Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shelter: Holding Back More Than It Gives

Something isn't adding up, here.

But I'm going to get answers. You better believe that I will.

I am staying at a shelter here in Southern Kansas, right now. And I am totally disgusted.

The shelter only allows individuals to stay there for six days...and then each person has to move on. But that isn't what is concerning me.

The shelter doesn't allow smoking, drinking or drugs on the premises. Obviously, that's not what is bothering me, either.

The problem is more complicated than that. And I am going to explain it in this post:

1.) Food. Either there isn't enough or we aren't being given enough. Either way, we aren't getting what we need while we are staying at the shelter. I noticed that problem right away. And I am really pissed-off about it.

If the shelter can't or won't provide proper meals to it's guests, then it shouldn't be in operation.

Last night, a different staff person came on duty and when he said that dinner was ready...we all just stared at our plate. He took one small hamburger bun, split it, covered it with a medium amount of hamburger meat in Man which sauce and gave it to us. We each got a small serving of chips and green beans, along with it.

All of us left the table, still hungry.

The staff person won't allow us to access food, other than what he provides, at all.

If I thought that I could get away with taking a photo of our so-called "dinner", tonight, I'd snap a shot and post it here. But I probably won't be allowed to do so. This will most likely be related to the staff person's unreasonable, asinine behavior.

2.) The Staff Person. He is one of two people who oversees the nightly operation of the shelter. Neither one of the men (there are no women staffers available for female guests) are on my good list. But the weekend guy is definitely the worse of the two.

He is a misogynist. And I am the only female there, right now. The other guest is male and is as kind and considerate as the staff person is not. There is no excuse for that.

Each day, the male guest has walked with me to get coffee at Mickey D's. And when I walk up to the restaurant, he always opens the door for me. He is polite and very aware of what is going on at the "house", right now.

He keeps saying, "Us roadies have got to stick together."

The staff person calls us "clients" and speaks to us as if we were children.

Every morning, I get out of bed and get ready for the day. We are only allowed to use one of the bathrooms in the house. So, I get up at 5AM and do what I have to do, so that the other guest can use the bathroom at 6AM.

Last night, the staff person yelled at me and said: "You better not go wandering all over the house if you get up at 5AM, again. You just use the bathroom and then go back to the room and stay there."

(Right now, I can see some of my friends reading this and reacting)

I recently stayed overnight at the "Hill House." See THIS POST . And the couple there made darn sure that I ate very well and was treated with total respect.

They had only known me for an hour before they invited me to stay, overnight. But they never yelled at, insulted, demeaned or lectured me. They both trusted me and addressed me as an adult. I guarantee you that I behaved like one.

Before that, I stayed with my friends in Northeast Kansas for five days. And when I left, even the cat missed me.

Nobody needs to tell me how to conduct myself in a motel, a private home or in a shelter.

The animosity that the staff person delivered to me was obvious. And I have to go back there, tonight.

However, both the male guest and I are planning on leaving tomorrow...a day earlier than we actually have to. This is because we are both tired of being hungry...and disrespected.

No shelter is worth that.

3.) No ADA-Compliance. The male guest sleeps downstairs and there are quite a few steps that lead downstairs. It is a steep set of steps, too. I have trouble making it down and back up, again.

I sleep in a room, upstairs.

I have to go down those steps every time that I need to use the bathroom. My friends in Northeastern Kansas, let me sleep on the couch in their living room. They knew that it would be easier for me to use the bathroom on the main floor rather than climbing the stairs to the bath and bedrooms on the second floor.

Ironically, a perfectly good bathroom, at the shelter, is located RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO WHERE I SLEEP. But only the two staff members get to use it. I don't.

Despite my left foot and my cane, the staff men have never offered me the option of using that bathroom on the main floor.

Obviously, there is something very wrong with that.

Suffice it to say, the shelter holds back more than it gives. And I doubt that it began that way. I am also wondering where the money, that has been allocated for the shelter's 2012 budget...is actually going.

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