Friday, April 1, 2011

Where do homeless couples go? Not to KFC!

Last week a 22 year old woman and a 30 year old man were arrested in Springfield's Sheraton Hotel.  Their crime?  They had been living in a utility room at the top of an elevator shaft. 

The woman was released on her own recognizance and the man was held in lieu of $500 bail.

Many people don't know that if you are homeless and part of a couple, you will have to separate in order to obtain shelter.  no one accepts couples as couples.  There's only one shelter for women in Springfield-- Friends of the Homeless on Worthington St.-- and there's a men's shelter there, also.  Go up as a couple and you will be sent to two different buildings.  Many of the folks who choose to sleep rough on the riverbank are couples who don't want  to be separated.

Coincidentally, yesterday when I spoke at a Springfield College class, I met a young man who works at the Sheraton.  He mentioned that the room where the couple had stayed was not exactly pleasant to clean up-- they had used buckets as toilets. 

If the woman is looking for work to bail out her boyfriend, she can skip trying for a job at a KFC franchise.  Earlier this week, 90 people lost their jobs when seven franchises closed after the owner retired (and I guess couldn't find a buyer?)

There's an article in today's New York Times about economic insecurity.  It mentions a new study by Wider Opportunities for Women which outlines what it really takes to meet basic human needs in this country.  Check it out. Print Friendly and PDF

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi its the same in the uk,very few homeless hostels here will take in couples together.most prefer to stay together on the streets,and lots of the hostels are run by Charitys for the homeless
regards cumbria bob