Sleeping on a bench- Updated

Posted: October 27, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I am going to try and stay away from venting in this entry, but I cannot guarantee it.  I saw on a local social media page that there was a person sleeping on the street rapped in a garbage bag, I didn’t know where this person was sleeping, until one night I brought pizza back to our shelter (which we get every night).

I went to the mall to pick up our pizza when I saw someone sleeping on a bench on the side of a well populated street. I would have stopped and told them about our shelter, but I really needed to pick up the pizza to feed the hungry people at our center. After I returned back to our shelter I put the bucket of pizza on the counter, and informed my co-worker that I was leaving to go see if this person will return with me to sleep inside tonight.

I got back into my car, and started to drive down the street. I was praying that this person would come back with me. I pulled in the parking lot of a fish market, which was closed, grabbed my jacket and headed across the street to speak with the individual. I have no idea what their name is, and I am not even sure if it’s a man or woman. It was raining very heavy this night, but this person was wrapped in cardboard boxes, large black garbage bags, and I even saw a shower curtain over their torso. Two feet away was a shopping cart filled with what I am sure is all their belongings.

“Excuse me”, I said trying to get their attention. No answer, I thought it could have been because of the cars driving by. “Excuse me, are you ok?”

“Go away”, what I think is a female voice shouted from beneath the garbage bag.

“I manage a homeless shelter, would you like to stay their tonight?” I asked, people are now walking by as the rain continues to fall.

“No, go away and leave me alone.”

“If you change your mind, and would like some help come to our shelter.” I said, as I headed back to the car.

This saddens my heart to hear people are living in situations like this. We need better supports for people who have a mental illness in Canada, our laws are ridiculous. I will vent about that more another time soon.

I was driving down the same road yesterday, beautiful fall day. As I was driving past the spot where the bench was situated I noticed it was gone. Now these are not just light benches, but look almost like they are made of iron or something.  I am unsure what happened to the women who was sleeping there, but she would have had no choice.

Updated Part: The woman who has been sleeping here is working with some people, including her son, to get her some help. I found this out yesterday after a colleague read my post, and then emailed me some up-to-date information. She said that the benches are normally moved this time of year, due to snow removal.

God bless this women and keep her safe. I pray that her circumstances change and she is able to find a place to live, and until then I hope that she comes in our shelter, or another one to get help.

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Comments
  1. Scarlett says:

    The story goes that there are bed bugs at the only shelter close to where I live…and that’s 75 miles away. So, people would rather sleep on the street rather than with bed bugs. I don’t know why they can’t take the mattresses out and replace them with mats. Being homeless should not happen in this country. I’m sorry for that girl. My son is in the same situation.

    Like

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