[Hpn] RE: shelter are unpopular
Stephen Twig Meeks
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 11:05:00 -0800 (PST)
Shelters that are run by the city or state agencies
rely on numbers to acheive funding.
I've stayed in several of these shelters across the US
and the all are the same. People cramped together in a
gym/warehouse setting. Violence and abuse by patrons,
and or staff. In one city shelter that I stayed in
(not even mats for a concrete floor in Atlanta), an
elderly man near where I was would not get up at the
This man was kicked in the ribs repeatedly to wake
Finaly someone ( another homeless person if I recall),
called EMS. It turned out that the man passed away in
his sleep. To me that was an excellent example of how
these kinds of shelters treat indigent people. They
are just numbers and pieces of meat.
Solutions? In Austin it is estimated there are over
6000 homeless people, but only about 3200 that seek
shelter and services. (That number of course rises
during coldsnaps, and Austin does get it's share of
There are over 800 churches in the Austin area. My
suggestion is a coaliton (interfaith response) from
these churches to give shelter for 10-25 homeless
individuals. Not only will this relieve a burden from
City coffers, and the couple of churches that do a
cold weather shelter program, the small number of
individuals in each church would be of a manageable
size to serve effectively by a congregation, and to
further target individual needs on a more personal and
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