Posted On March 1, 2010

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Wotcher Ya’ll

I have to do a couple of rants today, please bear with me

The first is about the attitude I see towards the homeless/jobless by the homed/jobbed.  It is best shown by an example from lunch a few days ago: they had chocolate milk in one of the lunch lines so as a friend and I went to get a tray, we saw the half gallon of chocolate milk there by the glasses, but the woman pouring out the milk was pouring white milk. We both asked (politely) if we could get chocolate milk. The lady pouring the milk said “No! You get what we give you!”  with a very snotty tone of voice.  I’m sorry but just because we are homeless and in need; just because we are getting our meals for free – it doesn’t make us second or third class citizens and does not give anyone the right to mistreat us and be “superior” at/to us.  Yes we have our share of pot heads, crackheads, methheads, hustlers, users, ex-cons and hotheads.  So does the general at-large US population that enjoys (to some degree or another) being employed and have their own homes to live in.  We didn’t give up the right to be treated politely. I don’t mind being told no, I object to the attitude that in is said in.

and now I forget what my second rant is about, oh well…

I also have to tell you a bit about the Trax stations here in town. Trax is our above ground subway system, in the downtown area it runs right down the middle of the streets, as it heads out of the downtown area it runs in the tracks of the old freight trains. At each stop in the downtown area there is a little station area, named after what the area is or what landmark is near the station. Each station is decorated in some way that relates to name/landmark. So, Temple Square station is decorated with seagulls which is the State Bird and also figure promenantly in a Morman miracle in the early years of the settlement here; Library Station is decorated by stacks of books (metal ones); Trolley Station is decorated by benches with trolleys and the Trax trains painted on them and paintings that relate to the stores in Trolley Square which is the shopping mall (high class) 1 block away. Old Greek Station (the one closest to the shelter, and in what used to be the Greek section of town) is decorated with gears which relate to the industry that used to be in the area; Planetarium Station has a huge space related sculpture in it. But City Center Station, which is pretty much in the center of town is decorated by huge flies – they are green and about 4 inches by 2.5 inches.  And they are GROSS.

If you saw at the castle I have a shot at housing and a job but still have many hoops to jump through, so nothing is definite yet so no sense in counting my eggs before they are hatched.

Can’t think of much else to comment on – life in the shelter is eyeopening to say the least…

See ya later alligator

Sirius B

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Posted On February 22, 2010

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Wotcher Ya’ll

A few observances :

there seems to be a lot of angry/mad people here.  I don’t understand why – are they mad at themselves or us or the world?  Either way they are the ones who are responsible for where they are at – so why be mad? – just do something about it and get out of here.

I think of lots of things to write here during the week and forgot 90% of them by the time I get here.

Soup and sandwich for supper gets mighty old after a month, even if it is free.  And one has no money.

We have 400 men in our dorm and 20 shower spots. we run out of hot water by 7PM at the latest every night.  The shelter staff wants everyone to take a shower each day.  Think they’ll turn up the temp on the hot water???  heck no.

My new “doctor” (actually a PA) would like me to lose weight by walking faster, but realizes I can’t walk fast especially after spending half a day walking all around the area downtown to get to breakfast, lunch and Dept of Work Force Services without my pain meds. But he won’t prescribe pain meds. He also wants me to eat healthier, but knows we don’t get healthy food at the shelter…   So, Catch 22 anyone???

I saw my first fist fight the other day – a guy was walking up the side of a table with his lunch tray and says another guy walked right into him. The first “gentleman” put his tray down (nothing was spilled) on the tab;e 2 seats from me and confronted the guy that walked into him.  The 2nd guy shoved the first guy so hard he fell into the table (this happen at lunch at the shelter). so the first guy got up and tried to punch the pusher, landed a glancing blow to the shoulder.  They jawed at each other a bit and got separated.  Then security threw them both out of the cafeteria.

There is a lot of free stuff we can get – free clothes, meals and box lunches, bus passes, shoes, canned goods, cigerettes, coats. Problem is the places to get them are all scattered throughout the downtown area – in about a 1.5 mile square area, so getting to them all by bus, foot or Trax (our ground based light rail) and standing in line for everything takes a hell of a lot of time – if you went to most every place just once a week to get things you would totally use up 2 days just doing that.  And there are many people who just do that, they get new clothes and throw away what they have worn instead of doing laundry. they use bath soap, shampoo, straight razors once and throw them away and go get new ones.

I went and donated plasma yesterday – got $50 for it – will get $55 the next time I go. can go every 2 days but no more than twice in 7 days.  So that will help me out.  Slight problem – the vein they used was deep so it took 3 adjustments of the placing of the needle to get a good blow flow.  Nice bruise in my arm today.

Well, Mike needs to get on here himself so bye for now – will post more next week.

BBS

Sirius

Posted On February 15, 2010

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Wotcher Ya’ll

ok – ain’t got much time but here are a few observances :

In terms of the people at the shelter we have :  the unwashed, the unshaven, the unwashed & unshaven, parolees, druggies just from rehab, alcoholics, those who are slightly not there mentally, self talkers (divided into the angry ones, the racist ones and the angry racist ones), those who are more than slightly not there mentally, those who walk around angry all the time, the sick and/or infirm, the injured, those who appear to have given up on life, hustlers, crack (or a man with money to buy the drug of choice) whores, drug dealers, drug users, drunks, the highly educated, the slightly educated, those with class to spare, those with no class, Whites (about 60%), blacks (about 10%), Mexicans (about 30%), age ranges from early 20s to mid 70s, the friendly, the stand-offish, the downright unfriendly, those who have accepted this life as theirs and aren’t looking to get out of it (not that they have given up on life – just are not trying to get out of our situation nor interested in doing so), those trying hard to get out and get their lives back.

The white and black folk intermingle and get along well together. The Mexicans are for the most part friendly (some are downright nasty) but stay together and apart from the rest of us mostly.

I went to Work Force Services last week and got my resume streamlined and modernized so hopefully it will help get me a job; also developed a cover letter for the first time in my life.

We spend a lot of time standing in line for things or rushing to where we have to stand in line to get a good spot. Of course we have line jumpers – and most of them (about 90% of the time) are the Mexicans, who just ignore you if you say anything about it (taking the chance you won’t be called a racist or beat up for it).

The bed here is really taking a toll on my back since the docs at the free clinic won’t give me my pain meds – by 7:30 I am very  sore and tired and it takes a lot to walk around. Oh well.

There is squat to do at night once you have checked in and either showered or done laundry so I have been reading a lot – I’ve read parts 1 & 3 (cause the library doesn’t have the 2nd) of the Crystal singer trilogy by Anne McCaffrey, HBP & DH to finish my 4th read through of the series, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, book 2 of the Myth series of books by Robert Lynne Asprin and the first 2 books in the Sookie Stackhouse books – the books that True Blood is based on by Charlaine Harris. I’ll pick up the 3rd book tomorrow I hope (if the library has it).

That is all I can remember for now – see you nest week

Love ya’ll

Sirius

Posted On February 15, 2010

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Hi Ya’ll!
ok – so you know last Sunday I was freaking out a bit (ok a whole lot!) cause my ex MIL and her 2 sons showed up at 1 PM (I had to be out of there at Midnight) and had taken a load of the big heavy stuff to her storage unit and condo. When they left I asked if she would be back in an hour and she said yes – about that. well it got to be 7:30 PM and no sign of her and I was beginning to think that she like everyone else had deserted me too. she finally showed up at 8PM and explained she had to go to dinner at her one sons and that they (the 2 sons) only knew that she was helping me by taking a couple of boxes to store in her garage, not everything we could get of mine that I wanted. So I calmed down.We took 3 car loads full of boxes and stuff to her garage and on the last load took me and Bandit. We finished unloading everything at 11:45 PM hurting much from the effort.
The next day on Monday we took Bandit to the animal shelter (in a blizzard) to drop him off but couldn’t as it was closed for the Holiday so Mom took me back to her place so we could stay another night,. She was already late for work when we got to the shelter and driving was horrible. She ended up being an hour late to work.
The next day (Tuesday) we went back to the animal shelter, which doesn’t open till 10 AM and Bandit and I waited as Mom had to be at work at 8 AM. Luckily a man from the Enforcement Dept (which opens at 8) came up tome at about 8:30 to ask if I was dropping off the dog. Yes. I he a stray you found? Nope, he’s mine and I’m homeless and broke. So he found someone to come out and give me some paperwork to fill out and he took Bandit away. Bandit was excited to smell other doggies and cats so he was running to the back as soon as the guy took the leash and started to the back. I asked him to wait while I said goodbye and I gave Bandit a hug and got a couple of kisses from my boy and walked away with tears in my eyes. Bandit didn’t understand I wouldn’t be coming back for him.
So then I went up to Mike’s to drop off some of the stuff I had kept for me and went to the shelter after making some phone calls to give the utility companies a forwarding address and the same for the companies I need tax papers from so I can file my taxes. I had called in for the wait list at Mike’s too so I went to the Main Desk to ask what was the procedure now that I was there. They sent me up to the Men’s Dorm as soon as I said I was on the wait list not even waiting to hear my question. The men’s desk sent me back to were I was but the Intake Office, but before I left the attendant said wait for her to check were I am on the list and told me I was close and maybe would get a bed that night. So I trapse back to the original side of the building and got to the Intake Office. The woman at that desk tells me to wait while she looks me up to see where I am on the list and tells me the same thing- I am close and may get a room tonight – come back to the office at 5PM to see if they call my name – it they do I have a room, this is something they don’t tell people over the phone so surprized me. It looked to me that I was 2nd on the list, but actually I was 6th. Come 5 PM I’m sitting in the office and they announce they have 4 beds open that night. the first 3 people called weren’t there (score!) the 4th one was, the 5th wasn’t and then they called me!!! Woo Hoo I got a bed the first night I needed one.
The bed is right in the same building as the offices so I went and got some sandwiches ( the only thing left for supper) and went to check in and find my bed. The facilities have a huge room with about 200 – 225 beds in it and 3 smaller rooms for those medically unable to get around easily or under continuing medical care that is more than prescriptions and way in the back, far far in the back is another smaller room with 28 beds (bunk beds throughout the facility) in it. I got as bed (lower bunk) in that room. The guys mostly seem mostly ok. But we have 2 self talkers in there, one an angry racist self talker. The rest are for the most part friendly, don’t know how much I can trust apperences.
We do not get breakfast but on weekdays get lunch at 11:30 – a hot meal with an over abundance of bread and cakish desserts and juice or milk and supper is at 4:30 every day – soup and a sandwich with an overabundance of bred and cakish desserts again – you can get 2nd, 3rds, 4ths as much as you want and weall take stuff back to the dorm cause 4:30 is way too damn early for supper – even I ain’t that old yet LOL. On weekend lunch is actually brunc both days at 9:30 on Saturday in the normal place and on Sunday is outside a few blocks away under a highway bridge over the city street. Spent 2.5 hours waiting there for it in 30 degree weather and froze my you-know-what off. Breakfast/brunch on Sunday is the best meal all week – eggs, potatoes, ham, gravy. pancakes, syrup, fruit slices, and again cakish desserts.
So there are 344 men in the dorm, women are in a separate dorm and families with children in a 3rd dorm. Married without children people have to separate into the men’s and women’s dorms. We have 20 shower spaces (only 10 have soap holders) 6 urinals, 10 sit down toilets (without stall doors) and 10 sinks in the bathroom.
My first night in the shelter I went to check out the shower. There was a guy sitting in the bench room(where you leave your clothes and towels) sitting on the edge of the bench closest to the shower room, fully dressed, reading a newspaper. I took about 15 minutes to get my stuff together to take a shower and went in – he was still there. The 2 guys taking a shower left – 3 more came in to take showers, I got out of the shower and got dressed as did those new 3 and 3 more came in to replace us all. the newspaper guy was still there – and we all took slow showers. I mentioned this to my bunkroom mates. Guess what he was doing? I am SO naive!! I thought he was security put there to watch nothing gets stolen, nope – he was watching something very different!
We have a standard high school locker each for our stuff and it is amazing how much stuff some people have in them.
This life is very much about “hurry up and wait in line for everything” – bus tokens (1 each day), meals, to check in, to get medical care. I am not really griping as I need it all and it is free, but it all takes away time from doing what is really important – which is to apply for jobs.
So far I have done it at the library – but we only get 2 1 hour sessions per day each of which can be extended 10 minutes twice if no one is waiting to use the computer, which gives me just enough time to get 2 apps out a day with the problem I am having – my resume is written in Word Documents but the library computer changes it over to OpenOffice/writer which is not then downloadable to the apps on line so I am wasting time cut and pasting to the apps. OH well.
So my week was spent getting used to all of this and learning my way around on our Trax system (think a much smaller NY subway system). Tomorrow I go to the free clinic to see if I can get my RX drugs (including the controlled substance ones) and then to apply for more jobs.
I come home every night very tired and sore from all the walking without my meds and fall asleep about 9:30 – we get lights out at 10 PM and lights on at 6 AM; we have to be out of the dorms at 7:15 AM and can not check back in until 4:30 PM. I am waking up at 5:40 AM every day. the bunkbeds are singles with a 2 inch foam pad on a steel box, no pillow, very uncomfortable especially with my med problms and without my pain and nerve meds. Oh well.

Well I have to trax back to the shelter soon to stand in line for supper so I’ll stop for now – will try to write once a week when I can get over to Mike’s and have the proper time on the computer. Thank Mike everyone OK?

see ya next week
Sirius

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Posted On February 15, 2010

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