Some of my dear Readers may remember a story I told, back in February, about the girl who showed up twice on our doorstep looking for a place to stay.
I have a bit of a follow-up. Our city provides cooling centers in the summer (and warming centers in the winter) for those who might need them, whether they be homeless or their heating/cooling unit is out of order, or there isn’t a lot of money to pay the high utility bills to operate said unit. The cooling/heating centers are free, and a person can get a free bus ride to the center if they just ask. Because some don’t know about the centers, or need a reminder, our local news media always runs stories about them. Yesterday, one such story was in the local paper.
But there are people who come to cooling centers specifically to cool down in the air conditioning.
Monique Garcia, 24, who lives at the Poverello House, said she has been homeless on and off for several years.
The area around the Poverello House “is a desert” with little shade, she said, so she and her friend Anthony Sims headed for the Ball center.
“I’m going to find somewhere to get out of the hot sun and stay in the shade where I can charge my cell phone,” Garcia said.
She said her plan was to swim in the pool after the cell phone was charged.
The girl pictured in the paper’s story is the girl in my story. It appears that she finally made it to the homeless shelter that takes in single women. I’ve been praying for Monique with hopes she would find a way out of her situation and into one that provides a means to make a decent living and to have a long-term home. She has taken one step towards that. Now I will pray she will continue. Getting OUT of homelessness is very hard.
Finding a job while homeless is not easy. One needs an address, a phone number, a way to get to interviews, and a way to look decent for an interview. A homeless person must convince an employer that they will show up every day, on time, and in a manner that matches the job situation. It sounds easy to those of us who have the means to do this, but to someone who has very little, and sleeps in a shelter every night and who has to carry their belongings on their back (as you can see in the photo of Monique) this is very hard.