Showing posts with label shelters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shelters. Show all posts

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Homeless Terms To Know - Shelters

Shelters are facilities where the homeless are allowed to sleep during the night.

Shelters come in a wide variety sizes and types, each with it's own particular style of operation and organization.  (It should also be noted that "day shelters" are not usually referred to as "shelters" as sleeping is not normally allowed in them.)

The number of nights a person can stay at a shelter varies depending on the rules and policies of the shelter.   Some shelters allow people to stay for only a few days, other shelters allow people to stay indefinitely.

Some shelters require people to be sober, so to be allowed in, but not all have this requirement.  Still, all people must behave themselves while in shelters or face removal from the facility.

Some faith based shelters require everyone to attend religious services in exchange for shelter services.

Some shelters also provide food and clothing and minimal health care services.

Some shelters allow the homeless to remain in the facility during the day, while other require people to leave by a certain time in the morning and will not allow people to return to the facility until a certain time in the evening.

And some shelters offer other necessary services, job readiness, education, mail, case management, showers etc.

It should be noted that there is serious need for shelters which allow people to sleep during the day, so that they may take advantage of night and evening employment.   I have not heard of any shelter that offers this service.

Back to Homeless Terms To Know

Thursday, June 5, 2008

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Your classic anti-hero story, where the bad guy becomes the hero. And, as you would assume there would be heroes, such as in the nursing profession, we learn that that is not always the case.

And oh how similar this movie is to homelessness, a bunch of crazy people, who, because they are crazy, actually choose to be where they are, and some criminal element, who thinks that hanging out with the crazies will actually get him out of paying his debt to society, are all locked up together, living in very close proximity to each other.

Yes, the crazies in the mental hospital choose to be there, but of course, would they choose to be there if they weren't crazy? And this gets us thinking about the hero of the story. Is he just purely criminal, or does he have mental issues of his own? He definitely skirts on the periphery of society, and exhibits marginally acceptable behavior. But he doesn't quite fit in with the mentally ill either. Some would say he's just being rebellious. Of course this would beg the question - why is he so rebellious?

Then, in walks nurse Ratched. The professional woman with a heart for the less fortunate, who takes care of those whom no one else would bother with. She is organized, and gets the job done. The patents don't cause much of any fuss, they all take their medications, as proscribed by the doctor, and as directed by the nurse. And yet, she is the "bad guy" of this movie. Why? Oh, that is a good question.

In the movie we never really see what motivates her, although we can plainly see that she does not like having her authority challenged. But look who she has authority over - a bunch of crazy people. Not a very glamorous job really. She's the bigger fish, in a pond of much smaller and fragile fish. Pretty easy to dominate these folks. It doesn't take long for that kind of position to go to one's head. Especially, when in the context of the entire world, the nurse really isn't anyone special.

For the crazies, it's easy to see why they would be submissive to her. She is the only one caring for them - and they need care. On the other side, her professional cohorts are just glad that she is there doing the work that they don't want to deal with themselves. She is below the status of the Doctor, though she does supervise some junior nurses - to them it's just a job. They do what they are told, and go home at the end of the day.

Some people become police officers because being a cop helps them cope with an inferiority complex. As a cop they get a sense of control, and even superiority, over the world that scares them. Yet, not many people would want to be a cop, having to deal with the ugly side of society on a daily basis. And so they are glad for the person who becomes the cop, and they give him a lot of credit, and leeway, in the actions of his duties. So, the cop accidentally beats up the wrong guy, or gets all upset and beats up someone excessively? Society gives the cop a pass. It's a tough job, and we'd all rather someone else do it.

And what about some of the people who work at homeless shelters? Are they all really Florence Nightingales? Mother Teresas? Could they all be so altruistic?

It is true, that homeless shelters seem not unlike human cesspools. The rejects and misfits of society, the mentally ill and the developmentally challenged, the retarded, the schizophrenic, the hopelessly addicted and alcoholic, are all corralled into these relatively few and unhappy places. Some one must do the work of maintaining these places.

But, who would want to do such work? Aren't you glad that someone else is doing it? What amount of leeway would you give to the person actually doing that work. Would you even bother to supervise and oversee what they do? Or would you just be grateful that someone else is doing it, and would allow them to do it as they see fit? and, accept their reports of life in the shelter without question?

Sometimes the people employed in homeless shelters do bad things to the homeless - and they are allowed to get away with it. The homeless are afraid to stand up for themselves, and to pursue a grievance complaint, because the people they report on will most likely be allowed to retaliate. Other homeless people will know that filing a grievance report against someone who has wronged them is a waste of time. And that seeking justice will not change anything. I mean, really. Who is going to take the word of some crazy homeless person over an employee of a homeless shelter?

Oh, and this idea that homeless people have become homeless and have problems getting along in this world because they refuse to choose a proper relationship with Jesus Christ? What a bunch of horse manure. The last people that society should choose to operate homeless shelters are Christian fundamentalists. But guess what? They are just about the only people willing to do that kind of work. Go figure.