I see the burning question in your eyes.  It says, “Miss Quinn, I have appointments every week.  How can I get my activities in if I can’t even be there to do them?”

Well, I’m very glad you asked that question because I just posted that very question to one of the advocates at Bethany’s.  And since so many women I’ve encountered just give up once they hear about the activities and chore requirements, I will provide this crucial information so that it is readily available to those who truly want to help themselves out of this vicious cycle of homelessness:

Twice a week, you can use a letter or appointment card with their letterhead or something of that nature to show the advocates to count it towards your activity.

All you have to do is tell them about the appointments beforehand with the proof of the appointment.  Then you bring back proof that you actually went.

Like, how I went to therapy yesterday.  I got my therapist to write a note on his card to show that I went to my appointment and it counts towards my activities.

See how easy that was?  Now you have an activity checked off for that week.

And in the case of job interviews, it goes the same way.  Just ask for the interviewer’s card or something at the end.  That combined with the proof you already provided to the advocates of your upcoming interview should be enough. [more details on that process coming soon]

 Closed mouths don’t get fed.   How often have you heard that saying?  It true for so many things than just getting fed.  How do you expect to know how to go about working with a system you know next to nothing about?  Open your mouth.  Ask questions.  They can’t spell every little thing out in the general rules because they understand that each and every situation is different and they are willing to work with you if you’re willing to work for yourself.  Understand?

I am an observer.  I watch and I listen.  And what I have observed is that there are two types of whiny women in these programs: those that whine about them not doing their job or caring about us but do nothing for themselves.  And those who whine about the advocates and social workers not doing anything or caring but take advantage of the help that’s made available to them while claiming to do it all on their own. 

The rest of us non-whiners are either happy with not doing anything or we’re doing everything we have to while utilizing every resource we can and limit our whining to the occasional much needed venting.

I’ve also observed a lot of whining being done by women who haven’t even tried asking for help or for more information on how these programs work.

I’ve spoken to one person should had been in one of N Street Village’s shelters for two whole years and had an unending list of complaints and reasons why it’s the program’s fault why she was still stuck there.  But from what I could see, she didn’t have any physical ailments to keep her from getting a job.  If she her disability was mental, it was evident by the way she spoke, carried herself and her vocabulary that it didn’t effect her ability to comprehend and follow simple instructions such as “fill out this form” or “talk to this person”.  And that’s most of what your to-do list is going to consist of while you’re working on improving your situation.  I’m just saying that if you truly want to do something, you will find a way.  If you want a reason to sit around and bitch, you’ll find an excuse.

So, what do you really want?