A job at Popeye’s won’t get me my own place.


Bookmarks:
A job at Popeye’sAnimal souls

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A full-time minimum-wage job won’t get you a 1-bedroom apartment anywhere in America

One of my most fervent supporters believes my current job search is misdirected.  She believes that I should hold off on seeking work in radio, until I first have my own place.  She believes a job at Popeye’s, or Rite Aid or Family Dollar, etc., would accomplish that.

She’s mistaken.

On the one hand, my current goal for my own place is a studio or efficiency apartment for which I anticipate paying $600/month.  I think that’s necessary for the sort of place I’d like, in the sort of place (neighborhood) I’d like.  By the rule of thumb that one month’s rent should not exceed one week’s pay, this goal will require my having a 40-hour/week job at $15.00/hour.

As it happens, that’s more than I’ve ever made in my life thus far.

But that’s my current income goal.

It’s not likely for me to happen at Popeye’s or anywhere else that specializes in part-time, minimum-wage workers.

On the other hand, getting my own place is not a current goal.  I have little motivation to want to leave the mission where I stay.

Related: I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast.

For us homeless guys, this place is a palace.  It’s new, clean, and well-lit.  For $3 a day, you get a hot shower; available complete change of clothes; clean sheet, clean pillowcase, blanket and pillow; all toiletries; a decent breakfast, and a supper that is often on a par with restaurant food.  Many of the men here have no ambition ever to leave.

The $3 serves mainly to discourage troublemakers.  And it works.

There is stark contrast with the nearby other shelter, “around the corner,” where you sleep on a bare mat, the food is inexplicably miserable, and the bedbugs rule the night.

That we have this and they have that is an ongoing scandal to me.  But there is nothing I can do about it — nothing but pray.

My desire to leave the shelter has far less to do with wanting my own place, than with accomplishing more in life than I’m in a position to do now.  Recent events have buffeted my motivation specifically to seek work in radio, but for the moment that still seems to me to be the best way to go.

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3 thoughts on “A job at Popeye’s won’t get me my own place.

  1. I shouldn’t tender advice in a matter not my business. So, breaking that rule, one thing to consider is the possibility of abrupt change of shelter policy. The shelter in my town used to allow people to stay as long as they desired on a first-come, first-served basis. Then they switched to a 90 nights lifetime cap on staying there, extended an extra 90 days with proof of full-time job. But you’re right; an apartment is very hard to afford on minimum wage unless it’s through public housing.

    1. Wow! That’s a drastic change!

      As mentioned in the post I linked to (“I stay at the best shelter …”), it’s practically impossible to work full time and stay at the shelter where I stay. A few guys do it, but I honestly am clueless how.

      There are a number of men who have stayed where I stay, in different roles, for many years. Many.

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