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Sarah Ibarruri

Profile Information

Name: Sarah
Gender: Female
Hometown: North Florida
Home country: U.S.
Current location: North Florida
Member since: Sun Sep 11, 2005, 09:28 PM
Number of posts: 21,043

About Me

Hamas has always been a terrorist group. I prefer not to discuss this matter if you are someone who is in favor of terrorist groups. Thank you.

Journal Archives

The homeless are having to use libraries as day shelters

I started visiting the main library in my town not that long ago. One day I arrived before they opened, and much to my surprise I found throngs of people waiting there - all of them with huge bags, backpacks, and some with rolling carts filled with their belongings - all were homeless and waiting to enter. Once the doors were opened, there was a rush to get in - some went to the bathroom (to use it, and some to wash), some ran for the more comfortable available seats, and others signed up computer reservations (where many of them play computer games).

When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at the public library. A lot of other children my age spent time there, as did adults, students, and folks checking out books. I don't recall homeless people occupying many of the seats there. Now it seems homeless people are spending a good part of their day there for lack of other places to go or be.

In another city I lived in, there was an issue with homeless people, and in particular a woman who was homeless and had emotional/mental issues. I was told that she never showered and as a result, the smell made it nearly impossible for other patrons of the library. Patrons began staying away, and the library staff was forced to work under unpleasant circumstances, so the city had to get involved, the police department, and so did the ACLU. It was a mess.

I think the damage done by decades of right wing ideology has resulted more people than ever being homeless in our country, and to make matters worse, right wing policy over decades has destroyed programs for the needy. So now libraries have taken on a role as homeless shelters during the day. I looked up articles on this and found quite a few. Here is one:

Public Libraries - The New Homeless Shelters

SAN FRANCISCO—Not everyone who spends all day, every day in the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library is down and out. Only mostly everyone.

Kathleen Lee knows this because she spends hours a day walking the six floors of the vast, sky-lit building, looking for patrons who might need real help. They are everywhere: in the carrels, amid the stacks, on the computers. Some wear all they own on their backs and all they’ve lived through on their faces. Others hide in plain sight. Lee knows this, too, since she was homeless a few years ago. So she tries to let everyone know who she is and what she does. “I strike up a lot of conversations,” she said at the end of a recent three-hour shift.

What Lee does at the San Francisco main library is help homeless and indigent patrons fill fundamental needs–food, shelter, hygiene, medical attention, substance abuse and mental health services. She’s one of five peer counselors, all formerly homeless, who work with a full-time psychiatric social worker stationed at the library to serve its many impoverished patrons. This outreach team, one of the first in the country, is no longer a novelty. In these hard times, as social safety nets shrink, libraries have become more vital than ever as safe spaces for people with nowhere else to go. Since the San Francisco Public Library outreach program began, about four years ago, it has been inundated with requests for guidance from libraries all over the country grappling with their new role as de facto day shelters.

Posted by Sarah Ibarruri | Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:44 AM (19 replies)

..."(as a woman) as I struggle for others' acceptance - you see, I don't want children..."

...In the wake of the Supreme Court decision that struck down key portions the Defense of Marriage Act, I celebrated this historic milestone like many Americans as a step toward acceptance of all people. Even though I'm straight, I relate to my LGBT brothers and sisters as I also struggle for others' acceptance. By all accounts, I appear to be a completely average 27-year-old female. I was never the kind of person who thought I'd champion for individual rights or equality. Sure, I believe in it, but I'm not the stereotypical "Occupy" protestor or gay rights advocate.

On the outside, I look like many of my peers; I wear skinny jeans and Abercrombie. I play on my iPhone, Facebook and Twitter. I tend to blend seamlessly into the background of average female faces. However, I realize that my life as a typical twentysomething will not last long. As time goes on, I will start to become more and more isolated from my peer group as my secret comes out.

You see, I don't want children...

Posted by Sarah Ibarruri | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 08:50 PM (14 replies)
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