Thursday, December 01, 2016

You can't beat my hustle
So Emmanuel was running out of time to renew his permesso di soggiorno because his grace period ends at Christmas time. Yesterday afternoon I ran to meet him at track three of the train station because he is banned from entering the city of Lucca because he was caught begging too many times. I gave him the documents that the lawyer gave us and told him to go first thing in the morning to ask for an appointment to renew his documents. I included a full poster-size letter that said in Italian: Good morning! Please help me to get an appointment for the renewal of my permesso. They actually all stopped what they were doing and applauded him for his efforts. But they said he needed a bunch more documents before they could give him the appointment. He could not understand them so they wrote it down for him and he brought it to me at track three of the same train station this morning where I came running to look at it.

I called the lawyer and she said that there would never be a way to have proof of the outcome of his court case because the judge won't make a decision until March, which is way after the grace period will have ended. The line cut out. We had all of the things they needed scanned into our computer. Luckily, F had a break in his work just then so he printed everything out, bought Emmanuel a focaccia to eat, and we scooped him up in the car to try again. I called his second lawyer (he has three) from the car, and she said if she wasn't in front of a judge she would try to help convince them to accept that he can't have the outcome of his case for them if the judge hasn't decided yet. She said this was his only chance.

The new base of the police station for immigrant business doesn't open officially until the middle of next week. None of the websites had the exact address of it, but we figured out where it was using Google street view. There was nobody there. No line. Usually you must wait for hours for a turn at the window. We got to the window, and it was the same two guys that we gave bread to when we went to request baby Peace's documents. They recognized me and after the old, grumpy guy yelled at me about something I can't understand, he processed the request. I asked Emmanuel if he could hear the angels singing. Emmanuel celebrated by playing us the most obscene rap song imaginable on his cell phone and asking me for a honey candy. I gave him the whole bag. He said, now I am celebrating. And we took this photo:

Then we stopped by Jennifer's house which is still full of mosquitoes, stinks of sewer, and is without hot water. The landlord said he would come by the day before, but he didn't come. We put together the Christmas tree that Bernadette donated. Ali was there. The police tried to empty his pockets to force him to pay the fines they had given him for begging. He refused, so they gave him another fine and a time to appear before a judge. They assigned him a lawyer who doesn't speak english. I may need to speak to the lawyer he got assigned because he made the mistake of saying that he understood Italian when the police questioned him. They ask in this way that makes you think that is the only right answer, and everyone always falls for it. 

Job found a new house for them, but Tina hates it. She called me, saying that it is too old. But Job paid the deposit because, truly, homes that cost 400 a month are hard to come by. It has no furniture, needs paint, and it is going to take a lot of work. AGAIN. It turns out that the man DuWill who has his name on the contract for their current apartment, said he purposely did not collect rent money from the people there because he wanted to get evicted. It was during a house meeting, and everyone was surprised when he said it. Clearly, he is mentally ill. So  they need to get out of that house. However, if we had not fixed up that house, I would not have had the consent letters that allowed Emmanuel to get his appointment today. It takes a consent letter from a house owner and her personal identity documents, which we scanned when things were going better, and none of us knew that the housemates had collectively failed to pay rent for eleven months. Now they paid off two months' worth of rent this month, but they are still grumbling about how unfair it is. I don't get it.

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