Salvation Army Meets Most Needs

By Janet

I've stayed at the Salvation Army's Women's Shelter. That’s really nice. The staff treats you nice. They talk to you like you’re a human being. I had my own room there. They even had a dresser in the room. So you didn’t have to put your clothes on the floor.

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SHELTER LIFE

Salvation Army Woman’s Shelter

They even have wash machines there so you can do your laundry. There, you have to get up, make your bed and be out by 9:30. They don’t have wake-up calls if you work. They give you meals and the food is good. At 9:30am you have to leave until noon. You can come in and stay after noon. That really works well for a lot of us. Most places only let you in after 6:00pm and you have to be up and out by 6:30am.

Here, if you work nights, you have a place to sleep during the day. Having a place to go during the day is a big problem for us. You can’t go to stores or malls to stay warm because they throw you out. There are very few places you can go. I thank God for this place (Cleveland Health Care for the Homeless). At least if you’re not lucky enough to be in a good shelter like the Salvation Army, you have a nice, clean place to go during the day and on weekends. The staff here tries to help you get a handle on your problems so you can get ahead and never have to come back to the shelters. Everyone here has chores to do. The chores are listed on a chart on the wall and so are the rules. You basically have to keep your room clean and orderly and you’re not allowed to take any food into your room. There are certain times during the day that you have to be away from the shelter but it’s not as long as at other places.

Everyone here is treated as an equal. My only complaint is that they don’t wake you up for work if you have to get up earlier than their wake-up time. I don’t have an alarm clock and sometimes I get up later than I should. I don’t want to be late for work because I really don’t want to lose my job. Other than that the only complaint I have is that you can only stay here for 21 days. I really don’t know if they have any other programs like the men have at VOA (Volunteers of America). I’m going to have to find out.

Copyright for the Homeless Grapevine Cleveland Ohio Issue 27 May 1998