Homeless for a night
It’s 7 a.m., and I just returned home to my cozy kitchen after a night sleeping out to support Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA). My coffee is hot, it’s warm in here, and I’m feeling extremely grateful and a little humbled.
Sleeping in a tent with a good sleeping bag and a Cabela’s pad doesn’t come close to simulating being homeless. But last night I got a tiny taste of the struggles lots of my neighbors face very day. For just one night I had to haul a bunch of gear to the Lincoln school grounds, and then I had to pack it all up and haul it away. My load didn’t include any personal possessions, any toiletries, any extra clothing or any food or water.
Still, I had to chase down my flashlight, the wool cap I slept in, my boots, and a little trash, and then gather it all up and figure out what to do with it. Of course, I had someone to come pick me up in a car, and I have a house where I can bring stuff home, dry the tent, and sort out the gear.
How would I cope if I had to do that every day, day in, day out, with no permanent base and no where to store anything? Not very well, is the answer.
Thanks so much to OHRA for helping our unhoused residents move out of homelessness. If you would like to support this work, visit the website.