by Randy Cox
The nights have been dangerously cold and the authorities have shown a rare concern for the homeless over the last few weeks. They arranged shelter and transportation, but many of the homeless shun their help. The talking heads just can't understand it. Why won't the homeless go the shelters?
I was going to write a blog about it, but while researching and reading a good response from a literate street person, I realized that regular people don't really care anyway.
Sometimes decent, intelligent people fall through the cracks and find themselves on the street. It doesn't take them long to find out the shelters are designed for alcoholics, drug addicts, and the mentally ill. The shelters require their guests to come in early, eat, then stay put until morning.
In the morning the guests are driven out at daybreak after breakfast and not allowed back in until check-in time. The guest is allowed a minimum of personal possessions, so for those who have more than a bag or two of junk, there is no place for them here.
Even if the down and out has only a few nice items, the shelter is a perfect place to lose what they have left. These places crawl with thieves and bullies that will take whatever attracts their fancy. It is easy to get in a fight at the shelters. Fighting is a good way to find oneself in prison. If you can't afford a good lawyer, a bad one will be appointed for you.
Street people know they can freeze to death on the streets, but that can take time.. Death can come suddenly in the shelters.