[Hpn] Fwd: daily journal
Tue, 19 Jun 2001 01:54:47 -0000
--- In under-the-bridge@y..., "Cindy Carlson"
Better late than never, I had school today.
but last night at 1am, I was still up doing my homework for class and
I ran out of cigarettes so I jumped intot he car and headed out to
the local cumberland farms. It was so nice outside compared to my hot
apartment so I thought I would take a few spins through the downtown
area. Always keeping my eyes peeled to the sidewalks, alleys and
doorways- it is a condition of a raised awareness.
I saw a woman dressed in a pink shorts outfit sitting on a bench in
veterans park. I made a pass and headed for dunkin donuts for a iced
coffee. The women working the counter asked me if I could use some
donuts as they were cleaning off the shelves. They packed a box of
assorted goodies and handed them across the counter. The women and I
meet almost every night and they often give me free coffee for the
homeless. I give them how many and they charge me for only mine.
Shhhh they are neighborhood girls, from da hood. they know me and the
I headed to the convience store on elm and depot st to get gas.
Jeremy works behind the counter. He used to live at new horizons
shelter. I ask him if he has seen anyone out tonight. He says just
shirley but he does know where she went. I dont know this, shirley.
we chat and then I head down elm st again.
when I made my second pass on elm st the woman moved from the park
bench to the otherside of the street sitting on a wall. I now notice
she has a black backpack with her. Humm whether she is homeless or
not seems a situation worth checking out. The bars are closing and
with bike race weekend upon us Manchester downtown is busier than
normal. It is never safe for a woman alone on the street.
I pull the car around the corner and walk over to greet her. She
looks at me suspect of what I wanted. I sit next to her on the curb
pull out a cigarette and offer her one. She takes it and lights it
pulling off a long slow drag.
"So what are you doing out so late tonight?"
She told me in an angry tone about losing her apartment because of
actions of a roommate. her cats she misses and the lack of sleep and
food shes suffered since thursday. Her name is shirley.
I asked her if she knew about the shelter.
"I cant go there its unsafe for me." she says angrily
Well the streets arent too safe out here for a woman either I said.
"you dont understand, someone who is there raped me in the past."
" I told her if that was true there were legal protections in place
that she could use to allow herself access, and I went on to explain
what they are.
She continued to talk about who and how it all happened.
In the short few minutes I sat with her she spilled out about 10
years of history. Her disability, how it affects her life, what
happened at her apartment, what hospital she just got out of. She
told them at the hospital center she had no place to go and they told
she couldnt stay with them any longer. "Go to the shelter" they said
they signed the discharge papers.
After a while when I couldnt convince her that I would take her to
the shelter and get her a spot I told her about the police station
lobby she could go into if she was feeling unsafe. They would let her
rest with the protect and serve motto. They might assist her with
access to the shelter if she allowed it.
I was ready to leave when another owman came over to talk to us.
Maria slim pretty and dressed in a tube top and jeans. She looked
like she was one of the bar crowd that had just wandered into the
She knew shirley and asked for a butt. She sat down with us and I
introduced myself. Maria told a story of domestic violence and her
travels from Las Vegas to NH to secure safety for her and her
children. Her sister lives here and promised her family home and
hearth. When she got here, her sister was only able to take in her
children for lack of space.
She had also stayed at NewHorizons for a couple of days but said it
is too noisy and she couldnt sleep there.
After another half hour and referrals to temp agencies for
employment I left the two of them sitting on the wall.
Thinking about the safety of women.
I swung my car towards a temp agency as I know many cars in the
parking lot are not empty but have become mobile home for the
homeless. I saw amy, she said she worked late and was jhsut heading
back to new horizons. I handed her the box of donuts and she said
she'd bring them to the shelter for breakfast. Her friend also
worked late and the two got into a car to head "home".
As I left to head two blocks away to walls of safety, A Take Back The
Night rally flashed through my mind as I drove home to the safety
a door that locked to finish my homework for the class-In Her Image
the feminine face of the sacred.
--- End forwarded message ---