Homeless with Cancer by Tina Quizon

Posted on June 17, 2015


Last week I was invited as a Guest Speaker and asked to speak at the “2015 Hawaii Cancer Conference” which was held on June 11, 2015 in Honolulu. I had an opportunity to shared about the added struggles of being “Homeless with Cancer” and how the Veterans Affairs VA/HUD has continued to deny me housing, the newest  VA letter again states that I don’t qualify for the VA HUD VASH.

Watch “A Journey Together” Guest Speaker Tina Quizon shares the Hardships of being Homneless with Cancer, and with Keynote Speaker Iwalani Tsue at the 2015 Hawaii Cancer Survivorship Conference, here is the link to watch: http://olelo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=30&clip_id=49495

The stress that I have had to endure just of being homeless, then  imagine getting a diagnosis of Cancer, for me this  has been a battle that I don’t believe many of you could survive or endure. And while I was told by a VA Employee, I am not Homeless enough, even with me under going two surgeries and having daily radiation for Cancer the VA found no compassion only a boot in the grass.  I was even harassed  by law enforcement when I tried to lay down to rest as required by my Doctor before my daily radiation treatments at Tripler Army Hospital. Because of these type of inhumane treatments and many of the hardships.  Worrying about  infections, sanitation, my health and safety, not having a place to live, go to the bathroom or  to Shower  daily that  I have been facing, I was asked to speak because.  I was told that my story needs to be told, that without mine and other Cancer Patients stories shared,  the State of Hawaii, the City  of Honolulu and our community will not understand and know the truth of the hardships facing Homeless individuals and the medical problems. My life was no longer just about having a roof over my head. It has now become will I – Live or Die, will I wake up tomorrow?

While the Governor, Mayor Caldwell and our Honolulu City Council refuse basic humans rights to a homeless person,

“Homeless with Cancer” Tina Quizon getting her daily Radiation Treatment for Cancer. Tina shares the added hardships compiled onto of dealing with Cancer, 2 surgeries as a Homeless Female Veteran, turned down and denied housing by the Veterans Affairs. No VA HUD VASH, Tina was told by VA Employee that Tina was not homeless enough.

no one is talking about the compiled health problems from the Sit N Lie Laws that a Homeless person suffers from the inhumane denial of the ability to lie down, rest and get the necessary sleep required for the Body and the Human Brain needs to just function.

No talk from Hawaii’s Government leaders or any Health Professional about added health problems the Homeless Face.

Myself  – I have ongoing problems with Edema – swelling of the feet and Legs from not being able to lay down and allow the proper circulation and Heart to properly pump. Additional risks of Blood Clots and a Heart Attack that I am currently being assessed for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). And the doctors confirmed that my daily radiation treatments  increased and exacerbated the Edema, the pain and the swelling.

A Homeless person  is not getting the proper sleep. Added to the stress is being rousted by law enforcement, garbage men and other authorities who are forced to deal with an issue out of their scope of helping a homeless individual.

These Harassment practices used by the City of Honolulu, are only adding hardships, fines criminal penalties, taking a persons personal belongs, required medical papers of a Homeless Person and adding to  a Homeless Persons Health Problems.

No Safe Haven zones, from imminent Danger, the homeless are not being protected, unable to sleep and trying to remain hyper- vigilant while on the streets. Hawaii have some of the highest rate of murder of the Homeless across the United States.

Does the News, Governor or Mayor Caldwell, Ernie Martin, Kimberly Pine, or any of the Honolulu City Council even have an idea what a homeless person needs to be admitted to a temporary shelter?

The truth be know there is  no clear navigation of the Hawaii Homeless systems . No one is talking about the added Health problems, additional stress. No  talk on the news or in Civil Beat  of the list of documents and requirements of temporary shelters needed to just check in or get on a waiting list. And some shelters don’t accept you if you have health problems and not an able body,  or  a shelter may reject you telling you that you did not met the requirements of the programs by not having drug, alcohol or Mental Health issues.  Housing first is the best example that the City and State is not telling community that it requires to qualify a homeless person has to have a drug problem, alcohol or Mental Health issues.

No one states  in the News or at  the City Council meeting or in  any Media reports how  a homeless person needs a copy of a current TB Test, and  the most baffling to share with others is – did you know a Homeless Person needs a “HOMELESS CERTIFICATION Letter” to verify the person is Homeless? Where does a Homeless Person get that and how do you protect that document from the Garbage man and Police who takes a Homeless peoples  personal possessions?  My experience while the VA told me I needed a “HOMELESS CERTIFICATION Letter” VA Employee Bob Shank  said he could not give me a letter and the VA Homeless Director  Andrew Dahlburg refused to give me the necessary verification letter even though the VA knew from Oct. 2014 that I had become Homeless again and  I needed the letter for acceptance into any Temporary Shelter.

Across the Government and Agencies I believe it should also be investigated the use of terms should be reviewed.  It has been awful to see the careless and reckless use of  terms used by  the VA and other Homeless Programs , that shift with meaning to benefit the program or agency dishing out benefits, and hanging on the balance a person life by the employee’s choice to accept or deny a homeless person Housing benefits by choosing how the term fits, it is very harmful and detrimental to a homeless person who is denied housing because of the flipped use of such impactful terms :

at risk of being homeless

Chronically Homeless

Case Management

Intense Case Management

As our Governor keeps a hand off safe distance never once offering any hope or any solutions, I believe it is intentional of the Mayor and the City to pretend to be trying to solve Hawaii’s enormous Homeless Problems and funneling money without results as the Homeless population numbers grows leaps and bounds, giving proof that the current actions  have been and are failing.

We have no rent controls, a insufficient inventory of affordable housing. But for decades, Hawaii’s leadership and Hawaii’s Congressional actions show the real driving force is making sure the rich and the DOD active military have adequate housing and a roof over their heads. While Hawaiians are the top population of the homeless suffering without housing. It is our hope to  you and the community to give a true view of the daily life of dealing with Homelessness. I will continue to write and update you on more of the real issues living daily homeless faced by many individuals. I believe the entire  Federal, City and State systems, dealing with Hawaii’s Homeless Issues,  the displayed  inhumane treatment  of a  homeless person,  the denial of  the Constitional rights and basic needs of a Homeless Person, as non protected vulnerable class of people,  the stress and skyrocketing Health problems  a homeless person suffers due to the treatment by Government and  other agencies, should be investigated by the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Office of the Inspector General OIG.

Watch “Homeless with Cancer”  Tina Quizon was asked to speak as a Guest Speaker by the Keynote Speaker -Iwalani Tseu at the 2015 Hawaii Cancer Conference held on June 11, 2015 here in Honolulu. I thank and applaud Ms. Iwalani Tseu’s courage and stance to talk about Hawaii’s real problems that myself and other Homeless are enduring, not only with Cancer but what it’s like to navigate daily life.
Watch tonight Wednesday, June 17, at 08:30 pm on OLELO CH 55 and again on Sat at 4:30 pm ch 55

Article written on June 17, 2015 by Tina Quizon

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