St. Anthony’s Homeless Shelter Medford Oregon (Abuse of Power)

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Homeless Chick:

In my absense of having the emotional strength to write or post I read this amazing account of horror that is very close and in some ways better than my experience! This family’s account is typical. The homeless shelter you cook and serve at probably has a simular story. Homeless abuse is running rampid and we allow it through our ignorance.

Originally posted on Homeless Shelter Abuse of Power:

Complete and plenary permission to use or copy or reproduce is given solely explicitly based on agreement that the author is with the reservation of rights of interpretation of any and all words and terms hereon. 

This is a story of abuse of power over the homeless.

I’m Jay. My family and I were “guests” at the St. Anthony’s Homeless Shelter, which is a part of St. Vincent DePaul society (Catholic Charity) of 2424 N. Pacific Hwy., Medford Oregon.
The people involved are:

Kathy Morgan: I understand her to be the “president” of the St. Anthony’s homeless shelter conference, and thus president of the homeless shelter.

Nick: Nick is the manager (Warden) of the St. Anthony’s homeless shelter. His last name (a Greek last name) was always ran by me so quickly that I couldn’t catch it.

Al Zon: Al used to be the president, and is now the vice president…

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To Celebrate & Be Homeless – How A Homeless Person Spent Their New Year’s Eve

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What is it like to bring in the New Year homeless? For everyone with a home, holidays are spent in an individual state of mind. This is also 50% true for those homeless. However homeless folks are limited to an attitude of positive, negative or oblivion.

For a person who doesn’t have a home, there is no saying,

“To keep positive this holiday I’m not going to stop and see Aunt Suzie and cousin Jack because they were so rude about my divorcing my last husband so screw them.”

The grey area of mind state choice doesn’t exist while being homeless.

Then it depends on the homeless person’s situation and their path of homelessness. If a person is homeless, single and without children most of the homeless folks seek shelter to stay alive and warm.

So this means that if a person doesn’t have any family they feel comfortable with for Christmas or New Years, they are stuck finding somewhere to keep warm during the day. Those homeless folks without family refuge during the holiday are back at the base shelter before 5pm to get a spot on the bus to take them to the church where they spend the night.  Most of the churches do take heart on holidays and will offer special food and sometimes gifts that are appreciated. Then it all comes down to an individual state of mind. If the homeless person chooses to feel positive and smile they will, if not then they won’t and then of coarse there is those homeless folks that will change the subject every time the ‘C’ word is spoken.

There is no other way to deal with holidays homeless. Homeless people are at the mercy of how the shelter they are taken too chooses to celebrate the holiday and their emotions.

If a person is homeless with children they are more than likely in a stable temporary shelter. Some of those shelters will allow the folks to stay overnight at family’s home on a holiday but some do not. Some allow curfew to be extended, some actually require the folks staying at their shelter to find somewhere else to go so the shelter can shut down.

This all can be very stressful. If a parent is trying like hell to keep tradition and normalcy active in every way possible while being homeless and they are not allowed to spend Christmas Eve doing routine activities because of curfew or the shelter is shut down, this can be one more traumatic blow for them and ruin the holiday. (As if it isn’t bad enough that you are homeless right?)

If the shelter is shut down and the homeless family doesn’t have anyone that can take them in, and you and your children have to go overnight at the church with the single homeless people, this is another traumatic blow for your children.

However; if a  homeless family is lucky to be in a shelter that is ran properly there will be choices and celebration supplies if a family wants and needs them. A parent that is homeless learns fast how to plaster a fake smile on their face and make the holiday as wonderful and peaceful as possible for their children as possible.

Shelter one had lots of gifts that were donated for the parents and children! The NFL team even gave signed jerseys for the Dads that were in shelter! There were bags and bags of toys, so many each child should have gotten at the least five or six.

The children got none. The parents got none. The staff had a wonderful Christmas 2012. It makes me so sick even thinking about it. I bet the NFL never knew, I bet the people that donated never knew. These people that donated gifts for the homeless parents and children never knew that those gifts would never make it to a little girl or boy in need of them; Instead they would make it in the hands of a greedy staff member with a job and a home.

I remember a mother and a little boy who came into ‘shelter one’ at the same time as me and my son did. Her little boy was turning eight and sooo excited about it. I suppose it may have been because my little girl was turning eight, but I was determined for this little guy to have a wonderful birthday.

The mother didn’t have any food stamps left but I had just gotten mine two days before his birthday. So the day before her son’s birthday we went out and we bought all of the trimmings for a birthday party. We had a cake, candy and because we were in shelter, we even knew which little shops we could go into and use my food stamp card for a few non-food item decorations. The night before her son’s birthday my room mate and now forever best friend chipped in and had gotten her boss to buy a couple of gifts that she gave to the mom so she could give them to her son.

It simply was beautiful, I thought.

The day of this child’s birthday we went up to ask staff where we could decorate so we could slice cake and give this child a couple of presents. The staff members answered us with cold rudeness and actually at first told us no! We then were given comments like ‘Ya’ll better be pickin’ that shit up like it never happened.’ and ‘It better not last more than 30 minutes.’ and ‘I guess you can have it in the back room if it is absolutely necessary.’

Just about every single staff member at this shelter was on a work program and only a half of a paycheck away from their children living in this shelter, how dare they? I learned it was an abuse of power and not very normal but it sure was horrible to experience. I was shocked and in tears.

My room mate calmed me down and we had to ignore the staff in order to get this child’s birthday decorations done before he got back to the shelter after school. We had balloons, streamers, cake, goody bags, presents and smiles. It happened and this child had a smile from ear to ear all night. I’ll never forget how that child ran and hugged his mommy and said “I knew you would make it the best ever mom!”

The holidays is all about the mind set for everyone, but homeless people have barriers. Aside from the no home part – homeless moms and dads are also at the complete mercy of whatever shelter you are blindly lucky to have over your head.

I stand up for myself, what is right and for other people when it is necessary. As a result I haven’t had it very easy. Their is a lot of abuse that happens in these places. Most homeless people have no where to seek justice. Many homeless people are so ashamed and think that they deserve abusive treatment and that the abuse is a form of justice and a right for the staff that dolls it out. For the small SMALL population that will know what and where to speak up, staff will make life for them and their children huge hell in order to get the homeless person to lose their temper and give them reason to kick them out.

Then there is me :)

Not every shelter is like shelter one. ‘Shelter Three’ is an amazing place to have been apart of. I am blessed with their Continuum Of Community Care that is very supportive. The gifts and parties would never have been stolen by these people. Not every shelter is ran the same.

So to wrap this up, holidays for homeless people is a combo of mind-set, circumstances and the mercy of the shelter that will keep them from freezing to death that night.

#2014 Bringing My Children Home & Making Money

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After trying to call my children for days, on Christmas day I received a text from my ex-husband that said;

‘you are a worthless low life piece of shit being investigated for neglecting your son? I certainly won’t allow you too speak to the other two now. All 3 kids would be better off if you are dead’

DCFS is investigating me because an employee that works at the DV apartments where I live also works for DCFS part time. She wanted to ‘teach me a lesson’ she lied and then used her buddy at DCFS to settle a personal matter. I took my trash outside to the dumpster on the property I rent while I left my son in his crib sleeping AND had my baby monitor all done under 10 minutes and only a minute to reach my child at every given moment had he been in danger. The damage this woman has caused is criminal I have been told. For that when all is said and done, I will do what it takes to be sure she is charged.

I Christmas day throwing up and crying.

I have faith in God and Jesus Christ.

This morning my little girl was able to call me.

Hearing their voices strengthens me.

#2014 is going to be my year! I feel it and something good is going to happen and no one can stop it!

I am homeless, I am not alone. I am homeless, I am not helpless. I am homeless, I am smart…

You better watch out, you better not cry! You better not shout, I am telling you why… Homeless Chick Is Coming Home..

Signing OffImage #2013 Homeless Chick

No Sleep For The Wary

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Why is it the wicked get to sleep well and those the wicked hurt are stuck awake with either worry, horrible grief or deep helpless anger.

Breath. Dont let it get to me. Have faith. All valid things to meditate and ease my mind with during the day so you can accomplish tasks. All good until the world goes silent from activity and I close my eyes for MY needed rest from MY world of works and painful overcomings. All I see is Jan’s lying face and hear her lying voice in my mind. I can brain wash myself daily with not allowing her actions to force me into a paralyzing fear, anger or a depression.

However when the lights go out and Jan is sleeping soundly with the rest of the world, I lay still wishing I could be the one to be there when the universe feeds her a double dose of the extreme pain she caused me and my children by lying.  I lay without sleep in deep sorrow with the image of my children almost in hugs reach but watch it float away with a satisfactory smile on Jan’s face. I lay trying to rest in my bed while my toddler sleeps in his crib next to me hoping the hypnotic sound of his baby snore lulls me into his dreamland. yet, all I can hear is my heart thrashing against my chest like Im having a heart attack.

While Jan dreams of sugarplums, I shake violently until I cry silently so I dont wake up my child just to try and release the slightest amount of pain and frustration. Without my children in my arms there is no suitable punishment for this woman I can even fancy my imagination to comfort me.

I don’t hate Jan because I never felt an attachment of love for her. I don’t wish physical pain or violence for her because in reality what is that going to do but draw sympathy she doesn’t deserve?

I hate this woman’s actions and and everything she is about! I think due to the amount of damage she has caused my children and I that is fair and healthy at this point.

It would make me sick to see her cry for anything because no tears that fat sow could cry will ever amount to the pain or dispair mi.e or my children’s have been. Then only to get so close and have a new demon so carelessly and untruthfully tell me she ‘understands’ as the sow smugly watches as I kiss goodbye the chances my other two children coming home for a good long while. Jan knew her lie would slim my chance of ever getting them home. Jan persued her co-worker to have me humiliated and taught a lesson, made sure to have my exhusband called so I would be emotionally abused and further harassed by him, made sure to ruin Christmas for us, Jan made sure I was stressed, scared and worried over her LIE and leaving my son sleeping in the safe enviroment of his crib under 10min to throw out my trash on the property where I live — with a baby monitor.

The only thing that would make me feel better is if this case is unfounded, my children come home and JAN has criminal charges brought againt her in a public forum and her lie exposed truthfully and pubically. THAT might constitue at least a fraction of the pain she has caused me. I wouldnt be able to say I know or I understand to her like I want too but I certainly would say I hope you learn a good lesson Jan Fisher.

#HealthyApproach
#LettingGo
#ExpressingPain
#EmotionalTorture
#SmugSow
#LiesLiesLies

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Diary Of A Homeless Chick

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So I think It was a day or two before Christmas when I got the idea to start this. I have NO idea what I am doing. I made a Homeless Chick Facebook page (dang they are nosy for a chick who wants to keep her identity safe for the sake of her children, those she was in shelter with and for the sake of being able to be BRUTALLY HONEST.) Why does Facebook need to know what movies I have watched in the past or what town I currently live in or what size underware I wear? I’m Like Whaaa?? ;)

I even made a Homeless Chick Tweeting account or whatever.. I have 2 followers lol I have never tweetered. I don’t know how to tweet but it’s a rather cute icon on my broken screen phone. Tweeter isn’t as nosy either.

A Tumbler??? I don’t even know what that is but WordPress had some service called Headlines it told me to join – for What?  I have no idea it’s purpose – and Headlines said to join Tweeter Facebook and Tumbler. LOL I guess I better catch up with times! Dang I’m being left in the cold hard dust!

As for my identity that carries my real name around I think I will stick with email and the good ol’ nosy Facebook.

I wish I would have started publishing my diary 11 and a half months ago, but I am going to create a page full of all of the details I wrote out. I don’t know anyone will ever read any of it but it will be there :) I will feel like my journey will be recorded for some purpose. Inspiration and understanding I hope. I think it is going to take some time to edit out names of people and places. It wasn’t all horrible! I had some fun times, beautiful moments, I learned how to exercise patients I certainly didn’t know existed. I have all of those journals complete with pictures of every room I had (mostly to record how my chores were always done for my own protection lol)

I can’t be the only one to have experienced this year long laps of life. I know this because I was in three shelters with all kinds of women! Crazy (all of us) women.. All different backgrounds and cultures. I enjoyed many moments. I met my very best friend in this whole wide scary world there. I got to help be part of a needed change. I got to speak out and release the painful blows that brought me to a point of hopeless, scared, hiding and then homeless! I also got to publicly thank those that were doing the right things.

The workers like Jan are very damaging yes, but in no way do I want to clump the entire staff of every place with the Jan’s dirty self serving tricks. I watched three amazing hard working workers in three separate places that were honest to the job and the work, get fired as a result of people like Jan. So for myself, the other girls and those that got fired I will address the system and it’s horrible flaw that keeps homeless people without as much fire as myself dependent on the system instead of helping them up and showing them out.

Yes People Everyone In A Family Based Shelter Wants Out even if they don’t know it!

Giving up and waiting on a section 8 voucher is usually the norm by stage thre or inatilled from a past generation stuck in a system. I’m in stage three. If I wasn’t who I am or maybe I’m not as smart as I think I am. Maybe I should be giving up, playing the game and waiting on my section 8 voucher as well. Smh. I just want up and out. Even if it means fighting the demons.

If I am given a chance to stop fighting dirt-bags for one semester, be allowed to keep my stable housing for the allotted time I am suppose to be able to be here, not have an indicated case in a crazy database for DCFS neglect for taking my trash out ……and I can complete this mission so I work with children as I have all of my life — I might just be able to Pull-It-Off. 

Not every shelter system was set to fail, in fact the shelter program I had just gotten into right before being accepted into this DV transitional housing IS ran correctly. It DOES provide the proper setting, proper staff, proper support and guidelines to show someone how to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and work hard to be in a stronger position so that whatever got you to the point of homeless doesn’t happen again or so easily!

The only reason I left is because the DV transitional apartments offered me a two year conditional stay with a three bedroom apartment so I could regain and have room for everything I needed and provide suitable living space for my other two children! I was too gain all I needed for them, then fight for full physical custody while going to school, working and receiving group counseling and other supportive services as needed! It is an outstanding chance and program on paper! If ran by the staff from the last shelter it would be an outstanding real opportunity. 

It is a crap shoot though..

When I feel stuck like I am now if if if if if if if and turning vicious circles, I have to remind myself that 1 year ago I didn’t even have a social security card or a birth certificates. – The very papers everyone needs for everything that we as humans have decided is living life (those papers had been left behind at my home while I was evicted during my long hospital stay) I also have to remind myself that I didn’t have food, medical, a therapist, developmental support for my son who was a preemie, clothing, essential care items, much less beds, toys, furniture, pots, pans all the things we take for such granted. I didn’t have any of one of those things a year ago. I have all of that and so much more now.
I have to remind myself, I worked so hard this last year. Some days I thought I would fall over from a heart attack but I did it. I had help and encouragement sometimes and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I had Jans stick up road blocks that through the Grace of God I was carried over/under/around and sometimes through. I have my faith, my son and my car that I was able to keep and/or recover from my past thus far. I am making it!

I had to fight tooth and nail one way or another in each shelter and place, and sometimes it was because I wasn’t equip to handle the daily drama! Sometimes it was/is because I didn’t how to play the (smh) dirty game of homeless politics.

But I am making it! I am thankful!

I am keeping me real and true to the beautiful person I am! (I don’t know how — faith and maybe a pinch of insanity?) I haven’t given in or up. I am proud of myself – mistakes, steep learning curves and all!

Something I have always said and my therapist – one of the two most wonderful people I have met on my journey also reminds me is that.. This Too Shall Pass.

 

Laughing Out Loud as I remember at one given point I said to her, I don’t know how I made it through everything. I still see how she shook her head and said, I don’t know either how you have gotten through this. But I have so far…    :)

 

Good News? I’m Pissed Off That I Have To Even Announce This As News

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You may want to call me a pessimist, but you’re wrong. I’m so much a positive thinker that most of the time people around me have a hard time understand.

I know not many read this, my real life friends and following is not privy to this diary of the Homeless Chick. I see a few people have read them and I’m not sure you can comment here but if you can and want too please do! Or if you want to email me please do. We aren’t meant to live this life alone. As long as you don’t add to my stress you are welcome in my life :)

homelesschick@outlook.com

A Forward to the ‘Good News’

I feel like what is the use in thinking negatively about most things? That doesn’t mean I am unrealistic! I had a cold Christmas where my ex-husband refused to allow my children to even speak to me. He said I was a worthless low-life piece of shit and that all three of my children (speaking of our two and my youngest son which isn’t his) would be better off if I was dead – what sparked the latest brutal emotional psychological attack on me and my children?? A DCFS worker that called my ex-husband to tell him I am being investigated for child neglect. The DCFS worker failed to mention that I was being investigated for taking my trash out to the dumpster on the property I rent while my son was safely in his crib sleeping and I had a baby monitor. The DCFS worker was concerned with an agenda her buddy and co-worker Jan asked me to fulfill (Jan is a woman that works for DCFS and for the DV program in which I live in & has beef with me) .

Instead I spent a Christmas throwing up and crying and being deprived of even hearing my children’s voices.

Jan is going to lose her job(s). It’s a little sing song to ward off the unhealthy anger without outlet that creeps up.

The ‘Good News’

Yesterday I was contacted by an agency that is willing to have an attorney advocate for me free of charge with the DCFS matter. This agency ‘aims to stop DCFS from using invalidated rules to “indicate” parents who are poor, single, a teenager or immigrant, a victim of abuse themselves, or suffer from a treatable mental health conditions.’

I am rich with love but otherwise poor at the moment in the wallet (LOL) – homeless to get technical, I have been through domestic abuse, I am single, and I have Attention Deficit Disorder which the state doesn’t recognize as a mental health classification or even pays cost of medication for. However; Because I was truthful with the investigator and told her I see a psychiatrist for my medication DCFS wrote it down under mental health disorder. I am the current poster child for DCFS prey.

So thankfully there is a group of people fighting these Parent Predators. I do believe in a child welfare system. I don’t believe in preying on poor, single, young, immigrants, victims or the mentally ill.

That is what DCFS does in this state on a regular basis. You say that can not be!! You ask Why???

Many reasons but I will break it down. I’ll cut out the politics and big words. Instead I’ll invite your reasoning and logic to understand.

Logical motive – if only ‘actual’ neglect or abuse cases were found indicated (meaning it ACTUALLY FACTUALLY occurred), thousands of DCFS employees would lose their jobs.

For instance; If a DCFS investigator takes a single mother who is being or has been abused by a partner or family memeber, is too poor for legal help, has a lack of substantial support and the investigator uses pressure and threats against her – the investigator knows the mother probably won’t have the knowledge, confidence, strength or support to fight an indicated report of neglect or abuse – even if no ACTUAL OR FACTUAL harm or real risk of harm occurred to the child. An investigator can take 60 plus days to investigate allegations, trump up a nice twisted sounding case and a case manager can take years to manage her case. Both the investigator and case manager have made an investment for their job security! Logic. There are other more difficult reasons but that one I stated is enough especially in this economy.

After the emotional beating I have been through with the investigator and my ex-husband these past two weeks, I can barely think straight. If I do think too straight I begin throwing up from the emotional pain! My therapist said I’m mentally intact and that is just my bodies way of coping with extremely painful emotions.

I have been through an investigation with a MUCH nicer investigator once before, and as a result of their being no harm or risk of harm to my child and probably the main reason is because I had an attorney at the time for the DV who advocated for me during the investigation, it was unfounded. (this again was while I was in shelter, myself and almost every girl was investigated be DCFS for one reason or another – DCFS preys on poor remember?? oohh and shelters get sideline kick backs if DCFS becomes involved!!)

I can’t imagine trying to navigate such a lawless acting entity on my own. So here it is folks I am loved and favored by my Lord because he never leaves me without an extended hand. The good neew that pisses me off to even call it news is this agency is my extended hand. Those simple words of ‘congratulations we have discussed your case and we would like to offer you legal advocacy in hopes we can bring your case unfounded.’ meant the world to me. I am grateful!

I miss my two beautiful children so much it is killing me. Sometimes I wonder if I will make it through this alive the pain inside is so bad. Now my battle which was to begin Pro-Se in January must be put off pending results of this DCFS investigation. None of this will ever be okay, it has been so long. After all of the damage DCFS is doing I will HAVE to have an attorney in order to even see my children again.

I did nothing wrong to have me so forced out of their lives (there is no past abuse or neglect or even any alligations of) The court sure treated me as if I had abused or neglected my children. They did this because I refused to give the court my new address after moving as a result of the court refusing to keep my address from my ex-husband because he was giving all the information he could to my abuser to help him find me so he could continue his abuse. I was pregnant when my ex-husband took me into to court for full placement of the children, and as my health declined and I was forced to hide to stay safe the dimmer my chances with my two children I stayed home and raised in perfection became. My ex-husband and my actions (justified as I know them to be) still painted a shady picture of unstable. In reality as I became hospitalized and having already lost my business because of strict bed-rest which began very early in my pregnancy due to preclampsia and then losing a place to live and being poverty stricken what felt like over night I wasn’t terribly stable. The court refused me visitation without their having an address for me and my ex-husband refused to allow me to see them unless I came into his home where he accuses me of whatever he wants too. 

I am proud of how strong I am. I am proud I have learned from my mistakes so I hope to God I don’t make them again and most of all I am proud of how much I have grown in the last years. I feel better about myself homeless than I did all of the years I pretended to be perfect.

Pt. 2 of ‘Good News? I’m Pissed Off That I Have To Even Announce This As News’ is coming in a squeal when I announce DCFS is unfounded.. Ugh til then bear with me… Raising my children, working three jobs, going to school, and through a divorce was FAR easier than being homeless. Being homeless at times is a full-time job on it’s own.