Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fort Morgan: Colorado's Little Problem

I left the "Bates" motel the next day.

A guy with a big dog stopped his truck and picked me up. He drove me to a tiny town where I spent my time walking, occasionally sticking out my thumb and listening to the wind as it whispered through the corn stalks.

I finally settled down on a guard rail on the other side of a big bridge. The bridge separated small roads that ran off, through fields, all the way to the horizon.

"Another bridge to nowhere" I said to myself, swatting at flies that kept settling on my arms.

Finally, a man came by with two young boys and gave me a ride into Fort Morgan, Colorado.

That city turned-out to be a problem to me, in more than one way.

I tried to get some money out of my bank and couldn't because the computers went down. The library only allowed me access to the Internet for fifteen-minutes a day. When I went to re-apply for food stamps and medical insurance, I was told that my appointment would be on the twenty-eighth day of September. (I plan to relocate to another small-town city in Colorado next month. I need the benefits now, not at the end of the month) But the worst problem turned out to be the shelter, itself.

The organization behind the shelter has done a very good job of ignoring the obvious problems there. But since I was staying there, I did not have that option.

The shelter consists of a house where the single homeless adults are lodged in the lower level. It has a shared living area, kitchen and bathroom. Two dorms, one for men and one for women, are located at the back of that level of the house. The men's dorm and the women's dorm are practically side-by-side. There are no cameras and the woman who is supposed to be keeping an eye on everything, spent half her time upstairs or outside during the time that I was there.

There were a handful of men there and I was the only female client. That turned-out to be a problem because the guys took it upon themselves to try and boss me around. They were all rude and obnoxious and consistently tried to block my path when I went in and out of the bathroom or up and down the hall to my room.

Finally, one of them decided that it was his God-given duty to tell me what to eat and when to eat it. I put up with the harassment and bad vibes until I had enough of it, last night. Then I left.

The organization gave me a voucher for a bus ticket to a city that is located much farther west. I never used it and I have no plans to do so. My focus is on that small city that I want to relocate to at the end of this month.

Last night, after I trudged, with my backpack, down to the last light pole by the highway and stuck out my thumb, I met a woman who feels exactly like I do.

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