Homeless and Stranded in Newhall, Cat Owner Posts Cry for Help
Jerry Flattum is a performer, songwriter, and writer. Pursuing a Master’s degree from the Academy of Art since January 2016, Flattum was on the path to reach his creative and professional goals.
Until he was evicted on April 3.
“I’m now out in the cold and rain in Santa Clarita and have to find a way to get my cats and belongings. The person who was helping me has other plans and no longer wishes to help me,” wrote Flattum on a blog post on his LinkedIn page, titled “Songwriter/Writer is Now Homeless.”
Flattum stated on his LinkedIn that his student loans were cut off due to an issue with Title IV, which are federal financial aid funds.
Although he is not specific as to what the complications are, Flattum was unable to pay the bills due to this complication and was evicted from his North Hollywood apartment.
In an apparent cry for help, Flattum posted onto Craiglist that he is in need of foster care help for his three cats, which he brought along with him.
“I am not putting them up for adoption. This is strictly for foster care. I will help as much as I can,” Flattum wrote. “Obviously I’m trying to find shelter for myself, get a cheap car, and of course, find work. Once I’m situated again, I can come get the cats.”
Flattum stated on his various blog posts on his LinkedIn that he is using Wifi wherever he can find it in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Flattum’s story is one in possibly thousands for those in the Santa Clarita Valley: the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that, as of 2014, about 14.8 percent of the Santa Clarita Valley population lives in poverty.
Poverty is defined by the U.S. Census as “a family’s total income [being] less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty.”
While this statistic accounts for many living in poverty, there are many others who have reached the point of homelessness or have traveled to Santa Clarita and are unable to be accounted for in statistics, such as Flattum.
Shelters, such as the Bridge to Home Shelter in Newhall, have been built to help this issue, especially during the cold winter months and in light of 2016’s El Niño season.
“It, [homelessness], is not a choice. I made mistakes, and am dedicated to changing, ending this miserable situation, and getting back to pursuing my career,” wrote Flattum on his LinkedIn page. “These are trying times. The homeless situation in America has reached critical mass, and I’m the latest victim of my own mistakes. I accept full responsibility.”