[Hpn] SMOC Wet Shelter: We are homeless, not hopeless

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 04:21:02 -0400


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----Original Message Follows----

On: Thursday, October 18, 2001 at 04:02:32 -0400
To: Board of Selectmen, Town of Framingham <selectmen@framinghamma.org>
Morgan W. Brown <norsehorse@hotmail.com> sent:

SMOC Wet Shelter: We are homeless, not hopeless

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Board of Selectmen,
Town of Framingham
Memorial Building
150 Concord Street
Framingham, MA  01702-8373
Telephone: [508] 620-4811
Fax: [508] 620-5910
E-mail: selectmen@framinghamma.org

Re: South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC)
    Wet Shelter

             We are homeless, not hopeless

Dear Selectmen:

During routine online news searching yesterday morning, I came across the 
article published in the Boston Globe entitled “Critical meeting for 
homeless   shelter: Selectman will hear complaints from neighbors” 

I am grateful that there are people like Jim Cuddy and his staff at the 
South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) who help to provide hope, 
opportunities, programs and services for those who are in dire need of them.

Despite high demand for their programs and services, the workload, pressure 
and stress thus involved, I am confident that SMOC does their work 
skillfully and resourcefully.

They are to be commended for what they do for those who happen to be less 
sober or, those who are in the grip of a substance-induced state, along with 
everyone else they assist. SMOC serves the community with a commitment 
worthy of honoring. They deserve Framingham’s praise and solid support, as 
well as any additional funding which may be required, not grilling or 

Reading the details provided in the Wednesday’s Boston Globe article caused 
me to reflect over some of my previous experiences and the memories I have 
of them.

Over forty years ago, when I was just a mere small lad, my father lived and 
worked in Framingham. I still have vivid memories of being carried on his 
shoulders or of walking hand and hand with him down the town’s sidewalks 
during our brief weekend visits together.

Twenty years ago, I lived and worked in Framingham myself. Before that, as 
well as later, I lived and worked in different towns and cities in the 
general area. Even when I moved out of Framingham and was back living in 
Marlboro, I attended a chess club and volunteered on the Samaritan hotline 
both based in Framingham.

We are homeless, not hopeless

Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any time, for a variety of reasons.

Being Homeless is something I have personally experienced in one form or 
another off and on over the past twenty-eight years. Most of these 
experiences were during the time I had lived in Massachusetts.

There have been times, even as recent as last year, when I literally have 
had nowhere but the cold, damp, dark New England streets or woods to survive 

Despite my many experiences with being homeless, I have not gotten very good 
at coping with it. It takes a lot out of me when I am without any form of 
warm, dry, safe shelter.

There have been many times when I felt utterly defeated, helpless and 
hopeless. In fact, I still experience lengthy moments where I struggle with 
such thoughts and feelings.

Such experiences are, in themselves alone, enough to drive one toward less 
sober or substance-induced states of existence; not to mention other 
possible causations or conditions - whether pre-existing or otherwise - 
which a person may experience or incur.

What makes a difference is when a person receives quality contact, support, 
encouragement, services and shelter when they are needed, even if it is 
needed over prolonged periods of time.

It may be true that I have never given up, but it is only because I always 
have had someone who believed in me enough to be willing to help me when it 
was needed. This is why I never ended up believing or owning the defeat and 
hopelessness, which would have otherwise consumed me in self-medicated -- 
less sober or substance-induced -- states.

All to say, that if it were not for all the support and assistance received 
when they were most needed, things would have become much worse than they 
already happened to be.

No matter why or how many times or ways a person is in need, everyone 
deserves to be believed in and offered the help they may require.

Based on my own personal experiences, along with my observations of others 
over the years as well, I am convinced that it is extremely critical to 
provide hope, opportunity, shelter, support and services to people when they 
need such assistance, including to those who for whatever reason are not 
sober or substance-free when they need help.

It is my hope that the Board of Selectmen and the citizens of Framingham 
will realize and act upon the wisdom of supporting the work of the South 
Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) toward the continued operation of the 
much-needed wet shelter within the community it currently serves.


          Morgan W. Brown
          Homeless Activist
          Montpelier Vermont
          *Formerly of Framingham, Massachusetts*

Contact information:

Mr. Morgan W. Brown
--snip, snip--
E-Mail: norsehorse@hotmail.com
List Owner,
Vermont Homeless & Affordable Housing Discussion Group: 

cc: George P. King Jr., Town Manager, Framingham [Separately];
    South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) [Via Fax];
    Thanassis Cambanis, Globe Staff Correspondent [Separately];
    Interested Others [Separately]

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Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

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