Making Sure 50 People Get a Safe Rest
“I've been doing this since December. I don't know why I'm doing this. It's just something that needs to be done. That's about it. I look at it like maybe if I don't show up, 50 people won't have a place to sleep tonight. I can't do that.”
“There are approximately 50 people in this tent (behind me) right now… There are 50 beds. Sometimes I will let somebody come in and sleep on the floor, sometimes that makes it 51 or 52 but I think last year that's what they were doing, sleeping on cardboard on the ground. Now they've got bunk beds and a lot more people can get in, so that's good. Basically I’m trying to make sure they can close their eyes at night and not have anything happen to them.”
“Generally, I think we could do a lot better. A lot better. It was a real eye opener when I first started here and I walked upstairs into the day room and there were people just sitting around tables trying to sleep in chairs and people in wheelchairs shoved over in the corners and waiting for morning to go eat breakfast. I mean, it was an eye opener. I wasn't used to anything like that.”
Homelessness Getting Worse?
”I think it is getting worse since we've got the problem of all the rentals, the prices on housing going up so fast, there are people here that can't afford it. We have people that have got to leave here and go out to a job. This is where they're staying, while they're going to work. There’s also a lot of mental problems with people here and that's the pity that, you know, they're just done going to be able to do it. So they will be here all the time. “
Some Pets Allowed and More Volunteers Needed
“Some of those who sleep here bring their pets. We usually have the regulars and I know the pets that are the regulars and they're okayed through the men's shelter and they have paperwork for their pets. So I've never had any problems with any of the pets here.
”We'll always need more volunteers. Organizations are usually the ones that volunteer, like people from Baptist and Methodist places, on Monday or Tuesday nights … and they'll furnish the people. It's the nights that don't have that, you know, like Wendy Wiglesworth (another volunteer we’ve profiled) or I will say, ‘yeah, we'll do it’. That not a problem. But it's a little hard to get someone to work from midnight to seven in the morning.