Homeless Shelter Workers: The Employee

At homeless shelters there are two basic types of employee.  There is the person who has been around the shelter for so long that he/she has worked up the ladder, starting as a homeless person, to the point where the shelter has decided to hire this person as  a regular employee.  That is usually a very long and arduous journey.  This person will have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that they have overcome whatever addictions are mental illnesses that began their homeless experience.  This usually takes years.  And this person is usually someone who, before being homeless, was highly functioning, perhaps had a college degree, or achieved some relatively high level of responsibility, like a corporate management position.

The other type of homeless shelter employee is a regular citizen, never been homeless, but in need of a job, and considers work at a shelter as no different than a job anywhere else.  These are usually administrative support people, secretaries, accountants, cooks, program organizers, social workers, etc.   These people are generally not “do gooders” trying to save the world.  They are just working for a living, to pay their bills.  Although, they do take pride in the fact that they have helped to make life better for those less fortunate.

Homeless shelter employees are the people you will tend to get the most, and the best, help from.   You would do well to get to know as many of these people as you can.   Some can still be trouble, so be careful.  But, for the most part, these people are usually willing, and have the ability to get things done, as far as assisting you with your needs.

Still, you usually have to negotiate your way past the door keepers to get access to the employees.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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