My most recent experience at St Stephen's Shelter started Friday, November 9th, 2018 for a couple of months.
It would be irresponsible for our community to not have shelters available for those that need them. And yet, how and why we do it matters as much as the fact that we have shelters.
Repeatedly, other clients (guests) were rude, out of control. And, having to go get staff was more than an issue.
This is an issue that all the shelter have trouble successfully addressing. We have a State Law that says (as I understand) it is against the law to smoke in a public facility.
Damien was my first "staff rep." Meaning, I didn't and can't refer to him as a "case advocate", because he wasn't skilled, practiced or knowledgeable enough to be considered a "case advocate." But, he was assigned to me to assist me in dealing with issues in the shelter, and helping me with navigating needed resources. Damien did NOT do a very good job at anything. More importantly, he appeared to be a regular guy that was married with kids. He appeared to be someone that wanted to create his own nonprofit to help kids in the neighborhood. Problem was, his posing came to a crashing halt when his having an affair with the director of the shelter soon became much more than just being unfaithful to his wife and family.
to be continued...
In 2010, St Stephens was my first shelter experience. I went to the Simpson shelter where they had the lottery for available beds, and had to figure out which shelter would be the best for me, in which to stay. I had no experience with this part of society. It is supposed to be a lottery to have a 28 day bed at one of the Men's shelters. But many, if not most of the men on the street know that if it was your first time at the lottery, they made sure you gt a 28 day bed at one of the shelters. My name was called, and I had to pick from the remaining shelters that still had beds available.
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