The Vet Tent

On the 12th (see previous post) I was falling asleep all day, unintentionally, for my lack of sleep over these many weeks of sleeping rough (outside on sidewalks).   It was making me stressed and depressed and I was about to bottom out, physically and emotionally.   In the evening I was at a cafe, where I spend most of my evenings, waiting for the time I could head down to the area where I camp on the sidewalk. For the upteenth time I had nodded off, only to be awaked a short time later by a homeless advocate friend.  Once he sees I’m awake he tells me, “I just talked to a friend of mine who says the Veterans Tent is open and they have vacancies.  Do you want to go?”  “absolutely, lets go,” I said and immediately packed up my things.  We put my cart, with all my belongings in it, into the back of his vehicle, and he drove me down to the Veterans Shelter Tent.  He stuck around to make sure that they’d accept me into the shelter and even went out and bought me some fast food, when we found out it would be a hour or so of waiting.   I was not allowed to take all my junk into the shelter with me, so most of it is still in my friend’s car. (I’ll have to find a way to store that stuff and unburden him of it.)

The Shelter officially opened a week ago, and about a month earlier than usual.  So, the tent is only 3/4th full.  They expect all the beds to be taken by the end of this weekend.

First, I and my things were searched, then I was taken into the building where I filled out a lot of paperwork – about 20 minutes worth.  Then I was issued a new blanket and two new sheets and a new pillow – the bunks and mattresses are all new too.   This tent is run very similarly to the Alpha Project Tent that I stayed in last year, but the folks working at the Vet Tent are much more professional, things run smoother.  There are a lot fewer hassles.  Oh and the shower facilities are much better too – shower stalls are cleaner, larger, have more water pressure and actual hot water.

As soon as I could, I climbed up into my rack (I have a top bunk, bottom bunks are all taken), and as I laid there I could feel myself relax and become quiet, and I began to become aware of all the aches and pains I’d been carrying with me these several months while sleeping on the streets.

Now that I have some free time, I am going for walks, sans backpack and cart, and am working out the kinks.  Learning to walk upright again.  The pains are going away and I’m feeling healthier

Dinner provided at the shelter last night was spaghetti, breakfast this morning was scrabbled eggs with cheese and spinach mixed in.


About Kevin Barbieux

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

One comment

  1. That is wonderful news!


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