If you find yourself (God forbid) having to stay at a women’s shelter here are some survival tips that I hope will help.
- If your between say 16-20 go to an age appropriate shelter please, a women’s shelter isn’t the place for you, and a lot of us who are older really don’t have time to deal with the immaturity and you all have the immaturity. If you find yourself in the company of the older women at a shelter then for God’s sake please don’t look to us to be your Mother or a guidance counselor we just do NOT have time . There are agencies you can go to for your particular age group that can help with whatever issues your dealing with youngsters. Look them up on the Google.
- Older women. Don’t ever, ever become friends with ANY of the shelter residents it’s just not a good idea.
- See #2 please. If the shelter has you wake up at 6AM which is the standard time for shelter residents, then wake up one hour prior so you can get yourself ready, get your stuff together then get out before any of the residents have a chance to wake up. This way you avoid any contact with toxic residents. Remember this treat ALL shelter residents like the plague. More often than not this environment is so, dysfunctional & full of DRAMA!
- Usually, there is a curfew. Return as close to the curfew as possible.
- When you return for the shelter curfew take care to get yourself to bed.
- Avoid any residents when possible, if you have to talk with shelter staff then do so explaining to them that your there to get your housing & NOT to socialize with residents. They should understand hopefully.
- Try to do your OWN laundry off the premises of the shelter. Either go to a laundromat or a friend who has a washer & dryer. If possible do your laundry piecemeal if you don’t have a car. Try to squeeze as much as you can into a backpack.
- Don’t rely on the shelter case managers.
- Research resources on where to get what you need go to Google: type in homeless resources ( add your town) then go to work. There is also 211.
- Hopefully you will have a good support network i.e. family, a significant other.
- If possible get yourself some entertainment like a portable DVD player so you can watch your favorite show. Remember you don’t really want to interact with the shelter residents, this is for yourself to enjoy, but make sure you lock it up! Remember those residents will STEAL YOUR STUFF! So keep it secure.
- Try to get a gym membership that way you can shower there, I really wouldn’t recommend showering at the shelter. You can figure out why.
- Ladies try to obtain a Post Office box somewhere, if possible ask a relative if you can receive your mail to save money. One suggestion ladies DON’T get your mail at the shelter. The shelter may LOSE it. Your mail is too important.
This is only SOME of the things that I can think of for the moment it isn’t …how do I say this an extensive list but think of this list as a basic list for survival. Remember steer clear of the other residents a homeless shelter environment is just not healthy I don’t care HOW nice the women seem. One minute the women seem nice, the next the fangs are bared I know because I’ve witnessed how scary & unstable ( and they are unstable) homeless women are. Your only there until you can get some stable form of housing whether that’s renting a room, renting a sublet or whatever your main goal is to NOT get comfortable in that place for ANY length of time. Your goal is to make strides in getting OUT! Remember it ain’t a college dorm.