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Another Way                             
Individual  Advocacy   
Have a Great One!
A Homeless Man's 

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In order to obtain a shelter bed, you have to be determined eligible. If you aren’t eligible, you reapply the next day. If you are eligible, you wait for your name to be called, and then you are shuttled from shelter to shelter, trying to find an open bed. If you find one, your sleep is interrupted in the early morning (5:00 am) and you are taken back to the Intake Center to wait in line for a bed for the next night. Some people will just sleep in chairs or on the floor of the intake center to avoid this grueling process. This intake process, however time-consuming and demeaning, must be done in order to enter into the shelter system (Randy Kennedy, "For Homeless in From the Cold, a Shuffled from Site to Site," New York Times, January 29, 1997 and Robert Polner, "Charity Group Decry Policies," Newsday, October 13, 1998).

"A person gets tired sleeping on the street. Men are lucky to get a shelter bed once or twice a month. Women fare a little better with a couple nights a week. After awhile you need to sleep in a real bed . . . but you don’t have money for a hotel room" (Panhandling: A Little Understanding, an article reprinted from San Francisco’s Street Sheet, A Publication of the Coalition on Homelesness, San Francisco, December, 1997).
A shelter is frequently run like a correctional facility, with numerous rules and regulations, including what time to get up, when to wait in line for food, when to shower, and what bed to sleep in. This kind of environment can undermine self-esteem. "There’s a culture of violating clients’ rights and disrespect for them. It’s like a jail" (Michael O’Malley, "Homeless Say Shelters Badly Run," Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 29, 1999).
There is a high risk for tuberculosis in shelters. Homelessness is a public health crisis. Diseases such as tuberculosis, aids, and hepatitis are related to homelessness yet the homeless aren’t getting the necessary treatment (Gelberg, L. "Tuberculosis Skin Testing among Homeless Adults," Journal of Internal Medicine, Vol. 12, 1997: 25-33 and Parker, Laura, "Homeless Finding the Streets Growing Colder," USA Today, December 3, 1998).
". . . homeless people prefer private shelters and even the streets than to take shelter for the night at either the Franklin shelter in the Bronx or the Atlantic Avenue shelter .. . those are dangerous places; not fit for humans (Randy Kennedy, "For Homeless in From the Cold, a Shuffled from Site to Site," New York Times, January 29,1997).
80% of homeless families that received subsidized apartments had remained intact—out of shelters and off the streets (Nichole M. Christian, "Study Offers New Insight on Homeless," (from American Journal of Public Health), New York Times, November 8, 1998).
New York City and advocates for the homeless have been battling for 20 years over policies that govern the housing of the homeless. A look at  the case of Callahan vs. Carey questions the legality of not letting the homeless stay in shelters, ("Toward a Sensible Homeless Policy," The New York Times, February 25, 2000).
The decline in welfare rolls has made it more financially difficult for shelters trying to make ends meet," Raymond Hernandez. "Homeless Shelters Suffer As Welfare Rolls Decline," The New York Times, June 14, 1998).