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A couple of months ago I came to Next Door for the first time. Being new to shelter life there have certainly been hiccups but I have unemployment, which helps, and I try to get out of the facility each day and look for a new job so I can continue my life. One of the first things I did when I got there was to get my own blanket. The linen they provide is filthy, scratchy and often urine-stained. Recently, they announced that clients are not allowed to have their own linen. They are going to attempt to take away what little home-like comfort we have. Property that we have purchased with our own money. There are no fans and the windows are sealed, so when it’s hot we suffer. We are only given 2 paper thin, dirty, dingy sheets and a blanket that is filled with the hair. When it is cold, we freeze because they do not turn on the heat. They do not sweep the floors in our bed areas, only in the hallway and common areas. It is not uncommon for them to run out of food if you don’t get there early. If you are late checking in, even if they have free beds available they will often not accommodate you. Rules are rules. There are some people there who are really wonderful, but there are others who take pleasure in badgering, insulting and inflicting pain upon the people who are least deserving of it. I’ve worked and had an apartment all my life. I lost my job and was evicted and now for the first time I am dependent on the services of others. So called civil servants paid with the taxes I once paid. Now I see what it is like. This is supposed to be run by caring individuals who want to be of service to society, not by cruel prison wardens. I WANT MY BLANKET. LET US KEEP WHAT DIGNITY WE HAVE LEFT. If you want to cut down on shelter infestations, sweep the floor and make the residents take a bath. Do YOUR job.

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