Where things stand.
I am currently at the shelter in St. Paul, Minnesota. I will continue to engage in outreach on behalf of the Dollhouse. I love Eliza.
It is not without serious reasons that I am feel it is necessary to enter the shelter. I spent the early part of the day working various crowds, including the Ice fishing show in St. Paul.
I checked into the shelter around 8:30 pm last night. You have to blow into a breathalyzer to check in. I passed, no problem. After checking in, I ate my first meal for the day. I ended up sleeping on a mat on the floor. I could have gone to Mary Hall but they wanted to charge me (or the county) about $27.50 for the night. That seems a bit steep. I would prefer to tread lightly, especially when it is all charity.
A few things, the food seems fairly unhealthy. The efforts of Hamline Sprout, for example, to provide people with healthy food choices comes home when you encounter food choices at shelters. I know that Sprout primarily distribute food to Hamline Midway Elders, but excess production could assist. As I learned, “Any excess produce is donated to local food shelves, or used for community meals.” Here’s hoping to some bumper crops.
The schedule in shelters is always a bit off. Unlike Los Angeles, you can shower throughout the night in a private shower. This might be more conducive to getting a job. For others, it is a game of moving in and out of the shelters every time they clean the floors. Woke up at 5:30 am and was out by 7:00 for 2 hours with nothing to do. Most people take to the Skyway to stay warm. After that, you return for a breakfast. Most people just mill around.
In the Twin Cities, unlike LA- transportation also seems to be a bit more difficult. In Los Angeles the public buses gave people courtesy rides to shelters and the like. So, if you needed to get somewhere, it was easier. I am pretty much walking right now. Many people depend on public transportation and it would be nice to see more people benefit from their services.
In the shelter, there are many talented people looking for opportunities. Unfortunately, I am not sure what resources are available for many of the people there. Some of the people are new to the area and have not met residency requirements. I also meet people who are aspiring artists, people waiting to go back to college, and other people who are experiencing immediate personal tragedies that precipitate their attendance in the shelter.
Special shout out to Jerry (who continues to hand out Dollhouse fliers). Also, want to mention Cato (an aspiring DJ who is packing his gear around- looks heavy). The conversation has been great- good luck with school and music.
I did not see any job banks in the shelter, no ability to access the internet, or significant economic outreach.
I keep mentioning the upcoming Project Homeless Connect. Hope it can provide some real opportunities for people in need.
Another very bright spot: EAGAN HILLS CHURCH distributed free gloves and hats to everyone. The fingers of my gloves are worn through, so getting new gloves was fantastic. Thank you. Free coffee from Dunn Bros was also a major boost.
Also, Todd Tipton was playing some classical guitar at the local library. It’s nice to have a warm place to relax and enjoy some music. I wish the hours at the library were longer.
Anyway, I talked to plenty of people about the show. I keep handing out fliers. I’ll do everything I can to promote the show what I can. Peace. DH forever.