No one should have to live like this.
Homeless shelters are temporary residences of desperation for homeless people which seek to protect vulnerable populations from the often devastating effects of homelessness while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact on the community. That's the definition we find in wiki.
Shelters vary from city to city. Some shelters are very generic, but in recent years shelters have become, or tried to become a bit more select in whom they give shelter too. Some shelters are adult men only, some are single women only, some are family only, and some...though not many are for teens only. There are drop in style shelters where people can pop in for the night and must leave by a certain time in the morning, there are shelters that require certain conditions before letting you in, such as attending a prayer service. Some provide assistance with direction to appropriate social services. Some are community based, others tied to churches, and some are government supported. Regardless of the population and the city, they are not enough shelters to properly serve the growing numbers of those in need.
Some Homeless take their chances on the street due to restrictions, lack of space, unsafe or unclean environments at the shelters. And sometimes the homeless person has no physical ability to get to the shelter before it's locked down for the night and is forced to spend the night in the elements. During the cold winter months in the colder states, there simply is not enough space for the need.
There are emergency type shelters for runaways or abused women, separate from a bed for the night; but often those in need are unaware of where these emergency shelters are, or how to get to them. And many of the drop in facilities aren't for overnights, just perhaps a place to get warm, use the bathroom, maybe get a shower and figure out where to go next. Drop in facilities for teens are often near college campus areas. Star House for example here in Columbus, Ohio serves kids age 14-24, but is always over crowded. It's located at 1621 N. High Street and has affiliation with The Ohio State University. An old plant on the south side of the city houses young teens with children, but currently only has a 21 bed dorm. Thus you can see the ability to care for all those in need of shelter is huge.
We hear at Bridge and Beyond, supply Homeless Families Foundation (a family shelter), Faith Mission (an adult Male and Female Shelter area), Holy Family (a soup kitchen for all), and a handful of school in the affected areas. Additionally we supply 2 grass roots feed the homeless groups, one of the West side of the city and one on the Northeast side of the city. These 2 grassroots areas are people living outside in the elements. We refer to them as The Bridge People.
Can you help? We donate hand knit and crocheted scarves, shawls, and slippers and store bought socks. See tabs across the top of the blog for the specifics needed to ensure the donations meet the needs of those we serve.
All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.