Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Noodled to Death
The shelter is full. The Winterhaven Board has decided that 30 men is the upper limit. Most congregations just don't have space for more. When the number approaches 40, trouble begins. People get edgy. Fights break out. We're now at 32.
Which brings me to the problem of "Clarence." He shows up every night with his "admit slip," has dinner, then retires to his van to sleep. Why is this a problem? Having been accepted as a guest at the shelter, he is entitled to a bed. By refusing to sleep in it, he literally "freezes" someone else out of a bed.
He could eat at the local soup kitchen, Elizabeth House, before bedding down in his van. When Winterhaven was at our church a few weeks ago, I asked him why he didn't. He waved his hand dismissively. "Elizebeth House!" he snorted. "They noodle you to death there." I guess he just doesn't like pasta.