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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