Getting into St. Patrick's Haven last night was a bit painful. The plus side of it all was that I wasn't sleeping outside. In the summer, that would not have been an awful hardship, but the weather is starting to turn in this part of the world. It rained last night too boot, so a roof over ones head is good.
Anyway, the painful part was having to stand outside for approximately 2 hours waiting to be admitted to the shelter. This is sort of how it works. You line up at around 4:00 to 4:30 PM outside the fence that leads to the shelters back yard. You are informally given a number.
Well, you assign yourself a number. If you show up and there are more than 17 people already waiting you might as well look for alternative shelter. If there are less than that number, you count heads including yourself and assign yourself the last number. Last night I showed up with 12 people in front of me, so I was number 13.
The people who run the shelter don't approve of this numbering system, but it works for the people who use the place. One fellow, who is disabled and can't run or even walk too fast was guaranteed a spot based on this informal system. Since there were more than 17 that showed up last night, the last 2 fellows to show up knew to keep looking for a place to sleep.
Anyway, after waiting for about 2 hours and sorting out 'informally" who's in and who's not, you line up at the door. After filling out some paperwork you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. There is a TV set that some folks will change channels on without regard for personal safety. Anyway, if no one complains too loudly, you watch whatever the crazy tunes into until bedtime.
Later on, it's upstairs with you to make up your bed, get a shower and hopefully a decent nights sleep. A good nights sleep in not assured, but at least you'll be warm and dry.
I had someone wire me a few bucks so I could avoid the hassle involved with St. Patrick's Haven. One night of that was enough for anyone.
Actually I think it would be a great idea if the everyone had the pleasure of staying in a shelter for awhile. It might go along way towards improving conditions for homeless everywhere.
Anyway that was one bullet dodged from my misadventure from a few night before. Yeah, I think I mentioned that I had a bit of a mini-binge and lost my place at the Mission. I also blew money that was intended for things other than getting high.
Oh yeah! I also seriously overdrew my account. Only a crackhead would figure out how to milk every penny from the system that they can. Someone will probably fix that loophole someday. So far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better.
How many people do you know who smoke crack only use money set aside specifically for that purpose?
Not too many, right.
When that train starts rolling, it usually don't stop until all the money is gone.
Hopefully there will be a happier tale in the near future.
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