Life in the voucher lane


A tent from a person experiencing homelessness sits outside in Washington, D.C. (FaceMePLS/Flickr)

I qualified for a housing voucher in 2017 because of my mental health. Unfortunately, two weeks before I was scheduled to get my keys, I was locked up for 22 months for violating my parole for a trespassing offense. When I came out last January, I was told I had lost my spot to obtain that voucher. So, I am still homeless.

I stay in a transitional housing program. I also go to Community Connections’ program for mental health. Case managers from Community Connections and HIPS are working on my voucher situation. One told me my voucher is on standstill, but I would be discussed at the next housing voucher meeting. So, they are trying to get me reassigned to my voucher. I know they will; I don’t know when.

I’ve been homeless for 33 years. I deserve my voucher back soon so I can move on with my life. My voucher would mean the world to me.

Ronald Smoot is a vendor for Street Sense Media.

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.