A Better Outcome
by Ronnie Barbett
After all I’ve been through it may be wishful thinking…we have got to do this again. The successful operation of this program that was presented at this Daytime Warming Center proved itself worthy of continuation. It wasn’t meant to be. The authorities at Rainbow Project was given a guarantee from the powers-that-be that the undesirables would go elsewhere. It’s like the plan all along was just a temporary center just to appease us until spring.
Sarah Gillmore’s plan of a self-governing, volunteer assisted day resource center for the homeless was wonderful. A warm building for all kinds of homeless people to congregate away from other areas of the city. Counseling and a variety of social services were here assisting people who wanted to get on with their lives positively. When each day was over at 4:30 PM, the homeless returned to their shelters, the transitional apartments, etc., to get sleep then return the next day.
The Daytime Center did not live up to all of its potential…I realize that now. The open discussion meetings facilitated by Sarah’s right-hand man, Z! Haukeness, were almost wasted. Inside this center existed a homeless advocacy group that never really got off the ground. Its main purpose was agreed on for us to assist the smooth running of this Day Center until March 31st. We did very well at that. However, so much was tried without success. I wanted us, as a committee, to engage all the negative situations occurring around this great city since we were homeless. In most days we were over 100 people strong inside this building. I wanted us to go en masse to all those meetings held by the city that concerned us. So much more could have been if the people wanted to talk about their problems that made them what they were, sending them where they were and in most cases, keeping them down and out. All situations had a chance to be addressed at these city meetings.
The homeless shelter systems in place within this city is ripe for change, and as a group, the homeless that came to the Daytime Warming Center had a chance to unite for change. A better outcome towards our problems being solved will not be wasted on just hanging out the next time around when we do this again. I promise you.