Homelessness Remains A Hidden Issue | Moses Lake , Washington | Columbia Basin Herald
Ray Kitzke moved to Moses Lake two years ago for a job he lost a few months later to seasonal layoffs.
At the time Kitzke thought it was no big deal. The city had plenty of other job openings and he quickly landed part time work as a chef in a couple of restaurants and a hotel. But then a string of circumstances, including a bout of influenza and a clash with an employer, left him unemployed and unable to pay his rent.
That winter, at age 56, Kitzke found himself sleeping in a car borrowed from a friend.
He’s still there.
While he’s since managed to find part-time work as a personal chef, Kitzke says his situation makes it nearly impossible to secure steady employment.
“When you’re homeless and you’re making a little amount of money and you don’t have mom and dad to fall back on, that means you can’t take baths all the time, you have no place to look in the mirror to shave, you can’t take care of your clothing because it has to be rolled up and stuffed in a bag every day,” Kitzke says. “You always look like you were sleeping in your clothes. Do you want that person as an employee, representing your company looking like he just came out a homeless camp?”
Kitzke is far from alone in his predicament.
Peny Archer, the operations manager of Community Services of Moses Lake, says the growing number of homeless people she meets through the food bank came to town looking for jobs that for whatever reason didn’t pan out.