Friday, May 14, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I am shaking my head and typing as fast as I can. Why?

Because I am not using my own laptop. Why?

Because there is no Wi-Fi in the library in this small-town city in Washington State.

But that's not the worst problem that I have right now. Oh no.

I left the rest area near Stanfield, Oregon early yesterday morning. I was on interstate 84 just as soon as the sun came up.

I got rides all the way to Vancouver, Washington and when I reached that city, everything began to go wrong. And it has been a downhill ride ever since.

My plan is to relocate to another State next month. I've already decided what I want to do. But I need a place to stay in the meantime.

I chose Washington because of its geographic proximity to northern Idaho.

But when I arrived in Vancouver last night, I was told by a woman who works at a large shelter that they don't house single women. To my astonishment, I was told that nobody in Vancouver does. There is a large matching counterpart to the family shelter down the street...and it houses single, adult men. But there is no shelter that houses single, homeless women at all.

And furthermore, I asked the police to help me find a place last night. And an officer drove me two-and-a-half blocks up from where I was, dropped me off in front of a Lutheran church building and drove away.

I was abandoned in an unfamiliar residential area with no public facilities whatsoever at 10:30 pm last night. I have been awake since then.

This morning I went to an outreach place that told me to call a shelter where I am now. I am in a totally different city. When I called, I was given a rosy picture of the facility. When I got up here, I was introduced to something else.

It is a family shelter with three flights of stairs. Guess where they want me to be at night? Every night? Carrying my big backpack with the laptop in it?

Upstairs with mothers and children. All the way up three flights of stairs.

I already know that I can't do it...and most certainly not for the rest of this month.

I can see me tripping on the stairs after I get a cramp (which I sometimes do) in my ankle. I sometimes do when I'm carrying the backpack. And either that or children could ruin my laptop in no time.

And the guy that works there is rude. He only cares about work. He isn't concerned about my well-being at all. I am a slave caught by circumstance to him. He thinks he is going to exploit me. He's wrong.

I won't stay there because I know that I can't. That's all there is to it.

So I have no idea where I'm going to stay tonight and I know darn well that nobody in this town cares.

I am exhausted. I am angry. And I am justifiably indignant.

Vancouver, Washington did me wrong and this city is following on that other cities' heels.

I am out of time on this computer.

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