… in America is between 42 and 52 years.
The first full week I was in the shelter a young woman committed suicide. She was just 19 years old, married, but had just recently miscarried twins in the 5th month. She was set up for early death. Her husband was in jail down the street, so she was alone, she had a history of stillbirth, and was homeless.
when I asked what had happened, the accounts from the ladies vary to gruesome. This is what happened, she went to her bed shortly after being assigned one, no one recalls if she ate dinner, she covered herself with her sheet and swallowed a whole bottle of pills, klonopin called Pins on the street. Sometime after mid-night a fire alarm went off (something that was frequent but seems less so now), as the staff was doing a bed check they discovered her, in full rigor. When there was an all clear and people could return ti the building, the women were held back for as long as 230am to investigate and remove the body. The shelter considered letting the women sleep in intake and by the time the women got to bed it was 3am, 2.5 hours from wake up. It also appears that this young woman’s husband was told of her death in the daytime via phone.One woman said that the young woman was clutching a photo of her holding he dead twins.
There were red flags that even a layman would understand that she was a suicide risk, but BMC still released her. I hope to hell someone is being sued.
Just about two weeks ago another woman from the shelter was found to be dead while visiting a friend, she was 46 and had fell asleep after ODing, She was in Rehab. One of her friends found out late and had a complete breakdown, either she was arrested or taken to a mental health facility.
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg of a horrible system of homelessness and how people become homeless. Many of the people I meet are sick with diabetes, heart disease, back injuries, etc. The food is keeping people from a healthy life… Pushing pre-diabetics into the disease with the high sodium and complex carbohydrate food they serve. Either you have chicken in a over salted sauce or mystery meat (pieces of beef or just flavor) with pasta or mushy undercooked rice. No salad greens or brown rice options for those needing it whether for health, religion, or vegetarian lifestyles. You are not allowed to bring in fresh fruit as you may have laced it with alcohol or drugs. Nothing bigger that snack sized that is sealed, no cans or glass (totally understand that). Junk food oh hey no problem there. Vending machines carry mostly diet sodas, which isn’t all that healthy either, and low calorie snacks. Therefor people will go without eating and one reason behind obese homeless people.
Mayor Menino touts the healthy options people have if on food stamps with the farmers market, but what good is it for the homeless? If you live in shelters you get half as much time in your day to get stuff done if you are lucky enough to have a bus pass you can go to day shelters for breakfast and lunch where there are healthier food choices. There are literally no places to cook or prep fresh veggies and fruits if you are homeless anywhere that I know of.
Taxpayers should know what they pay for and I aim to show them.