Why is a Tent in the Cold Better than the Shelter?

Posted November 15th, 2012 @ 8:28 AM by

During some down time between meetings yesterday, I asked folks to tell me what they didn’t like about staying in shelter and why a tent in the cold is better. Here is what they had to say . . .

– It’s dirty.
– They make you keep a strict schedule that people can’t always meet – a missed bus means no shelter.
– It’s run like a “Nazi Camp”.
– It’s like being in jail – they only let you outside to smoke a certain times in the men’s shelter.
– You can’t leave once you get there.
– The curfew (can’t do social things)
– They kick you out early in the morning (7am men, 8am women)
– It’s noisy – hard to sleep
– It’s chaotic in the shelter
– Bad attitudes of the staff
– Bad attitudes of the other people there
– Its a small area with lots of people and that just causes issues
– The restrooms and showers are not clean
– There are not enough towels for people to take showers (and if you bring your own they often take it)
– Your stuff is not safe, it gets stolen
– It’s not physically safe there – sometimes from the staff as well
– People staying there are sick and everyone gets sick
– There are lots of fights in the shelter
– Some people are banned and the bans are inconsistent and unfair
– The sheets are not clean (only washed once or twice a week), the men have to use sheets slept in by others
– There are just too many people
– Even if you have a locker they clean them out once a week (women)
– The women have to move heavy beds and its hazardous
– Laundry machines are often broken
– There is no complaint process
– They don’t follow their own rules consistently
– Bed bugs
– Preston is god
– There is a feeling of being physically threatened by Preston and others
– At the women’s shelter there are lots of screaming kids during the meals.

– You get to keep all your things with you.
– It’s peaceful
– Sense of community
– You can control the temperature (its often hot in the shelters)
– Its more pleasant
– Freedom – you can work til 3 am and not get kicked out of the shelter at 7 am
– You can sleep in
– You can eat or sleep whenever you want
– You can access all your belongings 24/7
– They trust the people they are with
– No stealing
– They have food
– They can sleep (not noisy)
– Dignity
– They can use a stick as a cane, in the shelter it is considered a weapon
– You can make your own schedule
– People in the community interact and support them, they are not alone

Their words, not mine. Just relaying the message for all those who ask . . .

Categories: | Dane | Madison | Media

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