When it rains its very hard to manage life on the streets. All your blankets, possessions and clothes get soaked. It’s hard to dry and you often have to throw away possessions that get ruined. This leads to people losing important paperwork, ID’s and Social Security Cards. Once you lose those documents you sometimes fail to get into shelters and other programs that require identification. It can spiral down quickly.
Not to mention that getting wet without an easy way to stay dry results in sickness, infections, and skin conditions such as foot rot or a fungal infection. It is not pretty and leads to many issues.
I am grateful to lead Corazon San Antonio. With unconditional love and justice, we provide support to people experiencing homelessness and to people who are marginalized, suffering from trauma, mental illness, or addiction to enhance mind, body, spirit, creativity, and community.
When it rains (or snows like it did in 2021) we can open up our Day Center or our Temporary Overnight Shelter so our guests can find respite, get dry or warm, receive hygiene kits and get a warm meal. Hopefully, we are able to help a client stay dry, help with case management, and find options to get off the street and into shelter
Here is my Original Post from 2012:
“RAIN” Feb. 28, 2012
I knew it would happen sometime during the 40 days despite South Texas still managing a sizable drought. Over the last few weeks the rain has slowly returned and the Spring weather has brought a few rain showers with the shift of seasons. (It could rain for the remaining 35 days and we still would need more water to get Texas back to normal!) So last night…the clouds developed just enough to rain and soak the outdoor sleeping area.
My bag got wet, part of my sleeping bag, and clothes.
Not having your own place to go to when it rains is very dehumanizing. Normally I would go home, turn on the TV, cook some soup, or take a nap in my bed. That could not happen. I was at the mercy of outside forces and other people.
Rain. Not the best situation for the homeless.
I hate getting wet and not having a place to get dry. I know it sounds silly, but it reminds me of working at summer camp and getting wet on a hiking trip in Durango, Colorado…but this is not camp. It’s real life.
However, there was a silver lining hidden in nighttime cumulus. When it rains and the outdoor area becomes unusable for the homeless to sleep there (for those without cover), they are allowed to sleep on the floor in a large gym attached to another adjacent homeless shelter. Same mat, same hard floor, more crammed with people, but there is a roof over your head! Not a bad night. And the best part about it….no train horns!
It could have been the best night of sleep yet if it weren’t for the wake up call……at 5am. (It’s normally 6:30…but when it rains, and you sleep in the cafeteria of another shelter, you have to get out of there much earlier to clean up and be ready for breakfast…) I wonder how my homeless friends camping in the woods manage rainy nights? It can’t be as simple.
By the way, there is not much to do on the streets at 5am. Pretty dead. Luckily I get to go to my youth group’s weekly breakfast and devotional today at 7am…so I got on the VIA bus at 5:30am, arrived at the church at 6am, and checked this blog. I’m lucky to have this job.
Many people don’t and are back in the rain.