I Was Homeless: Faith Kept Me Safe on the Streets of Boston
By Gail Busiek
Source: St. Anthony Messenger magazine
Published: Sunday, December 09, 2012
BIBLE READING has gotten me into trouble over and over again.
This began to happen when I went to live in subsidized housing for two years. There, the social worker, who was the assistant to the director, threatened me with a day-treatment program for the mental health-challenged because, as she said, I was “reading that book so much.” She seemed to have limitless power over the residents of the five housing complexes in town, so I gave away my furniture and left my little apartment with my Bible and not much else.
Since I had a car at first, it was easy to live in the Boston shelter system. I was OK for about two years. But when the car had to be junked, I tried to stay at CASPAR, a “wet shelter” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (A “wet shelter” is one where people abusing alcohol are welcome.) It was the only shelter I knew of where residents could stay not only at night, but also throughout the day.
I was happy to stay in all day because of severe rheumatoid arthritis, which made it hard for me to walk. Most shelters are for overnights only. Elderly, sick, or disabled homeless who cannot survive the streets are expected to accept nursinghome placement.
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