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#314538 - 12/15/09 07:24 AM an uncomfotable situation
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
At work tonight this uncle brought his 14 year old nephew to the shelter, asking me to teach him a lesson about homelessness after he ran away from home. At first I went along with it, thinking that it was just to show him around in order to let him know what he may be in for but the uncle brought him upstairs and expected me to take him for the night. I couldn't do this, not only according to the law and policy but also from knowing that he would have been eaten alive by staying there. To make a long story short I could tell my shift partners were dissapointed in me for not following thru with the uncle's request. Yes he was behaving like an ass but regardless I don't think a kid that age who acts out this way deserves to be put at undue risk. Let me know your thoughts.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#314539 - 12/15/09 08:21 AM Re: an uncomfotable situation [Re: jls]
jbh8 Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 94

Edited by jbh8 (02/20/13 08:52 PM)

#314638 - 12/16/09 01:15 AM Re: an uncomfotable situation [Re: jbh8]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
I agree with jbh8, it sounds like that uncle went from trying to scare the kid straight to crossing the line into setting him up for real abuse and trauma. I trust your judgment on what it would have been like for a 14 year old to spend the night in the shelter where you work.


I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#314646 - 12/16/09 02:01 AM Re: an uncomfotable situation [Re: Casmir213]
Geeders Offline

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Sounds to me like your shift partners should be your shift employees, with you being the supervisor! Obviously you are the only one there with a brain in the instance you recount.

A 14 year old? The CAS would have been all over you had you decided otherwise, not to mention the City for housing an underage child with adults.... The Uncle,, where the hell were the parents? Nevermind....

jls, you just may have saved that kids life, or at least saved him from a life of trauma.

Take a bow Dude. Take a Bow!


My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

#314710 - 12/16/09 06:09 AM Re: an uncomfotable situation [Re: Geeders]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Thanks for your positive feedback. I try not to criticize my shift partners too much in that situation since they are also young and haven't been where I've been with regards to being an underage kid in a large adult homeless shelter. For me it was Seaton House in Toronto when I was 16. Don't know if you know it but it is notorious across Canada as one of if not the worst shelter in the country. It was that way in the 1980's anyways. From personal and professional experience I know that the exploitation of teenagers, sexual or otherwise, is all too common among kids who are homeless and living along side an adult population. Even with 18/19 year olds in the shelter where I work I see older men trying to prey on them everyday so this is hardly theoretical. As far as the uncle goes I gathered that he was acting in place of the kid's father. I don't know why the kid ran away from home in the first place but in the situation I described I gravitated toward supporting him rather than fulfilling the family's agenda, however well or ill intentioned it may be. JS

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#314723 - 12/16/09 11:02 AM Re: an uncomfotable situation [Re: jls]
LilacLouie Offline

Registered: 07/02/09
Posts: 377
Loc: Utah
14, huh? I ran away from home when I was 12. Came back a week later. I did that a number of times until I moved out when I was 17 years old. At first it's scary. But you get used to it.

Ny thought is take the kid downtown where the homeless are. Buy a homeless person a meal in exchange for telling the kid about it. Fair trade, helps the kid and helps the homeless person.

One of the best lessons I learned was you go to the city if you want pity and trouble. If you run away from home to get the hell away from people, go to the mountains or desert. But you best make damn sure you know how to survive out there. I did and I used to.

I had a couple of guys that taught me about being homeless when I ran away once. Both were Nam vets, "LRRPs" IIRC, they served together, came home after a couple tours, and couldn't handle it. They kept their families, but they spent a lot of time traveling on foot across the country. Either that or go to the VA where they'd get drugged and locked up in the looney farm. So they did out there what they did in Nam, though here they said was far easier.

Man, the lessons I learned from those two in the few days I knew them!



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