Homelessness and the motel crisis is in the news this week, sparked by this article in the Herald. The rising motel number was also mentioned on the NPR stations this morning and WBZ radio are working on a story, probably to be aired this afternoon. During the interview, I was taken aback by the reporter telling me that his other sources explained that there are families in motels that have alternative housing and do not really need shelter. Here is a reminder from a mother, posted as a comment on this blog a while back, about what it is like to enter the shelter system and live in a motel. Families need housing and support and not more judgement and skepticism.
Why on Earth would anyone declare themselves homeless, over a petty argument, falling out, etc? Do you know how embarrassing it is to go to DHCD/DTA and apply for shelter? Do you know how humiliating it is to lug trash bags of you and your children’s belongings into the brick building on the corner on Dudley street, and the onlookers knowing exactly why? Do you know what it is to have someone judge you, to see if you are “needy” enough for their “help”? Do you know what it is to be hungry at night, but you cannot cook because you cannot fit more than 5 items of food, or even 1 single gallon of milk, in your tiny motel “fridge”? Do you know what it is to survive off of school food, hot pockets and the occasional Mc Donalds when money permits? Do you know what it is so be considered lazy, selfish, self-centered, uneducated, incompetent… because you became a homeless PARENT? Do you know what it is for your innocent toddler to pray to God every single night for a home? Do you know what it is to be INVISIBLE!?
I don’t think you’ve had a real chat with any homeless person, especially a mother. Because if you did, you would know that we do not declare ourselves homeless to take up the “tax payers” money. Nobody wants this life!!!
-signed Homeless Mother and College Student