Human or Animal?

At the beginning of 2022, things changed for the worse for the homeless. There are now fewer places for us to go. 

One organization has closed some places to get out of the cold and take care of our personal needs, all because one of their staff members caught the coronavirus. Every time there’s an incident, leaders of certain organizations make it harder for the homeless to maintain their living environment. Instead of making stricter rules for homeless people, there should be an expectation of respectful behavior from both the staff and clients. When the homeless make mistakes or wrong choices, we have to suffer the consequences, but staff face no consequence for their actions. Why is it that every time I turn around, help is harder for us to find? Staff at these service providers say that they’re here for us, but the truth is they are just watching out for themselves.

As the weather and times change, so do the rules. 

Why are people putting their frustrations and troubles on us when they can’t handle certain situations? It’s not fair. If no one stands up for us, then who will? 

We go through problems on a daily basis and don’t need more. We have to find showers, laundry, drop-ins, places to sleep during the day, or just find help in general. 

People take jobs helping the homeless, but hardly want to do them because of the frustration that comes with it. Before signing up for the job, you are supposed to understand that you will encounter people with all types of mental issues and dangerous, upsetting situations. You are supposed to be prepared to handle situations like these, but they escalate the problem. 

So many scams, so many promises. What does it mean if there is no result for the better and not for the worse? Who’s fighting for us, besides the Lord and the minority of the upperclassmen and upperclasswomen who actually care? 

Even public places, like grocery stores, libraries, and restaurants, are coming up with stricter rules to force out people of less fortunate environments from these spaces, even though a lot of us pay to use their services. For instance, some grocery stores have stopped us from using food stamp cards. They say the EBT system in their store is down (6 months in one of them and 11 months in another) and we can only use cash, debit or credit, but the same franchise or corporation in a different store location accepts them. If one of the stores’ EBT system is down, shouldn’t all or most, even half of the same stores, be shut down?! 

Quite interesting how that seems a little bit strange. Wouldn’t you agree? 

They even shut off the power of the outlets so we can’t charge our phones or use our laptops to handle whatever business is necessary for us to handle. These days an email, phone and even a tablet is important. So why can’t we use public services like the people with suits and uniforms without being judged by how we look? We pay taxes just like everyone else. 

When are people going to start opening up doors instead of closing them? When are there going to be cleaner and better shelters? When are there going to be more programs with people who actually care about your well-being, like Miriam’s Kitchen? When will we get better services and within a timely manner? We need help because we are running out of options. We need more help rather than less.

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.