Homeless, Yet Fortunate

The Salvation Army logo

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I will admit that I was scared. Jenni dropped me off at the Salvation Army. She wanted to wait and see if they had room for me but I made her leave. I did not tell her that I was planning to sleep outdoors if there was no vacancy at the shelter. This was final. It was real! There was no tuning back. We had recently reunited. The stress of our impoverished situation; however,  did not attribute to a harmonious cohabitation. The love of money may very well be the root of all evil, but the lack of it is rather unpleasant.

The Salvation Army shelter for men accepted me with open arms. I was given a lower bunk with a pillow, clean sheets, a towel and a toothbrush. I was able to store my belongings in a locker. The barracks are very clean and David, the shelter manager, does an impeccable job at maintaining order.

I have heard the horror stories about what other shelters are like. My new friend, Mark McKinneley, has a college degree and was working toward a position as a master electrician. He has mad his way to Georgia from Maine seeking employment to no avail. En route, he has lodged at shelters and was even fortunate enough to camp with a couple of occupy movements. Mark told us of one shelter that was nothing more than an empty warehouse with mats to sleep on. There was no order; only chaos there. People fought, drank alcohol and dealt drugs while others tried to sleep. I count myself blessed for being at the Salvation Army in Rome, Georgia.

I was depressed for the first two days. I’m usually the one telling others to look on the bright side, but I had a tough time trying to practice what I preach. I could paint the picture as pretty as can be, but the title will still be “Homeless.” By the third day, I started to get into a routine. At 6:30 a.m. we must leave the Salvation Army and we are not allowed to be anywhere on the premises. Nothing is open that early except for a convenience store. Those who are lucky enough to have the funds, may purchase a cup of coffee. Of course, such an excursion is only good for a few minutes out of the weather. You can talk to the cashier for a bit, but then it’s time to start walking again. None of us want to go to jail for loitering and/or vagrancy, so we just keep moving.

Mark McKinneley

Honeymoon Bakery opens at 7:00 a.m. and their shade grown coffee is delicious. It would be even better if they had soy milk. If you thought being vegan was hard, try being vegan and homeless! Finally the day shelter, SOW INC (Serving Others Worldwide), is open at eight o’ clock. Someone has been donating boxes of fruit to SOW every day. I am very grateful to whomever the fruit bearer may be. Here we can watch television on a large flat-screen. Sometimes, they serve food and coffee is available more than fifty percent of the time. It sure beats walking the streets!

A lot of people have been asking me what they can do for me and I have given it plenty of thought. The TV at the day shelter can come in handy. It just so happens to have a DVD player connected to it. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I want to educate these people. I want to give them a purpose in life other than saving themselves because nothing is more personally gratifying than a completely selfless act and saving the world requires a little help. Our oceans, planet and economy is in peril. If you really want to help me out, please send me a DVD from the list below. If you are able to send one, make a note of it below so that I do not get duplicates unless you don’t care. If I do get more than one of a movie, I can promise that it will go to good use.

You can send them to:

Holise E Cleveland III
c/o Salvation Army Shelter
317 East 1st Avenue
Rome, GA 30161

You could also do me a big favor by “Liking” the Rome, Georgia Salvation Army page on Facebook and simply thanking them for what they do. Link below…

Rome, GA Salvation Army on Facebook

To get my tweets, please follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrHolise

Jenni will be treating Mark and me to Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t wait to see my dogs and birds!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller