Levels of Comfort

IN WHICH Our Hero discovers several things about himself, his family, and the people who are dedicated to help.

We spent the first official night as members of the Guilford Interfaith Hospitality Network. As I've mentioned before, there is only one other family present in the program, a single mother with two little girls, one about Nessie's age. The fact that there is only one other family in the program at present should not lead one to think that the problem of homelessness has been blown out of proportion. To wit, see the statistics here, and a response to my initial posts at Chosen Fast here. This, to say the least, is a huge problem, but more on that later.

We were taken from the Day Center to a large local church. The volunteer staff had already prepared rollaway beds for each of us and had a meal prepared. The volunteers are some of the nicest people I ever met, so nice in fact, I actually felt guilty about them having to stay and deal with us. It's always bugged me having to ask for help, and even more so now that I think of these good people spending time away from their own friends and families to be with us. Still, they seem to have no problem with it, and I would observe, have even come to expect it.

Pay attention, boys and girls; these people are what being Christians are all about. Not Pat Robertson's political abortions or Jerry Falwell's overly-smug social dictums, but people helping people as commanded by God. "Out of their works will you know them" I think is how it goes.

We haven't asked the other girls' mother what led to her losing her house (she still works, near as we can tell), since I deem it ain't our business. One thing I have observed, however, is that she seems...well, comfortable with being in a homeless program. She's savvy about how it works, all its little nuances, and seemingly has no problem being there with her kids.

I, on the other hand, am very uncomfortable indeed. Sorry, I'm not one of Reagan's "homeless-by-choice" and I'm not trying to stay in that progrm through its entire duration, 12 weeks. I want out. I want my own space with a roof over my head, I want it so bad I can taste it, and I'll be damned if I let anything stop me.

The day I get comfortable with being in a homeless program, someone please put a bullet through my skull.

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