Story of David-Day Shelters

Story of David-Day Shelters
For the sake of privacy I changed changed the  name and some of the circumstances of how I met and know David. I share David’s story to show how day shelters can be of help to someone who wants to get beyond homelessness, someone who wants to change their life for the better. I ask the question-do David’s matter? In spite of the others that may not want to change AT THE MOMENT (That is a whole other topic.)Without going into all the details of David’s life before he became an alcoholic, David did not become an alcoholic until he was around 40 years old. His wife cheated on him and took his kids from him. (He will admit that he was a workaholic and chasing money and that he had his part in the destruction of the marriage in spite of his wife committing adultery. ) David knew what it was like to be successful, but he went down a downward spiral of alcoholism after his divorce. He also went down a path of crime. Whatever relationship he had with God as a Christian also became very messed up. His life was a shambles.

After experiencing the consequences of his behavior and being homeless many times, David decided to get his relationship with God and man taken care of. He started seeking a church to go to while he was still homeless (hoping they would not avoid him because of his odor and dirty clothes. He decided to get day labor work at a temp agency while still homeless. (He was use to making $25hr and making money in the stock market, but willing to make $11hr.) David faced many challenges. He needed someplace to take showers, a place to do laundry, a place to go if he did not get called out to a job. A place to get away from people doing drugs and drinking. He had no place to store his clothes or belongings. Thus if he had clean clothes they would not stay clean. People would take his backpack because he had no where to store it.

Things started changing for David. He was able to get connected to  day shelter (it was not a well managed one so there was much drama, but it was better than nothing.). They had a locker where he could store his clean clothes. They had showers (moldy, but again better than nothing). They had meals.  (They had other services but David did not partake of much of them because he started working in the day time.) When David was not working he would go to the day shelter rather than be in the cold and sleep at the various night shelters at churches.

The next challenge David faced is that he got a full-time temp job and made too much money for food stamps (David decided to live a life of integrity and honesty regardless of the cost.) So day shelters and night shelters combined helped him to get free meals. (He was working full-time but had many debts to pay from the past. He felt he should start paying those debts and stay homeless for awhile.)

Through all this David felt comfortable to start going back to church. He found a church that welcomed him and loved on him. Willing to help him but also hold him accountable.

Along this journey David did not always stay sober but he finally made a decision to do whatever it took to live a life of sobriety. David was finally able to save up some money to help go towards getting a place to live. Because  of his drinking past, his rental and credit history, it was obvious his best option was to go into clean & sober housing. That is where David lives at the current time.

Even a poorly managed day shelter helped David to have a fresh start on life. Needless to say he is an adamant supporter of day shelters. They do not fix the homeless problem but they do help those who want to change to get a hand up.

P.S. Along David’s journey he saw individuals who first went into the day shelters with no desire to change-just found a way to get out of the bad weather. (Is that a bad thing?) But David was able to encourage some to take care of themselves and get some day labor work. Now their lives are changing. Much more conducive in a day shelter setting than staying out in the woods, tents, etc with many negative people.




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