I’m in the veteran shelter this morning thinking about all the homeless that have stayed in this room. Although it’s a run down small room it is survival for many and their lives depend on the graciousness of others. I’m thinking about the broken lives, the people just like me that life has dealt a bad hand to. I’m thinking about those that could have slept in this bed and the reasons why it’s that way and how their journey brought them to this place. I’ve never met them yet our journeys have crossed simply by sharing the same space.
The energy in the room is not hostile, it’s more of a grateful energy, an energy of safe harbor. I feel safe in this place as uncomfortable as it is. I slept well without the pain of outside forces. Yes this is a run down in need of repair haven but it’s a palace for some. I get that same feeling when I sleep in my van. I feel uncomfortable but safe.
The operator on the phone asked me a series of questions before she assigned me my room. Where did you sleep last night, do you have money, do you need personal hygiene? Questions most of us balk at in every day life. But, these are questions that are pertinent to the homeless, normal questions associated with the underside of life. I was actually asked about my hygiene by two different people so I assume it’s a pertinent one associated with the homeless.
Since my journey brought me to this place I can’t help but thinking there might be some that didn’t get shelter last night. It was 15 degrees and a foot of snow on the ground and still snowing when I was assigned my room. I waited to the last possible moment to ask for help hoping that everyone was off the street. It was late when I arrived.
I know with mental health issues associated with the homeless there is a reluctance to accept help. The stigma attached to mental health in this country is certainly not helping our veterans. Not accepting you have a problem is generally the biggest obstacle they face. With the conditions so bad last night I hope everyone in need of help accepted it and received it.
Sleep well and have a good day.