For Better And Worse

After a month and a half from the date the winter shelter was opened, an announcement was made that the shelter was no longer available to the homeless for the entire winter, but has been changed to a 90 day program.  That means that nearly everyone in the shelter only has 45 more days to stay, and then they will be kicked out – right in the middle of winter.  No one staying at the shelter had been informed of this previously.

This new shelter rule is the result of attempts to fix problems with the shelter system.  But obviously it’s creating more problems than it’s creating.   Evidently it is expected that the homeless in the shelter will be able to find permanent housing while there.  Just how they are supposed to find this permanent housing is not explained to the homeless.  There are some counselors who come during the day to the shelter to talk to individuals wanted to talk to them, but what these counselors are for, what they are supposed to be helping with, also has not been explained to the homeless either.  Of the counselors I’ve seen and chatted with, none of them are involved in finding housing for the residents of the shelter.   And there is certainly no indication that there is enough permanent housing available for the 150 homeless currently staying in the shelter, and from previous experience, I highly doubt that there is.

For the homeless who are able to find housing in the 90 day period, (actually the 45 day period since that’s all the time we have left from the time of the announcement) this time limit is of no consequence.  But the truth is, most of the homeless in this shelter are going to dumped back onto the streets in the middle of winter with no where to go.


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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