Spending the Holiday in the Shelters

I was trying to think which holiday was the worst to spend in a shelter.   Was it your birthday or Christmas? I think that New Years Eve and Day are the worst holidays to sleep in a shelter.  Many volunteer on Christmas and Thanksgiving to make those days special, but no one cares about New Years Day.  There are hundreds of meals available including from some nice restaurants--thanks Hard Rock for opening your doors to homeless people regularly on Thanksgiving. 

New Years means another year of struggles living in an overcrowded shelter.  There is no real celebration for the new year for those without a house.  It is depressing to try and watch football with all the disturbances of a shelter.   Of all the holidays, New Years Day is most closely associated with alcohol.  There is no alcohol in the shelters.  There is only one over riding resolution in the shelter and that is, "I want to be in housing as soon as possible." And there is no embrace to ring in the new year at a shelter.

I asked around and many people living in a shelter agreed that New Years was the worst holiday for residents of the shelters.  The reality is that everyday is rough in a shelter.  Some holidays in which volunteers come in to remember those kicked in the head by capitalism (Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving) are tolerable while the rest of the holidays are the same.   They are waiting for food, waiting for the restroom, waiting for the shower, and waiting until the lights go out.  Happy New Year everyone.

Brian Davis

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