Friday, November 12, 2010

Homeless for a night

I knew that night, in Wichita Falls, that the weather was going to get cold. Fortunately, Shawn, whom I met earlier that day, told me about a place called Faith Mission that would let me stay the night. When I arrived into the city and talked with some people, I realized that it was a homeless shelter. So, I braced my mind for sleeping the night in a homeless shelter, which I had never done before. I get to the mission 10 minutes before they lock the outside gate (such a relief!), and after 5 bowls of their bean soup, I join the other men in the dorm. I tried to blend in as much as possible, and I didn't let on that, financially, I was fine. But, I looked the part pretty well, and they didn't seem to have any standards for admittance. So, I joined all these other men in this shelter, in a dorm like setting, and was homeless for a night. As I lay in bed, I was laughing to myself at the irony, how I had chosen to put myself in this position, and out of desire to be warm, made myself homeless. I am so grateful that the Mission was far from being a permanent residence for me. Even so, I thought it funny how I had ended up in that situation, and how no one questioned my presence there.

I had a chance to briefly talk to one of the men there in the morning. He seemed much more put together than me, certainly better dressed. We didn't have much time to chat, but when I asked how he got there, he said he had just lost his job, and all of his resources had run out, and he was just doing what he needed to get by for the time being. Seemed like he should have had a family, a 9 to 5 job, and a house in the burbs. But I guess hard times can fall on anyone.

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