One of the most difficult things to do in a shelter, any kind of shelter is staying positive. It really amazes me how many of the women here have and are taking advantage of the shelter. I’m not saying this is the norm for all shelters just the one I happen to be in. My roommate and I both truly appreciate and understand how lucky we each are to be here. We understand that the shelter is paying for the roof over our head, the food we eat and the utilities we need to cook food and do laundry. However, the current residents seem to only take advantage of these offerings... and yes I have my own complaints but I still understand how lucky I am to be here instead of on the streets literally.
Communal living isn’t for everyone so when you feel you have no other choice but a shelter you have to be prepared for making sacrifices that you may not like. Communal living means pitching in for everything - that includes cleaning, cooking, conserving resources and even watching children playing outside. I’m not saying free babysitting but if you see a child doing something not safe, tell the mom or tell the child no. What I am witnessing is that the residents do not seem to recognize that they are part of a hive that depends on the entire hive working together as one and not constantly bickering about what one person doesn’t like.
These two distinctly different attitudes and or approaches are what I believe will be the difference between “normal” life success and potential future returns to a shelter. I’m still attempting to locate a transitional housing program for a non addict female who is not a single mom.
I’m discovering new articles across the US that show there is obviously a need for both family and single person shelters. However, what I am discovering in my own search is that single parents and addicts are still the outreach targets for programs. While homelessness has been a big problem for more years than I could research, the new crop of homeless are people that anyone could claim as neighbors or friends… and the resources for this new crop of ‘Homeless’ is not being met. The new crop of homeless has just as much chance (possibly more) at becoming profitably employed. Not because of their current skills but because they too are willing to learn new skills and get back into “normal” life.