Seattle, Station 9:
Jerusalem, Station 9:
Jesus falls a third time.
July, 2000: We had a meeting this week about opening new shelters; city officials, service providers, churches, homeless women, all together. Two churches have space; the city has funding; the bottleneck is ... staff.
"We have to have at least four staff-people. Someone to go with the women when they go out to smoke. Someone to watch the restrooms. Sometimes the referral center sends us women who fight with each other."
Claudia says later, "I've stayed at Lakeview (self-managed shelter) for ten days. When two of the women get in a fight we separate them, talk to both of them, ask, 'What are you really upset about? How can we handle this?' It gets solved."
The SHARE self-managed shelters run at a third of the cost of staffed shelters. They don't run perfectly. Neither do staffed shelters. They run just as well.
Restrooms in hotels and motels get trashed. People smoke where they shouldn't. It would be nice to have sufficient staff to watch everybody all the time. No one can afford it. Few customers would put up with it.
Sometimes you just have to treat people like adults and take your chances.
The very idea of treating homeless women like adults. The very idea.
Go on to Station 10
Return to Stations of the Cross: the Spiritual Geography of Homeless People in Seattle