1/6/2020... Greetings, World Wide Web! Today I will be sharing about one way I am advocating for myself in my journey off the streets. If you are new to this blog please scroll through my previous entries to get an idea of what I am doing here. Help me help myself. Now on with the movie.

So this just happened. There is a "Bible" based rescue mission / homeless shelter in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood called Bread of Life Mission. This is a separate facility from The Union Gospel Mission that I just moved out of. Bread of Life charge their clients for services such as a bed, shower and storage. A bed costs $5 a night. It includes a mandatory dormitory sized public shower like you used in high school gym class. Everyone standing around naked in the same room showering. Gross. There is storage that consists of a small half sized school locker that costs $35 a month! They also want a $15 deposit on the lock. That is upwards of $150 a month to stay in a homeless shelter. $185 if you rent the locker. Not bad if you are working a job but that is a lot for a bunk bed and a shower. They even require everyone to be sober and not be visibly under the influence. A rarity in the crack house shelter world. After six years of sobriety I no longer feel the urge to use but it is unsafe and disturbing to attempt to sleep around open drug use. This pay for use shelter is an option for a few nights a month, but I do not envision myself of living here.

This is the crux of my blog entry today. I am a member of a low income resource called Samaritain. They are a non profit that provides assistance with a device called a "beacon" that is Bluetooth enabled. This Bluetooth connects to people's cell phones via an app they download. When a client with a beacon is nearby the person with the Samaritan app gets a notification you are nearby and shows them a profile with your picture and story. If they feel the urge they can put a few dollars on your books for a select list of businesses that have partnered with Samaritan. These businesses include an outdoor store for camping supplies and clothing. An Army Navy store. Local cafes and restaurants. A barber shop. A thrift store and a grocery store. There used to be a hotel that worked with us but they closed for business. This service is only in Seattle right now but it is looking hopeful that it will spread all over the country.

You get the idea. A means of virtually panhandling that does not include direct cash to homeless and low income individuals so they can buy things they need to survive the street. Maybe even escape the streets and move forward. Their motto is "Walk with, not by." I suggested to Samaritan that maybe they wanted to partner with Bread of Life Mission to help their clients with shelter. Samaritan agreed this was an excellent idea and sent them an email. In a surprising turn of events this "Christian" organization declined the offer to partner with a life saving social service. Very discouraging. Why would they not want to help us help ourselves while still funding their shelter? Very counterproductive. Makes very little sense. Would they not want people off the streets in such cold temperatures?

So yeah that happened. An obstacle to overcome. I also slept in this morning in the doorway I was staying dry in. I have a sub zero sleeping bag to keep warm. I missed my 8 am window to apply at the street cleaning and tour guide job. They only accept applications once a week on Mondays. I will take this week to improve my resume and hopefully get a cell phone. I am also working on verifying my couchsurfing.com profile so maybe I can get temporary shelter. It costs $60 for a lifetime membership and people offer space free of charge. It is mostly for travelers but I may find someone who can feel solidarity with my plight.

I just need a few weeks of safe shelter so I can save up for a studio apartment. I might even find a hostel style living situation in the meantime. Ok this is my blog entry for today. I will probably post something else tonight or tomorrow. If you feel the urge please donate to my room rental fund so I may lift myself out of the abyss while working a job and saving up for a permanent place to live. I am homeless and attempting to get my life back. Thank you for reading. Peace.