I stayed in the shelter on East 30th and Euclid. That place really sucks. You have mats to sleep on and they aren’t cleaned properly. The mats and the blankets stink. Staff members throw you out for any reason they choose. There is a list of rules but it really depends on who’s working. The list of rules usually aren’t what is enforced. The workers all have their own rules and enforce what’s on their own agenda. The only rule that they all enforce is that you have to be out by 6:30am The staff is really cruel. They throw you out and tell you can’t come back for two weeks because someone they won’t identify told them you did something you didn’t do. They don’t have to prove you did something wrong to kick you out. They expect you to prove you didn’t do anything. They’re [the staff] just a bunch of power freaks. They like to have control over your life.
I only stay at that church if all the other shelters are full. I hate that place. One of the things that really makes me angry is that they get donations and the staff goes through the bags first and takes whatever they want. They take the best stuff and leave us with whatever is left. That shouldn’t be allowed. Salvation Army gets donations too but they bring the bags in and open them up for us. There have been times I got clothes that still had the tags on them. If that stuff was donated to the church on 30th, I would have never gotten those clothes. The staff would have taken it to sell at their yard sales.
Note: Donna is a homeless woman that was interviewed at CHCH Women’s Center
Copyright for the Homeless Grapevine Cleveland Ohio Issue 27 May