Homeless Eviction: Post Office (Getting Mail!)
Veterans Helping Veterans and Citizens!
Well, you're about to get evicted or have been evicted, and in case you didn't think about it, you're going to need a new address, or at least a way to get mail. You're going to need a way to get your mail, even if you're homeless. Some benefits you apply for will want an address, even if you're homeless. Every state is different on this, and you may not be able to use a P.O. Box for applying for some benefits, however, I'll show my disdain for the people working for the private companies sucking up the money for benefits by 'managing' them for the government under sweetheart contracts, by saying, it's very unlikely that anyone working at those places will recognize the difference between a General Delivery address and a regular address.
Like most people, if you're polite and respectful to the Post Office employees, I'm sure they'll be the same, and help you out. They have online help with a real person via chat. First, simply go to USPS.com and get yourself an USPS account using your last address, or and address you trust and can access your mail at. Why? Seriously can't understand why all Citizens don't have a USPS account, it just makes life easier. You can even buy stamps online and get them delivered, buy and print out shipping labels... and get free boxes! Yeah, you don't really have to go to your local grocery store to try to get boxes to move, just order new boxes in bulk from USPS!
Without a doubt, you are going to need a way to get mail. If you have family or friends you trust, by all means simply use that. If not consider getting a Post Office Box before you lose your current address, because due to the Patriot Act, you need a current address to get one, and even if you've been evicted already, you should be able to use your evicted address to get the P.O. Box. But, there are some things you should know about Post Office boxes... The USPS is under-rated, but I think they provide a great and essential service. You can find out about Post Office Boxes from this link: USPS P.O. Boxes If you have a USPS account you can link your P.O. Box to it and 'manage' it online, meaning pay for it, of course.
That'd be the best way to go, if you have no one else's address to use, the P.O. Box. The second way is to use a 'General Delivery' address. General Delivery Information I'd test this yourself with your local Post Office. I know in my area, there's my Post Office for my zip code, but also a 'depot' not far from that that I'd need to pick up 'General Delivery' mail at, so make sure you know what's going on when you use General Delivery. It can be difference from Post Office to Post Office, I understand. You should pretty much be able to use General Delivery if you have a valid ID or Driver's License. It's simple enough to use General Delivery:
(Local Post Office Street Address)
(Local Post Office City, State, Zipcode)
Now I didn't know any of this when I was homeless, and even getting SNAP was a pain, but the lady I was working with for that, was smart, and simply had me pick up my card at the front desk of the benefits office, rather than mailing it. But, I know how to be polite, rather than confrontational, which normally works for getting people to work with you. But, here's a word of warning, don't lie and say you live at your General Delivery address, in fact, don't lie when you're getting benefits at all. You don't want the trouble that might bring, which can include felony charges for the smallest thing if you're getting Federal benefits. Putting down General Delivery for your address isn't really a lie, in my opinion, but if they ask you where you live, and you say that address, you'll probably get in trouble.
I'm not going to list all the things you'll need an address for, but besides benefits, some will be things like if your smart phone breaks, getting things off Amazon you need to survive on the street, and even if you have to replace your school transcripts or other important papers. So I see it as important. Make sure you put the street address of your local Post Office in your address book, you'll need it for General Delivery!
Last on the Post Office list is change of address, and I'm just putting it here so you don't forget to do it! You should change your address with important companies and people personally, putting in a Change Of Address form to the Post Office is just a way to cover those places and people you many have missed. Here's the USPS online form for that! Online Change of Address Form
There are other, private company options, for mail, I believe UPS Stores have post boxes you can use. You've got google if you want to go private, have at it!
Of course, what I've written here might not matter soon, as the Oligarchy Dems and Repubs are tyring to dismantle the Post Office so they can create more income inequality in the country.
I simply can't wait till it costs $5 to mail a letter! <--sarcasm>
Eddie Fetherman's Personal Experience