The Extra Hour

Posted: November 4, 2007 in Discrimination, Employment, Homeless Shelters, Homelessness, Housing, Misconceptions, Stereotypes

As of this 2 AM this morning Daylight Savings Time officially ended.

If you’re like most people, you set your clocks back an hour last night before you went to sleep and looked forward with pleasure to the idea that you would end up getting one additional hour of sleep.

Unfortunately, the human biological clock doesn’t always work in accordance with watches and clocks, so I found myself waking up at the "same" time I usually wake up. The only difference is that my watch said that I had woken up an hour earlier.  

There are many homeless people all across this nation who are forced to sleep out of doors. Some of them are homeless by choice. Some of them are homeless as a result of circumstances that were beyond their control. Some homeless, either choose not to work or can’t find work. And there are those homeless who, despite having full time jobs, cannot afford to find a decent place to live because of the soaring price of housing.

Those homeless who must sleep out of doors probably found themselves waking up at the time they normally wake up and had to wait an additional hour before they could go someplace to wash up or grab a cup of coffee.

Like a said a couple of paragraphs above, the human biological clock doesn’t always work in sync with watches and clocks. And, the truth is that because of the time change, it is going to actually take some folks a week or two to "readjust" their internal clocks to the point where they aren’t waking up "an hour earlier."

For those folks who aren’t homeless, it’s not that big deal. For those homeless who are fortunate enough to find a bed at a homeless shelter, it is also not a big deal. But for those who find themselves having to brave the elements, it is going to be a chore to deal with that "extra" hour each morning.

It’s rough enough not really having somewhere to be during the rest of the day, but having an extra hour of having no place to be will make it seem like a 25 hour day, instead of the 24 hour day that everyone else will go through.

It will be one more hour of knowing that your prospect for a future has little or no hope. So you’ll do without hope. It will be one more hour of knowing that people will look at you through the day as though you were some type of social malefactor. It will be one more hour of wondering if and when you will eat today. It will be one more hour of wondering where you’ll sleep tonight.

It will be one more hour of wondering what your life will be tomorrow…

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