Identify Society Homeless 366 4/1/2024 Day 184, Monday, Shooting Gallery

4/1/2024 Day 184, Monday, Shooting Gallery

I woke up in the tent around 7:30 a.m. I spent some time working on writing. I collected my things at 8:00 a.m. I walked over to the truck and drove to work a little bit early.

Today was the first day that the new homeless Outreach coordinator Ezekiel is working with the team.

My new partner arrived at work around 9:00 a.m. I received a phone call from one of the treatment outreach coordinators I work with, she told me she had 10 detox beds available.

First my new partner and I went to the faith-based homeless day shelter to check on Luis and Mateo to see if they were going to treatment which they said they were. We saw Santo and we were able to get him into the shelter for a bed. Santo had been at the shelter before, but left because he wanted to use drugs in the streets again, and he had become rundown and burnt out and wanted to get back to a better place.

While we were driving down a back road we ran into a group of people that seemed homeless and I recognized a couple faces. We stopped and gave Sean, Stephanie, Eric, and Heidi food, drinks, cosmetics and blankets. They were not interested in further service.

Next we stopped by the tent city behind River run Church where we met with Alex, Eleanor, Shirley, Giovanni, Crystal, and we gave them food, drinks , cosmetics, socks and blankets.

Next we came back to the shelter where we met with Anthony and Craig who had gotten soaked in the rains. We gave them some clothes and some boots and then dropped them off at the social security office. Most of the people that we engage in the street, don’t want any form of program or drug treatment. The best we can do is give them some food and clean clothing and encourage them to do better for themselves. The best part of my job is being a consistent reminder that there is help out there and people that care.

Next we drove over near McDonald’s and we encountered a group of people hanging around using drugs near broken down taxis. This place is a shooting gallery, and there were needles all over the ground. We engaged with Hector, Jennifer, and Thomas who is in a wheelchair, and Lauren. Lauren wanted to go to detox so we began working on that right away and we were able to secure a bed at a detox after making multiple phone calls to different facilities. Thomas was in really bad shape and we worked towards securing him a bed, but we couldn’t find an open bed after calling multiple detoxes. There were also issues with his insurance. Thomas was in a wheelchair, his face was bruised and battered, and he had sores all over his body. He stated that he only drank alcohol daily and smoked crack. He was also missing one of his legs from the knee down. At one point I went to hand him the phone to talk to a detox intake person, he was in his wheelchair in front of me. Suddenly I saw a large scream of liquid arch in the air. I realized that this man was taking a leak in public for the whole world to see. I waited till he was done and then I handed him the phone so he could talk to the intake specialist at a detox.

We brought both Lauren and Thomas back to the shelter. First we drove Lauren, and then we came back for Thomas. I told Thomas not to move from the spot that I left him but when we got back he was gone. He didn’t move that fast and I noticed him down the street using his good leg to pull his wheelchair. Ezekiel and myself pulled the truck alongside him and then we tried to get him into the truck but he was about 200 lbs of dead weight. When we put him in the truck we couldn’t get him in the seat and his body was just squashed between the seats on the floor. Ezekiel ended up pushing his wheelchair all the way back to the shelter. Lauren was able to secure a bed and all we had to do was drive her there. I couldn’t find a bed for Thomas. I offered Thomas medical Care at the hospital, but Thomas refused hospital care. We did not have any shelter beds available either. We did give Thomas food, and some water. We had to let him go off on his own sadly. We drove Lauren to detox and once we finished with that our day was over. 

I stayed a little late at work and filled out paperwork. And then I drove to my camp. It has been another long day and I just laid in the tent scrolling through social media until it was time for bed.

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