Activism

The Sheltered Existence, Pt 12 – On Resentment & Gratitude

Last night, an event was held at the Park Avenue Armory on one of the “forbidden” floors. Forbidden due to the fact that we shelter residents must use the Basement for entry and exit and cannot walk on the first, second or fourth floors. There is actually good reason for this: there are a few of my sheltermates who have crashed events have stolen from them. I remember one evening when they, the Armory staff, was setting up for an event on the first floor, and they were quite nervous about us residents crashing it. That’s when I learned of the party crasher who took with her upon exit, several bottles of alcohol. A few of us who reside there know quite well that the only reason the Armory puts up with all of us and the 911 calls to break up arguments is the money that is paid to them to lease two floors. There is not a night where there isn’t some bullshit drama, whether it be over the remote, or just from boredom. Staff will let the yell-fest continue with not very convincing attempts to shut it down.

Staffer 1

(unconvincingly)

ladies, please stop…. really stop…

Staffer 2

(sitting at the desk next to staffer 1)

I think I’ll call 911

Am I resentful? a bit. I shouldn’t be there. I should have been sent to transitional housing last July.I won’t start seeing place til January – shelter gets another $9K for those three months. But someone at the Williams Street Assessment shelter decided to send me to a shelter for mentally ill women. So, here I am.

Am I grateful? Yes. I have a roof over my head, shower, meals. I am not sleeping at copy shops or on the subway. I am not sleep deprived, I function. I don’t have carry my life on my back like a turtle.

Do I feel safe? not completely.