Part 1, part 2 .
I have been sleep deprived for weeks and my health over time has deteriorated significantly, so sorry for any errors. After reporting horrible problems for months at Brother Francis Shelter, being targeted by serial bullies, watching people suffer, suffering myself, watching as so many people die and seeing vulnerable people thrown out in the middle of the night rather than get appropriate interventions, watching people banned from Beans Cafe to go hungry and not have water or a bathroom, watching the people living outside not have water or a bathroom, watching them throw the possessions of people who had almost nothing in a dumpster because they left it at the shelter, getting up to go to the bus stop and seeing people lying around outside on the ground, having people outside beg me for water in the morning, seeing people lying next to the building at night through a window, watching as they allowed people to steal the blankets, they knew and now watching and experiencing people sleeping on filthy mats without a sheet or blanket, it also gets cold, discrimination against women, discrimination based on disability, sleep deprivation due to the horrible conditions that especially many women have to sleep in, having to breath second hand cigarette smoke, being exposed to Spice smoke that made me very ill...I could keep going all day. I have contacted agencies multiple times who make excuses about the large number of elderly, mentally ill and disabled people in the shelter asking why are they not placed in appropriate safe places where they can get their special needs met. Right now HSS is pretty much on vacation, but little has been done and I called them often with either general problems or to report a specific person who needed help. My first call was essentially to ask what in the hell? There are issues with infection control and food safety, there is lack of supervision of behavioral problems, there is favoritism, bullying and also retaliation.
Mayor Berkowitiz and his staff care deeply about the homeless people this I know due to telling them what goes on at BFS very often. They are scrambling to get grants for housing, but there are budget issues so it will not happen very fast. Dan Sullivan and members of the Anchorage Assembly designed a homeless program that created more homeless people because all they wanted to do was keep them out of sight for business people and homeowners. This has allowed large numbers to accumulate during the period of time with little housing, chemical dependency treatment or mental health treatment. There is also little health care and many lies have been told to the people of Anchorage about that. Years of little health care and horrible conditions are one of the many contributing factors to the deaths and also much suffering. The problem can't be fixed over night, but the shelter where people have to stay is a hell hole, overcrowded, miserable, poorly maintained.
My friend and I now call going into the shelter, going through the gates of hell. Often we have to wait outside the door an hour or more while hungry people watch staff eating, women have to pee behind the dumpsters, the men do too and elderly or disabled people sit in their wheel chairs or on their walkers in pain and exhausted. Intoxicants and others come to eat and/or shower, but the wait can be so long they leave. I am usually exhausted, dizzy and then develop tachycardia. Then add abusive, bullying, retaliatory staff who seek to harm and you have a Zimbardo nightmare. It is also often not safe, more on this later. No agency has control over what Catholic Social Services does, they can't be moved to do anything. I just can't believe what they are allowed to get away with. They treat the complaints much like the decades of pedophile priests, ignore, cover up and lie. I have no trust in them at all at this point. Being totally dysfunctional and very health harming both physically and mentally Brother Francis Shelter needs to be declared a disaster area, the people need to be taken to a more appropriate place that is safe and then...