I’m Tired…

Posted: October 23, 2007 in Homeless Shelters, Homelessness

Of all the posts I’ve written thus far, the last five have been the most difficult for me – and quite honestly they left me emotionally gasping for air.

After I published yesterday morning’s post, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t go to do any more blogging for a while. The more I thought about it however, the more I realized that I just couldn’t walk away from it either. Not for my own sake, but because of those homeless who were kind enough to share with me their recollections of what it was like for them when they first found themselves homeless. Without them, the last five posts could not have been written, since it is a compilation of their experiences.  

While to many, the "scenario" that I presented may have seemed far fetched, it is nonetheless one which is played out in some fashion each and everyday across this nation. Ordinary people find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford a place to live and are forced to utilize homeless shelters and other emergency relief organizations.

Sadly, they also learn quickly that the larger part of society thinks little or nothing about them. And if or when the community does indeed notice them it’s because the community is trying to find some way of making the homeless move somewhere else – preferably a different city or town.

As for the homeless support services organizations and agencies, most homeless people will find very little available in way of actual aid that will help them move beyond homelessness and back into the mainstream society. This is because current thinking among homeless support service organization is geared toward providing a meal and/or a bed and nothing more.

For example: here in my community, this is the time of year when both the homeless shelter and the day center will actively seek out every media outlet in hopes of bringing themselves to the attention of the community. The purpose – to prepare the community to be solicited for donations from the public and funding from the government.

In fact, about a week ago, in the local newspaper there was an article about the day center and all of the (supposedly) wonderful services they provide for the local homeless. It would actually be nice if they actually offered all of the services they make claim to.

A couple of days after the article ran, I received and e-mail asking me what my take was on the article. My response was: "No big deal. This type of coverage happens every year at this time and will happen again same time next year."

I published a post called "Do The Math." In it I mentioned that the men’s bathroom had been "out of commission" for about a month. That was a month ago. The men’s bathroom is still out of commission. And, there doesn’t seem to be an realistic target date for when it may finally be open for use.

On the other hand, the day center may not be in a hurry to get the bathroom fixed, what with the Christmas season getting closer. They can "sadly" make mention to everyone that the men’s bathroom is sorely in need of being fixed. Something like that is sure to make the rest of the community give more this year than they would if the bathroom were in good working order.

I know one thing for certain – I’m tired…

… I’m tired of seeing how the homeless are treated by the majority of the mainstream society – as though they were less than human. I’m tired of reading or hearing about how local governments are trying to adopt and enact laws and ordinances aimed at making it harder for the homeless to barely survive, let alone live.

But, mostly I’m tired of …

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