“Just Try The Shelter Thing,” he said nonchalantly…

It seems like you have a problem with housing. Have you tried going to a shelter? Maybe you should try it

Just try it for a little while if you can’t find an apartment while you are working 6-7 days a week for minimum wage. Just try it!

Just try lining up for the lottery because there aren’t enough beds for thousands of homeless people with varying difficulties including drug addiction, mental/physical illness, and a generally low level of contentment.

Just try sitting in that room full of women (if the women’s shelter isn’t full because they DO get too full even though they don’t turn anyone away if you don’t mind sleeping on the floor with an itchy wool blanket) because it’s not that bad seeing the pacing ones with sour faces walk back and forth as if they might do something but they never do anything, the clearly half drugged ones falling in slow motion with pockmarks and black teeth, the elderly ones that make you so upset to see them there that you spend an hour wondering, “where are their goddamn kids or family that they should be in this place!!!”, or the ones that seem totally healthy but randomly shout at you because you discovered that they hate transgendered women while you try to explain that it doesn’t mean they are rapists because, “you ain’t educated. you don’t know shit”.

Just try it. Your first night you get an automatic bed…sometimes.

Just try looking at the women who know they won’t get a bed and they look at you because you got one and they didn’t. Maybe tomorrow its the other way around. So whats worse? Who knows. Just try it.

Just try eating the overcooked/under-seasoned (turkey?chicken) dinner with rice and random vegetables that make you appreciate day old synthetic blueberry cakes because there is no option and you can’t leave or else you will lose your bed that is potentially a step better than prison food.

It will most likely be confirmed, in fact, that the food is a step better than prison food. Just ask the nice lady next to you. She has been to prison before.

Just try walking into group showers with a number, getting rations for soap and toothpaste, and being ordered to wear some random, ill-fitting pajama dress. The lady might give you special soap in travel size with a wink,”make it last”. You might discover that it will last, after you have changed behind a thin curtain and entered a room with two chairs while 3 people cut in front of you even though you can’t decide whether you are a stupid asshole for caring or a pathetic wuss for not speaking up because while 20 other women are standing for 20 minutes the woman in charge is yelling at you to get out after 5 minutes, “okay honey hurry up, dammit”. You might beat the time because you are scared of being yelled at and just want to get the hell out of there, away from floppy boobs falling out of their own ill-fitting garments, and the unavoidable crowd conflict.

Just try this “option” and never-mind the plastic covering on the bed to stave off bed bugs and the chorus of sleep apnea snores that keep you up all night in either fear or disgust that you won’t be able to decide which is worse before you finally knock out from the tylenol the nurse gave you for a “headache” (more winks. even if you really have one). It’s better than prison even though on Orange is the new black they had their own beds with semi-privacy. Just try ignoring the lady sleeping oddly next to you and suddenly sitting up while her massive, ill-fitting pajama gown looks nude so you cant tell if she is sleep-sitting or being a creepy nude person watching you. Just try sleeping in while the sun pours in the large windows to shoot vitamin D into your eyeballs at 4 am and the seemingly sweet lady you chatted with yesterday is having an episode where she apparently thinks the police are after her and pointing guns at her. Just try the shitty not-quite-prison coffee downstairs with the women who didn’t have a bed you goddamn whiny bastard.

Just try getting up and running to the nice shelter when there is no bus stop near this better-than-prison shelter to get the lottery and good breakfast at 7 am only to find that it’s a holiday and they don’t open til 10 am. Just try waiting for 3 hours in the cold while somehow the sun is still burning your eyes and face with no shame because you don’t want to miss the lottery. Just try standing in that line, quietly, stoically, after waiting three hours in the cold yet hot and not losing it when you get the number 8 in a room of ten women. Just try not storming out to cry about it.

Just try going to work after that where you have to smile and make other people feel better when they are upset about something that you have to really, really, really convince yourself to give a shit about. Just try not losing it when your boss tells you to go faster or to well.. do anything better because you are doing better than the best that anyone could accept. In fact you are doing 300 times better than anyone in that building would probably do in your situation but they haven’t been IN your situation so they haven’t the first clue how fucking well you really are doing. Just try not telling your boss to fuck off when you tell them whats happening and they say, “well you just gotta find your girl power”

Just try not falling to pieces after 7-9 hours of fake smiling when it’s been made clear that your feelings are not important and you don’t have your own home to go an relax. Just try going back to that place where misery is a joke and a chair is a precious commodity.

It seems like you have a problem with housing. Have you tried going to a shelter? Maybe you should try it while you are trying to find a new place so you don’t have to burden anyone with your homelessness.


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