Subtle Discrimination or How the State Unknowingly Aids Private Business

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I’m 58 years old, I have heart trouble and enough accumulated wear and tear on my body that I qualify for Social Security Supplemental Security Income. That was a shock to me. Not because I qualify — I’ve been qualified since 1984. But I thought that I could live a better life pushing through the pain from that injury. Then I had a heart attack at work in 2001, was fired for not being a team player 10 months later, and I started implementing my plan “B”. I worked that plan through 2007 when I had another motorcycle accident and moved onto Plan “C” and worked that plan through 2011 when my world collapsed around me. YOu can read all about that elsewhere on this blog. Please understand that I am a man with Autism functioning at a very high level but I still see things differently than you do so think of my writing as working a puzzle. It’s all there but organized in a way that makes sense to me.

So. We lost our condominium in 2011 and bought a derelict motor-home because Lynn and I have the skill set to do all of the repairs ourselves. We had settled into routines occasionally punctuated by system failures but nothing we haven’t managed to handle — including living through one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent New Hampshire history. Then April came around and it was time to renew the registration on our sole place of residence. And our routines came to a crashing halt. Even though it had been done in past years, this year the City Clerk pulled up RSA 261:52-c and said “It isn’t our fault, the state has tied our hands.” Just the sort of nonsense statement, the sort of “It’s not my fault” statement that drives my right-angle Asperger’s mind right up the wall.

So, knowing that you truly can’t fight city hall I sent Lynn over to the Manchester Continuum of Care day center at 140 Central Street in Manchester. The MCOC provides a drop-box mail service that I use to register my motorcycle.

The Homeless Services Center provides:

A warm and welcoming daytime shelter
Free lunch to homeless guests
Case management and other essential services that are provided by collaborating homeless service agencies.

Well that is what the MCOC website tell the public on its website. I found the reality to be radically different from my last visit.

When Lynn told me that the City wouldn’t accept our UPS store address again this year, even though it is a good address and the address on his driver’s license I suggested that he go over to the MCOC Day Center on Central street. I was able to find a parking space for our 32′ long home plus trailer so I went in too. After “Harry the Director” refused to grant Lynn the mail drop service the MCOC is set up to provide, I engaged “Harry” in conversation to find out why. The response? Lynn wouldn’t agree to take part in the job or home search programs the center provided. O-kay. Social Security has found Lynn to be 100% disabled and Lynn does his best to live on SSI and SNAP benefits. As for housing, “Harry” proclaimed that our motor-home, with central heat, gas cook top and toilet, doesn’t qualify as a home. Man, there’s a whole world of retirees living a lie! Fulltiming.

It has taken 1 week, and $100 of gasoline plus a whole bunch of cell phone minutes. 5 visits to the MCOC day center at 140 Central street. Telephone calls to the Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for Manchester, Southern New Hampshire Services and finally with the most incredible luck and kindness the help of a Partner at one of Manchester’s biggest law firms. Even then it took several telephone calls to MCOC to convince them that using the mail drop was “Using the services” of the MCOC. See that was “Harry’s” sticking point. He claimed that the mail function was a service only for people looking to become employed, seeking mental health care or looking to find a permanent home.

TITLE XXI Motor Vehicles CHAPTER 261

and by providing a letter signed by an authorized representative of a social service organization or agency qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code stating that the person is authorized to use the mailing address of the organization or agency for purposes of contact by the department.

About Art

55 years old. By training, ability and experience I am a master toolmaker. My most recent projects include designing and building a process to grind a G rotor pump shaft with four diameters and holding all four diameters within plus or minus 4 microns of nominal. This was an automated process using two centerless grinders refitted to my specifications using automatic load and unload machines plus automatic feedback gauging. I also designed and built an inspection machine to check for the presence and size of a straight knurl on a hinge pin using a vision system for non-contact gauging.
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