The things I did appreciate…

While living in the shelter, there things that I did appreciate and actually think besides the woman it really wasn’t a terrible experience.

The experience itself like having to deal with fire drills after bed check once a month. Being jarred out of your sleep and having to be made to get up and line up in the cafeteria while the fire drill blares is definitely something that I have to say definitely will not be missed.

But I appreciate that once a week you have to check in with a case manager to make sure your needs are being met and your generally thriving health wise wasn’t too bothersome for me.

I feel that after having to get a new birth certificate, social security card, and identification and keeping a welfare case open, I appreciate the effort the staff put in to making sure that I was getting those documents.

It was nice to have the van to at least take me to my designation. They don’t just give you a metro card and tell you to find your own way. There’s actually a person who escorts you to the government buildings.

I’m glad that I didn’t have to find an internist that there was a whole medical clinic in the facility, even dental care.

I appreciate the fact that the case managers kept on top of all my health appointments and this is why susans place is really one of the better shelters for this type of situation.

The staff in general are strict and somewhat impersonalable, but it’s not their job to make you happy or comfortable it’s their job to enforce safety guildlines and if you require medical care they can provide it for you.

But you can’t make the shelter home. Even though there are two televisions, there’s nothing like being able to change the channel. Even that freedom is restricted. They basically provided minimal entertainment just so you could watch “something.” You could infact request a channel change but whats the point..it’s not like you can watch your favorite show every week. But I still appreciate the fact that there was a television.

I was able to make somewhat of a routine for myself in the morning when the living room would be open and there was no groups in session.

I was able to watch the news and one of the morning talk shows that I used to watch when I was living with my mother.

I would watch television from 9am to 10 am when the cafeteria opened. Most mornings by ten I would leave the living room and go to the cafeteria and write just to give myself something to do. Then I was able to get a word search book, and I would kill time doing that, and going out to smoke a cigarette then going back into the cafeteria until lunch.

For the most part it wasn’t an unbearable situation. It is what it is, you have no choice but to roll with schematic of everything.

I definitely just can’t wait until I can sit on my bed and actually enjoy the morning talk shows that I like to watch with a cup of coffee. The freedom to smoke indoors even though I’m on nicorrette and have been cutting down significantly.

There’s just something about a controlled environment that has made me a little bit more structured.

I never used to make up my bed…which caused arguments. Living in the shelter it’s part of the rules to keep a neat or they will transfer you to a different shelter.

I feel like once I move I will be making my bed in the morning. After much digectory… I now feel like making my bed is paying hommage to my mother. Even though I can’t see her or she see it, I owe it to her to make my bed in my own space in the morning.

I just kind of appreciate that the shelter makes you take a little bit MORE pride in the fact that you infact have a bed to sleep on, they enforce not to take it for granted.

I’m also thankful that I was even given panties and a bra when I first arrived and I had access to a laundry room. I’m happy that even though the clothes barely fit they had clean clothes to give me. I was even given socks…

It really has been a life changing event to have to start over with even the basic necessities. Like it wasn’t ivory soap I was given it was a bar of soap. The same with the unscented deodorant. I can’t complain at all. Like the lotion they give is so generic that within an hour my skin was chapped again. I was thankful when my case manager gave me a large jar or vasiline.

But there’s nothing like having to scrounge. I remember when I was on the street i was trying to steal deodorant but it was in a locked case..and I would scout out the pharmacies to see which one has security so I can steal packets of tuna to eat.

It’s not the best food but it wasn’t the worst either. You do end up having favorites within the lunch and dinner rotation. It’s just enough food in one serving to get you through the day until the next meal and I appreciate it hole heatedly.

Living off $22.50 every two weeks was one of the hardest parts but I tought me how to save money which is something that I found hard to do the first time around on ssi or in general. It’s better then panhandling in the middle of Manhattan, which is what I was doing while living on the street, or people where just giving me a few bucks.

I definitely still appreciate that I was able to get a case open with the help of the shelter staff.

As badly as I complain about my experience with We care, Im still happy that the SSI unit was able to help me reopen my benefits. I just don’t want to have to go through the welfare system in general again.

Now I can focus on myself and my new environment.

I kind of feel that living in the shelter actually prepared me a little for living alone. Like in the morning after I brush my teeth and wash my face, I’m going to make my bed and take pride a little. I’ve come a long way in sense. It may not be what I envisioned for myself, but I literally am waiting for freedom again.

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