OFH Clothing for a Cause

food for the homeless & hope for the hopeless

Could You Choose Between Food or Shelter?

on October 10, 2011

Homelessness results from a complex set of circumstances that require people to choose between food, shelter, and other basic needs. Homeless shelters aren’t plentiful enough, safe enough, or free from downsides. Here are just a few of them.

Rigid shelter schedules &rules. Many homeless do have jobs which don’t allow them to get in or out of the shelter by curfew

Danger of rape or assault. Shelters are hunting grounds for human predators. Craftier ones get jobs at shelters while others just watch for individuals departing the shelters. Predators in search of “excitement” will track a lone person leaving a shelter so they can beat him or harass him for fun.
Criminals know police seldom take complaints from homeless people seriously.

Fear of contracting disease and or parasites. In a shelter there is almost endless coughing. Many with chronic coughs have chronic illnesses, transmissible diseases. Also if you sleep in a different bed nightly that other homeless people have slept in, eventually you are bound to get head lice, pubic lice or scabies.

If you are homeless, you are guilty even if you are innocent. People automatically assume that if you are thin you abuse crack or alcohol. Even though shelters have signs or policies about being a drug free zone, they are often more likely to be drug hot spots.

Theft – The homeless carry everything they own on their back or rolling cart. Most homeless are not thieves but there are plenty that are. To simply protect what they have they don’t use the shelters.

Give up faithful assistance or companionship – Dogs except for seeing eye and hearing assistance ones are not allowed in shelters. Dogs that are simply companions and even those that provide assistance for mental conditions such as anxiety or agoraphobia, and other service dogs are denied entry as well.

Giving up family for shelter. Shelters separate families. Women can bring pre-teen children into shelters but teenage male children (as young as 13) may be required to go to a men’s shelter which they may not even get into. Can you imagine a mother leaving her young teenage son to sleep alone on the street without her protection? Most don’t so the whole family sleeps in their car or outside.
Men and women cannot be in the same homeless shelter so husbands and wives are separated. These people are often elderly or disabled and depend on each other for safety and care. Children cannot stay in men’s homeless shelters. This leaves homeless single fathers in a very difficult spot. This seems not only heartbreaking but criminal.

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