I'd like to take a minute to tell you about my experiences at the shelter we were at.. it's something unless you have been in my shoes - homeless you will never know about visiting and volunteering is one thing - living in one is another
The shelter we were at is a family shelter, and really, I had visions in my head about shelters, and boy was I off! lol We were in the shelter starting the 22 of December 2011.
The way the program works is, if you are un employed, you have to put in 15-20 job applications a week.. you could do it online, or face to face. When you are employed, you look for housing... they have a nurse that is there 2 times a week, and I have to say, she is VERY knowledgeable they have a counsellor for kids, and she was great they have case managers for the adults, I'm going take the 5th on this one..
They have a housing coordinator, they have someone who works with people after the move into new housing.
I always felt like I didnt fit in; like the folks who worked there didn't want us there.. things were told to some residents, and not to others.. not a good way to do business~
Breakfast was served from 6am-9am; cereal, fruit, toast, and we made our own breakfast.
Lunch was whatever time you ate it.
Supper was at 6, and ALL residence had to be present, and in the dinning room, unless they were sick, or was un comfortable because one of the volunteers. Supper is provided by different Churches every week, and sometimes those volunteers are teen agers. Well, we were written up because there were 5 teen age girls there to volunteer, and my daughter was uncomfortable, and chose to stay in our room...
After supper, there were volunteers that took the children down stairs for an hour for play time.. ALL volunteers were from Churches in the area. They would cook all meals at their home, then bring it in. There were chores that had to be done every night, and most parents would do their chores while the children were downstairs. I would wait till after playtime, and have my daughter help.
It was hard going into the shelter in Dec, because we were going to spend the 23-25 with my oldest and her inlaws. We couldn't, because we HAD to be back at the shelter at 6pm. the other 2 shelters are not that way. I understand the reasoning for it; to have families have supper together!
We had an assigned day to do laundry, and I fel like a child because they had to put the soap in, because they were those new washers. At 9pm, stuff to pack lunches were set out, and you would pack your lunch for the next day. that food was also brought in by volunteers.. and sometimes, I think they would forget how long the lunch meat had been in the freezer.. Why? because when it would thaw it looked funny and tasted badly!
In the shelter were MANY different folks, from different placed.. ALL walks of life. For the most part, it was OK, I just dont like the treatment I recieved,,,