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LA homeless shelter burglary

  1. Dec 3, 2007 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_7623081
    This is very sad. But I don't understand why all this money was being kept at the shelter, rather than at a bank.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2007 #2
    Thats a lot of money to be kept at a shelter. It seems odd to me too. I'm also thinking, if someone had 10,000 dollars, why are they in a homeless shelter?
     
  4. Dec 3, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    Hopefully the shelter had insurance to cover theft?

    I guess some homeless people don't trust banks.

    It does seems strange that the homeless have that much money, well it's not a poor shelter.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2007 #4

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    That seemed strange, too.
    I mean, that's enough money to cover at least two months of rent in L.A. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  6. Dec 3, 2007 #5

    Astronuc

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    Perhaps the homeless people do not have sufficient documentation to get a bank account.

    Some/many probably do not drive (or perhaps not legally), and may not have a driver's license. They certainly don't have a permanent address, unless the homeless shelter has become a defacto home.

    There is a church near my office, which offers temporary (overnight) shelter. Well, the same people line up every evening for a meal and temprorary shelter, otherwise I see them on the streets in the surrounding neighborhood.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2007 #6
    Yep.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2007 #7

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    But what concerns me is that the shelter would keep that much money on the premises. Seems like trouble waiting to happen.
     
  9. Dec 3, 2007 #8
    Anyone who puts $10k into a safe in a homeless shelter is a pure idiot. I cant feel bad for someone that stupid.
     
  10. Dec 3, 2007 #9

    Moonbear

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    I'm torn between realizing that someone who is homeless wouldn't be able to keep money anywhere else because no bank is going to give you an account without a permanent address, and like others, trying to figure out why someone who has saved up $10,000 is homeless at all? That much money would pay rent for quite a while on a small, shared apartment, which has to be better than sleeping in shelters.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2007 #10

    wolram

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    It is catch 22 with these people, if you do not have an address you can not get a job, if you do not have a job you can not get an address, if they carry any money with them they may get robbed and banks do not give accounts to faceless people, they also know that any rented accommodation will be short lived because of their way of life.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2007 #11
    Some people can have unusual fears as the result of trauma and other medical conditions. What we might consider a normal interaction, they might not.
     
  13. Dec 4, 2007 #12

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    I don't see why the shelter address cannot serve as the home address for a savings account applicant - especially, if the person has lived at the shelter long enough to save up $10,000. Surely, that takes a little while.

    I'm curious to know if Bank of America would deny a savings account to someone who provided a shelter address for their residence. I didn't think B of A was all that picky, since they are OK with giving credit cards to customers who don't have SSNs. Maybe I will ask what the requirements are for an account set up when I go into the bank this week.

    Now, that I can see. It may be that it is the wish of the person to have the money within reach at all times.
     
  14. Dec 4, 2007 #13

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    They have a suspect in custody:
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/regstate/articles/12114881.html

     
  15. Dec 4, 2007 #14

    Evo

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    They kept $100,000.00 in cash on premise?
     
  16. Dec 4, 2007 #15

    Moonbear

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    That's what I was thinking about, MIH, that if they'll open accounts for people with no SSN, why not one using a shelter address? Just make it a savings account, not a checking account, so they can't write bad checks if they don't have a permanent address, so the bank has little risk of holding their money. Being able to provide a landlord with the name of a bank where you have an account with $10,000 in it will go a long way toward securing an apartment, even if you don't currently have a job. And how are they saving up $10,000 without a job? Is pan-handling that lucrative nowadays? Sounds like they probably do have odd-jobs where they could use those people as references at least, even if it's under-the-table pay.

    I don't know why the shelter would take on the responsibility of holding that much money either. They should know it would make them vulnerable for a break-in. And, it's not doing their clients any favors to keep the money where it's off the books, so not helping to establish any sort of credit history toward getting them off the streets.

    Is there a way a homeless shelter could set up escrow accounts on behalf of the homeless, if the homeless can't get their own accounts? Just keep a small amount of cash in the safe for when the homeless need to buy something, and put the rest in a bank?
     
  17. Dec 4, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    That's INSANE!! I think the people running the shelter are the ones with mental problems if they think it makes any sense at all to hold that much money IN CASH on the premises.
     
  18. Dec 4, 2007 #17

    Evo

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    Another reason that they might not want to put the money in the bank is something you mentioned about not wanting it on the books. If they are panhandling or getting paid illegally, they don't want to draw attention to it for tax reasons.
     
  19. Dec 4, 2007 #18
    No relation to me. No really. Why didn't the shelter put the money in a bank account?

    edit - moonbear already asked.
     
  20. Dec 4, 2007 #19

    turbo

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    My wife and I recently changed banks, and we had to go through hours of paperwork just to establish new accounts and close out the old ones. When I withdrew $10,000 in the form of a cashier's check to buy a motorcycle, I had to sign a piece of paper that would go to the government informing that I had taken money out of my own savings account. If you're homeless, undocumented, or perhaps getting paid in cash for day-labor, there are some strong disincentives to dealing with banks.

    That said, it was reckless for the shelter operators to keep that much cash around. Unfortunately, setting up bank accounts for all those people could have been a nightmare, and though it is tempting to think that the money would be better off in an interest-earning account, banks have depressed interest on savings accounts to the point where they don't even keep up with inflation. With most banks around here, you've got to put at least $25K in a money-market account with limited access in order to get a paltry 2.5% rate.
     
  21. Dec 4, 2007 #20

    Moonbear

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    They aren't getting ANY interest having it sit in a safe in a homeless shelter where it's much more vulnerable to theft than it would be in a bank vault. At least in a bank, it's insured, and has the benefit of more advanced security.
     
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