Hello world, and welcome to The Good News Journal! There has been a lot going on over the last few weeks I haven’t had the opportunity to Write about. There are also many events I Will never Write about; often much of My task here is to decide what events in My Life I should share with My readers and which events are intended only for Me and those in My microcosm.
It is easy for Me to Imagine I might be a character in some Universal product-Sean. The man I spend the most time with, [King] David often sports a t-shirt that reads “#BLESSED”- and We are both so blessed!!! When wonderful things Magically manifest, David Will open his button up shirt like Superman, just enough to display the large font, “#BLESSED”, while he proudly smiles, pointing and tapping the Word on his chest. It really is like a Scene One might Imagine from some inspirational, fantasy film based on real life events. David has his own personal challenges and issues, but he is also living in Harmony with the Universe. The number 37 is so relentless in Our microcosm that David now expects the number 37 to show up whenever We go for coffee – and in some Magical Way, it always does! We use Our Words to as King of the Universe for whatever it might be that We need, and the Universe always Magically provides. I could easily spend every ounce of My time Writing about the Miraculous happenings in My microcosm without ever having to spend any time tall King about the hardships endured by those subject to Life in a Canadian shelter. And that’s the kind of Good News I want to share with the world, and the sort of thing I make a point of Giving thanks to the Universe for every day. However, I am here because the conditions those subject to living in Canadian shelters are subject to are truly deplorable and in no Way, shape or Form, conditions any reasonable man would call ‘dignified’; and I have an equal duty and responsibility to report these conditions to the People, too.
It’s also important to be tall King about the hardships endured by the homeless to demonstrate to My readers the Power of perspective. Theoretically, I could spend all My Time complaining of My situation. More often than not, the food is terrible and it is rare I can stomach all three meals served in a single day, so I’ve lost more weight than a man My size can afford to lose and generally leave most every meal still feeling hungry. This morning I saw another client so desperate for a second plate of food that he was standing by the garbage so he could take the left over sausages and French toast off other clients plates after they had thrown them out. He was literally rooting through the garbage refilling his plate with leftovers – and not one staff member noticed, they were all too busy taking ‘numbers’ to make sure they (the Salvation Army) get paid for the meals they are serving. Let’s not kid Our Self’s into thing King this is charity, ladies and gents – just business as usual. The washroom stalls were littered with used syringes, a flooded toilet and trash covered almost the entire floor. I don’t even use the washroom at the Salvation Army if I can help it, but some of the clients will walk around in bare feet and none of the staff Will say a Word about it. Just two days ago, I saw one staff member picking up syringes from the parking lot accompanied by one of the supervisors wearing the same kind of rubber gloves a doctor would wear when Giving a patient an exam – they are nowhere near puncture proof and it clearly demonstrates that the staff are not Given any health and safety training, at least with respect to handling needles. I did tell the employee that she was jeopardizing her health and safety and that the gloves she was using were not suitable, but My comment and caution was ignored. Jason Prevost demonstrates too much incompetence as a manager of the Salvation Army to be any kind of example for his staff, and Monday was just one more exceptional example.
On Monday, Jason had decided that every room on the second floor was going to be treated for bed bugs, (which have been a problem for the Salvation Army for over six years according to some clients) and has become something of an epidemic over the summer. I would lie down in My bed and be covered in bites from head to toe in less than ten minutes – only hours after the bed was made with fresh sheets! It was so bad for two nights that I spent the entire night awake and slept in the afternoon (they are like vampires, they don’t like the sunlight). I have a system for keeping My clothes clean using Tupperware bins and tightly tied plastic bags, so I was eventually able to sleep by changing My clothes before bed, sleeping on top of the sheets. The saddest part is, it has always been an issue, the ‘trick’ is to fall asleep before One is overwhelmed with bites, and that’s the kind of Life the People in shelters become accustomed to – hardly a Life worthy of human dignity.
Monday morning was a Gong Show. Jason failed to have extra staff on shift to handle the overflow of possessions clients would be delivering to the ‘bed bug room’. I as King of Jason how he felt all this extra work would accomplish anything if clients are not de-loused on re-entry to the building.
“Well, that would be great, Sean, but We don’t have the facilities for that.”
“All You need is a high-heat dryer and a lobby, which You have. Clients must remove their clothes, have them deloused along with any possessions they plan to take to their room and shower. Salvation Army provides clothes while the clients wait for their items to be de-loused. They change into their own clothes after the delousing and return the garments provided by the Salvation Army. That’s the Way it must be done if One wants to eliminate the problem.”
“Yeah, Sean, that would be great but this facility is too big for that.”
Well, I’m not really going to say too much about that except to say that the proposed shelter in Vanier Will have one hundred more beds than the current facility. If Jason is not capable of containing and eliminating a bed bud epidemic with a facility this size, how does he expect to accomplish the task at the new shelter? The most disturbing thing about the conversation is that Jason believes that the poor and homeless are responsible for the bed bug epidemic, suggesting that even if he did do as I say, the place would be re-contaminated every time a client leaves to smoke.
“We would have to do this every time someone leaves to smoke.”
If that statement is true, then it only amplifies the importance of the strategies I am suggesting the Salvation Army and other shelters immediately begin implementing. Imagine that every person who may have clothing contaminated with bed bugs is contaminating every person they come close to over the course of the day – the entire city would be suffering from a bed bug epidemic within a couple of weeks if that were true. It can happen, but if the Salvation Army made delousing part of their intake procedure for those new to the shelter, it would substantially reduce or eliminate the problem. At least efforts like those of Monday morning would not be entirely in vein.
To add insult to injury, the entire procedure was so poorly organized by Jason Prevost that more than half of the bins that went to the bed bug room did not make it into the bed bug ‘cooker’ because it was too full. So, at the ‘usual’ pick up time, half the bins had been deloused, the other half were waiting outside to go in the ‘cooker’. The worker returning the bins to clients had no idea the other half had not been deloused, so he took the stuff that was clean and put it right beside the stack of unclean, bed-bug contaminated bins. A few people picked up their belongings, the rest came to collect their things at 7:30 in the evening, six hours after the clean bins had been mixed with the unclean bins. So more than half of the stuff removed from rooms returned to the rooms just as contaminated with bed bugs as they had been when they left. And the staff are SO disorganized, that I don’t even think they know how futile their efforts were. Good job, Jason. I am sure Vanier residents Will be pleased to know the new shelter Will be in Good hands…
Anyway, I have plenty more to say but I’ve ranted some 1500 words and the average man only has the attention span for 800-1200 Words at a time, so I Will do what I can to return soon.
I hope this Post finds You all well,
Love and Blessings.