2 years ago
"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”" ~~~~Samuel P. Huntington
After my first rape, it was a homeless man who saved me. I was tucked into a bloodied ball behind a dumpster, deep in shock. Without his intervention, I would have died. He covered me and sang mumbled songs. He bathed me like a child in someone's motel room where he'd carried me. Fittingly, his name was Justus. My angel had Parkinson's and had suffered several strokes. His bladder control wasn't perfect so he smelled pretty bad, too. He talked to me of soldiers he'd seen shell-shocked in Vietnam. He prayed and sang "Amazing Grace" as I stared into space, trembling and waiting, hoping to die while he carefully dabbed my face with a washcloth. He showed me a very old picture of his daughter, a cute toddler in corn rows. He spoke of her with such love. It was then I unfroze and began to cry. If this gentle, lovely man could be discarded and dying out where no one cared what hope was there for anyone? (source)
1> Homeless Shelter Hours Incompatible with Work HoursPlease Read FirstI spent a lot of the time when I was homeless sleeping "in the rough" which is another way of saying outdoors. I've been asked a lot of times why I didn't just stay in homeless shelters. The two answers most homed people will give as to why homeless people don't use shelters is that either such people are drug users and drug use is against homeless shelter rules or that some people refuse to follow homeless shelter rules pertaining to check in and checkout.
As someone who has worked in homeless shelters I am very aware that the vast majority of homeless shelter workers are good people who are doing their best. I am glad that homeless shelters exist to help people without homes. However, it would be an injustice to pretend that homeless shelters in America are plentiful enough or that all of those shelters that exist are safe enough, or free from downsides.
The issue is pretty complex, but no, I was neither using drugs nor too defiant to obey homeless shelter rules. I'd like to give my reasons for sleeping in the rough and also some of the reasons I've seen other homeless people avoid shelters while exposing some common homeless shelter dangers. Some of these reasons might surprise you. I know I was shocked to discover a few myself. ~~Kylyssa
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