Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nothing to Lose

"The shelter was supposed to be repulsive. That's the only way it could be. It couldn't be comfortable or clean. There was a reason the shelter employees were stern in their approach to us. There was a reason we didn't have cable TV, and there was a reason that many of our rights and freedoms were checked at the door: they didn't want us there. Four our own good, they wanted us out.

Can you imagine how many people would come to live there if the shelter was an appealing place to live?

"Hey dude, where do you live?"
"Over there on Meeting Street. You know, at the homeless shelter."
"Oh man. I hear it's nice down there. I'm thinking about moving there for a few months myself. Take a little vacation from paying bills."

Nobody should look forward to living at the shelter. They should come "home" thinking, "Man, I'm sick of this hole. I gotta do something to get out of here."

And, as I was beginning to discover, that was how most of the shelterees felt. Most longed to be free from the realities of such a dehumanizing world."

Readings from Scratch Beginnings, Adam Shephard, 2008.


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