams that presented themselves as real jobs, or fronts to get people to pay for training), so the prospects seem very dim. Having a source of income is the only way for a single adult with no dependents to get Homelessness Diversion to pay back rent unless the individual has A.I.D.S. The Legal Aid Society says that his only other chance not to lose his apartment is to have someone sign papers that they will pay the $787 difference between his rent and what the $215 that the Human Resources Administration is willing to pay for housing, an unlikley prospect at best.
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