47. Help The Homeless Apply For Aid
When illness forced Albert Bishop to leave his job as a security guard in 1984, he became homeless. He missed the deadline to apply for public and subsidized housing because he was in the hospital.
Once released, Bishop lived with a friend whom he later found was on crack. Meanwhile, he sought help from every agency he could find, worse at his friend's apartment, he decided to put his entire medical and housing history down on paper.
Then he brought that history to Catholic Charities, where Ruth Francis, a caseworker, became his advocate. Over the course of eight months, she helped him track down subsidized housing. By insisting that the agencies respond to her, she kept the process going.
In September 1989, Bishop moved into a City Housing Authority three-room apartment. It was, he said, "the hide-away I always dreamed of." Without Ruth Francis' dogged determination, he would probably still be homeless.
List of all 54 Ways