The shelter was over run with bedbugs and as I discovered the blanket problem I was bit by bedbugs. Brother Francis Shelter was very unsafe. I have immune system problems but their procedures were so bad that everyone including those with the strongest immune systems were in danger of infectious diseases. I had been told over a long period of time by several people that they only washed the blankets once a week. I laughed because it was absurd and said even these people who run this abusive incompetent shelter would not do something that evil, dangerous and stupid. Finally, someone who not only had intact mentation but also was very honest told me this was true. I then watched what they were doing and asked the people who did the laundry many questions. My conclusion was they were only washing the blankets once a week and I was sickened. They put the blankets in the driers and heated them up to kill bedbugs and lice but did not wash them to help kill the microbes.
The shelter I am in now washes the bedding once a week and we get a blanket, a sheet and a pillow case, but that is appropriate because each person keeps that same linen to be used by just themselves. Today is linen changing day for the women, I stripped my bed and tonight will have to make it. If someone leaves the next person who is assigned the bed strips it or if they are on the floor the linens are put into the dirty linen barrels to be washed or if someone has incontinence or some other issues they get clean linens. The people on the floor take their linens when they get up and put them into a garbage bag with their name on it to use for a week, then they are washed.
At Brother Francis they have those prison boats in the dorms, but most of the people are on the floor. The dorm people keep their blankets which is all the people get at BFS, one blanket and I experienced a period of time when there were not enough blankets for everyone because staff let people steal a very large number of them right before their eyes. I of course told them it was going on and certainly it was written up more than once in the over 200 grievance forms I filled out. Then they began abusing me massively! The people on the floor are given a blanket, then in the morning they are all thrown on the floor in the laundry room in a pile. So imagine what is on those blankets after being on the body of a person all night, a person who may drag it on the floor or walk on it and other people may walk on it. There could be people blowing their noses on it or men masturbating into them, they may have pooped their pants or peed themselves. People could have open infected wounds, may have sat down outside on the filthy sidewalks, be wearing filthy clothing, not have bathed for months and there are lots of places they could have picked up bacteria and viruses. People could have foot fungus or venereal diseases, they most certainly could have viral illnesses and of course shelters are the worst place for catching them. The drier does kill some germs, but not even the majority of them. Yea this is really gross. Several times I had a blanket that smelled like pee and thought I must be imagining it because that blanket was washed, but no it was not and there was an area of the shelter where there were elderly men who were incontinent of urine which sometimes flowed off the mats onto the floor. I called it the hallway of pee. This is disturbing and homeless people are forced to live in these kinds of conditions while politicians and their staff tell happy little lies to cover up the truth.
I could not believe they would do this even after the horrors I had been through there, even after they allowed someone to torture me and sabotage my health care. I was completely shocked that non-profits are completely unregulated. By now I have figured out homeless people are considered non-humans and certainly the government wants us to die as fast as possible so they let these non-profits running the shelters do as they please and take no action. I did ask the Anchorage Assembly and Mayor Berkowitz to get Catholic Social Services to court and remove them from the shelter before I even knew about the blankets, they refused and the same exact people who treat the homeless like animals are still in place.
I had confronted a staff who came from Bean’s Café for a new position about the blankets who is a very nice lady so I hope she was able to affect some changes and she claimed she had no idea the blankets were only being washed once a week and said she was horrified too. Her solution, dah-ta-dah-dah…to wash the blankets three times a week. Yes that means the homeless are only exposed to body secretions and pathogens four days a week. Doesn’t that just make you feel clean, fresh and healthy? All homeless shelters were created with a severe deficit of washers and driers because who could have known there would be lots of laundry in a warehouse shelter packed like a sardine can. This is often used as an excuse.