by Donna Clark RN, Director
Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. The weather is colder and the need for blankets, coats, gloves and other items for warmth are in high demand. Our waiting room stays full of people just looking to get out of the cold and drink something hot.
What does someone do to stay out of the weather when you are homeless? Mondays and Fridays are covered by H.O.P.E., Inc. but the rest of the week people have to find a safe place to hang out and not get into trouble just sitting around. By 9 am anyone who is able to pick up a job has gone off to work but there are few of those kinds of jobs available. The public library is one of the more frequented places but even then they must remain quiet and be reading. If they were up all night trying to keep warm and safe it’s hard to stay awake and sleeping isn’t allowed in the library.
There’s always the court system. Anyone can sit and listen to court proceedings but again, no sleeping. The Emergency Department at the hospital is an alternative but not for long stretches and not daily as you will be asked to move on. Life on the streets is hard and grueling. It is not just the easy way out of work. It is cold and dangerous as homeless people are very vulnerable. There is no Day Center for respite anymore and it is hard on those who are mentally ill or just lost in today’s world. Please pray for the homeless and the mentally ill on the streets. It’s going to be a long winter.