[Hpn] faith-based organizations

homey homey@ids.net
Mon, 05 Feb 2001 20:43:20 -0500


Hi all,

I just will add my two cents to the faith-based services.

Last February I became so disillusioned on how shelters degraded their
clients that i wanted to see if it was happening in other areas of the
country.

To my dismay it in some areas of the country the treatment was horrendous.
In particular in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The only shelter bed available was
through a local faith-based program.

At the innitial interview they took my picture, then proceeded to question
me.  They asked me my name.  Then what do you think the second question they
asked was?  My emergency needs? Where I was from?  How was my health?  Nope.
The second question after asking my name was not if I believed in god
either.

The thrilling question was, I quote, "have you had a homosexual
relationship?'.  I was horrified needless to say, but so tired I simply
replied no.  I was given my bible at entry and told, well for the first week
you must attend church twice a week.  Then daily bible studies for four
hours a day with a break inbetween of a half hour.  I prayed for four hours
every day for a week.

I never was offered assistance in finding a job nor did I ever get offered
medical treatment.  No one asked me if I had any health problems.  God was
their answer.

I must say though the place was very clean and neat.  They treated me with
respect as long as I prayed.  At the end of the week I missed my bible class
and was asked to leave if I could not go by the rules.

I was very tramatized by my whole trip so much I have been reluctant to even
talk of it.  It started off as a trip to discover the truth and ended up
being a trip into hell.

The most I can say is that I am against giving faith based organizations
government funding unless it comes with extremely strict guideline.

If you think god is the solution to ending your homeless stint. Then by all
means you should be allowed to seek him in your own way.  But never should a
faith based program be forced onto one cause it's the only place left in
town to stay.

There are so many other things I saw and heard on my treck.. so much so it's
hard to put into words.  The way folks are treated so inhuman.

The most help I received was from those in my own situation, the folks out
on the streets.  They told me where I needed to go to get a toothbrush, do
my laundry and seek medical help (I got lice from one of the shelters in
Washington, D.C.).    In cleveland there was no womans shelter and I slept
under a picnic table with a plastic sheet offered by a fellow street
dweller.

Cat