Rules in the Homeless Shelter

By Ashley

So what’s life like in a shelter, eh?

Well, for starters when you first enter the facility, you have to fill out a bunch of papers. Our experience with this part wasn’t too bad considering by this time we had become pros with paperwork. After we were done, the security guard went over the “rules and regulations.”

Let me go over them with you.

The first rule is the one I DREAD the most and that is the curfew. You must be in the building by 10 p.m. or you get written up, and if you’re wondering how any one would know, well there’s 24-hour security at the entrance and everyone who lives in the facility is obligated to sign in and out each time we leave or enter the building. There are exceptions for school and work only but you must provide legitimate documents to prove your hours conflict with the set curfew time. Any day that you are not working or in school, the curfew will be in effect. It sounds depressing right? Believe me, it is.

Another annoying rule is the “10 to 2″ rule. I bet you’re wondering “What the hell is that?” Well it’s pretty simple. Everyone who is living in the facility has to leave at 10 a.m. and cannot come back until 2 p.m. on weekdays. If you fail to leave before 10 or come back before 2, you get written up. If you fail to leave the building completely, it’s also considered a write up. With that said, there are exceptions for the disabled and sick, but you must have documents proving your illness. If not, well then out you go, rain or snow. Actually I’m exaggerating. We don’t have to leave our rooms for the “10-2″ rule if the temperature outside is 35 degrees or lower. I guess they don’t consider 36 degrees as cold.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering what’s the big deal is about getting “written up?” It’s a pretty big deal. Just think of it as if it were baseball. Three strikes and you’re out. Granted they can’t just throw you out into the streets for nothing, but what they can do is request that you be removed from the facility by a higher power and as you await your fate they move you up to the sixth floor and you’ll be what they call a “next step client.” What’s a “next step client?” Well, the curfew for these clients is 8 p.m. and they’re not allowed to have televisions, radios or cell phones. And here I am thinking 10 p.m. is bad.

Other rules include:

No smoking

No drinking

No fighting, which includes really loud arguments

No leaving the facility after 10 p.m.

If your “next step,” it’s 8 p.m.

You MUST sign in and out each and every time you leave the facility.

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