No Time for Homelessness
“Homelessness” is the lacking of one’s own permanent housing...
The person sleeping under on the bench and the family member suffering an eviction, now sleeping on an air mattress are both homeless.
When Archie began reaching out to addicts in our city, he himself was homeless, living in a car. He had three jobs, three kids, but he was determined not to give up. Though prevention became his passion, Archie did not feel worthy of the real title, an office, and official role in the city. He wanted to continue his work in the shadows.
Up to a third of homeless adults in the US suffer from a serious mental illness.
Born and raised in Norfolk, Archie Boone truly embodies the phrase – defying all odds. Archie was raised by a single mother in the Norview and Parkplace neighborhoods. His mother raised him to be honest and to say no to drugs, but around age 11 negative influences began creeping in. Archie turned to drugs and alcohol in part due to the influence of older cousins but also in large part because of some serious trauma they all experienced growing up.
One day in college, after passing out from drugs Archie woke up to a police officer and Dean of Students in his dorm room. Instead of arresting him, the officer counseled him. The officer told him he needed to make a change now. And just like that, cold turkey, Archie stopped using any drugs. He says it was a divine moment for him. To him, it represented God‘s mercy. And in that moment, a foundation was laid for a new life. Archie went on to become that merciful lifeline for countless people in Norfolk.
In 2016, he landed a job with the community services board. And we’re glad he did.
In Virginia, 7 in every 10,000 people are experiencing homelessness.
When Archie began working with the community services board, he was still struggling to secure stable housing. He and his wife found shelter in the home of Mark Tait, in the Heritage Point Community of Norfolk, Virginia.
In the City of Norfolk, a worker would need to earn $19.94 per hour to afford the average monthly rent of $1037.
Since 2018, Archie has afforded $1500 monthly rental payments while working a job and running multiple family businesses. His wife supports him, as well as, offers homeschooling to their three younger children- Caleb, Adam, and Abby.
In the past five years Archie has traveled the country for training on how to battle the opioid epidemic. He learned how to administer Narcan, Archie is certified in REVIVE! Overdose Prevention training in as to what many of our deputies have learned how to administer Narcan. He also gave his time at the Something In The Water Festival, looking for any one showing signs of a possible overdose. Archie also writes his own rap music to get his message out to the kids in Norfolk communities.
In 2015, the median income of renters in Norfolk was $16.05 per hour.
Archie’s income wasn’t too much higher than the 2015 median income, causing him to work more and his family seeing him less and less each day. Since black males are more likely to experience homelessness than any other population in Hampton Roads, fathers like Archie are more likely to lose their homes. And homeless men are certainly likely to part ways with their loved ones while experiencing homelessness.
Norfolk has nearly 500 more homeless men than surrounding cities in the region.
Resources are available. Learn how the City of Norfolk is increasing the readiness of Norfolk residents who are in need of opportunities to prevent eviction in the time of a pandemic.
In no state can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one or two bedroom rental at market rate.
b. Archie’s three children are featured in his music video, “No Time.”
b. Archie now works full time with Norfolk CSB and Norfolk Prevention Coalition.
If you know anyone who may benefit, then please share.
Facing Eviction? There’s help available! Norfolk Department of Neighborhood Services is hosting an Eviction Prevention Resource Clinic connecting residents to resources to pay rental and utility arrearages and assist with childcare costs. This event will be held on Saturday, December 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Attucks Theatre. All Norfolk households facing eviction are eligible to receive assistance from Legal Aid, Virginia Poverty Law Center and city staff. Breakfast, lunch and childcare will be provided to attendees at no cost, but registration is required. Event will follow COVID-19 protocols such as masks and hand sanitizer. Please bring photo ID, Social Security card, lease/rental agreement,* utility bills* and most recent paystubs.* *original, copies or digital versions are accepted.
You can find more information about this clinic and Eviction Prevention Services online or call (757) 664-RENT.