Changes at the Shelter

They say the “Winds of Change” are upon us, much like the Scorpion’s power ballad. The scorpion’s greatest weapon is its stealth. Hardy and insidious, it attacks its victims with laser like accuracy, but is known for its patience and versatility. The deadliest species preys on the weakest victims. Yet regimes can collapse; years of abuse and torture will soon come to an end. Who knew that a band of misfits could bring down one of the largest organizations in the area? Many said they were too large to fail, but failure is not something that anyone can avoid forever. 

Every day people ask me how I feel about the new ownership of the shelter. Every day, I count the slash marks until May. What is it like to be in an environment where violence, bullying, filth, gangs, drugs, racism, and abuse are not only encouraged, but rewarded? It can make anyone projectile vomit. When asked how things are currently, I often state, “We have vending machines now.” For I spend a lot of my day looking for change, maybe a penny, dime or sometimes a quarter falls my way. There’s an easy way out, one that could fill my pockets with hundreds of dollars, but I’d like to think that I’m someone who has learned from their mistakes. I could never claim to be perfect, but I would also never want anyone to experience the travesties that I’ve endured and continue to endure every day. Luckily, but not really so much out of luck, I finally found the right people. But it was a very long journey, and it still does not make up for what I have to see and endure everyday. People, who claim to have changed, rather than rise above, aim only to bring people down to their level. A level so low, few can ever achieve it. 

I’ve been offered practically anything in the world to just keep quiet, but as I will also say, until my dying breath, I will not sit silent. Advocating is not just for oneself, but for those who are too afraid to voice their mind, or just don’t know how. Sometimes, remembering almost everything can be quite a curse, but fortunately, we can all use adversity to our advantage.  I never again want to hear the words, “It’s worse elsewhere” or “We’re only required to provide you with …” or to have to eat pizza with enough salt in it to put you into renal failure, because the weak use power to corrupt instead of accepting that power is merely knowledge to be shared. Integrity cannot be taught, and once lost, it is not just picked back up. Fake tears do not a river make. The tears I’ve seen them shed only lead them to Hades.

The greatest hoax lies in the fact that to exploit the weak for personal gain is common practice, and therefore, should be blindly accepted. Innocent children die everyday, and we want to accept that its ok, just because the system is flawed. (Bear in mind, age is on quite a sliding scale here). Problems don’t go away. Infections fester and spread unless the source is removed. One cannot just remove the scorpion’s stingers, one must eradicate the scorpions. Can you imagine a place where people just watch you die and do nothing? Sadly, I can.  I always say that I’m tired of the dead talking; we need to ensure the living have their say regardless of where they stand on the socioeconomic ladder. So thank you everyone who made this change possible; you know who you are.  And please pray that we no longer treat people like vending machine choices. We are not just numbers you push, we are not just spare change, we are individuals. We deserve vindication and justice.