Why are they cutting my water off?
'Why are they cutting my water off? I paid my water bill!" and "Where's the rest of my Social Security check? HELP!!!!!!"
it's gotten harder to be a poor person in the past few weeks for 2 reasons.
First, it's not about the water. It's the sewer. Some guests didn't pay that sewer bill, or didn't pay it fully or regularly. Until now there was no consequence. The day of reckoning has come.
We're seeing past due bills ranging from a few $100's to over $2,000. It's at the 'now or never' point. Why didn't they pay it?
"I never opened the envelope. I thought it was junk mail from the City." "I thought it was that parking ticket I never paid." I used to have 4 monthly bills and now I have 5. I don't have enough money to pay 5 bills."The money owed was largely ignored by both parties until now.
Our guests don't have the money to make things right.
MetMin understands. It's not the City's fault, tho letting the sewer bills go unpaid for too long was no favor.
The City is working hard to work with MetMin and our guests to make payment arrangements after receiving the restorative payments. We deeply appreciate their efforts, and I know they appreciate ours.
Once the restorative payment is made, payment plans might add another $100 or so to each monthly bill. Our guests don't have it.
We don't either. We're doing our best to pay those restorative payments, but we'll blow our full year's sewer assistance budget before summer's end at this rate. Tip of the iceberg now.The bulk of the pending cut-off notices will hit next week.
Second, many of our seniors' SSI payments have been cut by $200-300. Imagine living on $763 a month. Now imagine that your paycheck is only $450 this month.
SSI recipients were sent 'redetermination' packets containing documents to complete and file with the State in order to continue receiving the Medicare premium part of that paycheck. Folks who didn't file those documents saw their monthly payments cut. (That's the Clif Notes version.)
Many of our elderly guests told us that 1. they never received those packets or 2. they got the packets but didn't understand the contents, so they ignored it. (Of course they shouldn't have done that, but not everyone has a son or daughter like you to oversee things like this.)
It's a perfect storm.
There has never been a better time to help a neighbor. Give securely online at www.met-min.org. Less money, more payments due = 11:59 on the homelessness clock.