The Dreamer

"In the last two years, a lot of stuff has happened. The main thing - the worst thing - is the whole sex ring over on Ruggles. It’s been in the paper for a couple months now about the 'wolf clan'. The neighbors and the lady we were staying with had a daughter. Her daughter was being sexually abused. The mother didn’t do anything about it or was actively endorsing it. The neighbor along with his son were also sexually abusing the daughter. It was a big dominant-submissive sex ring type deal. We didn’t see it. It’s something we should’ve noticed given the fact that I’ve been in that situation before - getting sexually abused at a young age by my father. If I knew what I know now, I would’ve gotten Social Services involved sooner. But we just believed the mother when she said that the daughter was lying. Last August or September is when they got arrested, and my fiancé and I had nowhere to go."

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"Many people think we're lazy. That most of us are all drunkards. That it’s older people or younger people who are naive and stupid and don’t know how to manage their money. Homelessness isn’t just about one demographic; it’s all demographics. There are a million and one ways to become homeless. It could be something you did, it could be something somebody else did that tarnished your name so now you can’t get into housing or other things. I am afraid that it'll take too long to get out of this rut. I’m working as a dishwasher part-time which most people don’t really want to be in that situation forever. I don’t have a place of my own. It’s still something I’ve got to figure out. I’m going to be 27 soon and to not be where I want to be is frustrating. Personally, I take each day as it comes and just deal with the troubles of that day. I used to try to plan for the future, but 'even the best-laid plans go awry' as they say."

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"If it wasn’t for shelters like this, where would people be? As soon as the Solutions Center called me, I knew that if I didn’t snap up the opportunity right away, I probably wouldn’t get another chance because of the waiting list and limited space. I was at the point where I couldn’t deal with all the stuff I was dealing with anymore. At least here we have a roof over our heads. If we don’t buy any food, there’s usually enough food around to be made. I think people would find this place a little more austere and hostile if the staff wasn’t as in tune with what people needed.  Because if you’re going to help people, you need to be able to listen to the people you’re helping and almost be one of them. The Solutions Center staff are understanding, they are actually willing to sit down and chat with you and it doesn’t even have to be about anything in particular. I normally keep to myself and have never had much of a social life. You never know what a person has been through or what they’re capable of without getting into their head."

Casey FrenchComment