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December 14, 2009

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December 14, 2009

My experience is that it is easier to recover from trauma or tragedy if we don't have to go it alone. Friends and family normally give us a variety of support for a variety of reasons. For me, with little of one and even less of the other, the rotating shelter gives me a home away from homeless. this means food, often gourmet by comparison. the volunteers truly feed me better than I feed myself. My first step towards homelessness began when i decided the world did not need me as a doctor. nothing else seemed to be good enough for me, certainly did not challenge me enough. I took a job, a few for twenty years or so. Did well enough so I didn't really need to work; just when i wanted to. Then, 20 years ago to the month, i was struck by a car and should have been killed. I survived, but suffered pains that continue to this day. the pain made it difficult to get along wioth others and so precluded my ability to work. At least with others. Although I have a small income, it is not enough to live here in Davis, the place I have the deepest roots stemming from my life here as a University student. At my age, I am a little too long in the tooth for room mates, and we all know how expensive it is to live anywhere these days, especially a place like Davis, here, if you don't work for the University or own your own business, all that is left is the retail opportunities. a grown man cannot live off that, much less save and get ahead. Besides, it is almost impossible to be hired in Davis because students will do professional grade work for party money, so long as employers are flexible to their school schedules. The place is a business owner's dream.. For me, the Rotating Shelter solves a few problems. First, a roof over my head for twelve weeks, more than enough food, and something a little less tangible: emotional support. The ever changing staff of volunteers provide a kind of continuity, a sense of belonging somewhere, a sense that everything is ok. Second, I have twelve weeks to live for free...and to live freely without the pressure of wintertime wayfaring.this means i can regroup from my most recent crisis, losing my apartment, my cat and, almost, one of my many projects I puersue as a kind of self-therapy. That car striking me in a cross-walk broke more than my bones. Third and most important, the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter allows me to save enough money to do what is most important to me: Move into Slatters Court and live independently. I can easily afford the monthly rent, but the move-in cost in total are going to take a lot of saving, two months of it. i feel sorry for those that want to come in from the cold but can't either because they have mental health problems more severe than my own, because they are females or families with pets, or just plain can't handle the structure of shelter living, such as at Davis Community Meals' Shelter, or their Winter Shelter. But that's the beauty of IRWS: there is structure yes, but their structure is wrapped around us, not a paid staff. It's Davis taking care of it's own. Thank you IRWS of Davis Mynamis Lawson

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...my weight. I have gained 5 pounds in two weeks. saying a lot because I burn calories just thinking about burning calories. I'vd saved a dollar or two.. I don't talk to people much; I'm talking more now. may have mad a friend or two, even.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Too early to tell.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

People acting like they are happy to see me. If I were housed, I wouldn't have THAT..

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Whole families, under-gradute and graduate UCD students, little old ladies and some that made me wish I were 35 years younger... And they were friendly, not quick to pry with "why are you homeless" type questions, but good listeners when I DID want talk.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...do little more than it does already here, but boy, it could go statewide!

Ways to make it better...

...i could have chosen wealthier parents, and donated time and money to IRWS.Funny, this place performs near miracles for us, with volunteer community members like you. I think it could use your money, but mostly your time, your energy and your compassion

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Drwaing in Overnight Volunteers. they mostly just listen to us snore anyways. Whole families could come maybe once or twice a month. Students can study.. The way i see it, IRWS has done with influence, what The City of Davis can't do with money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Hmmmmm..... How about: Get With The Program? If the Community that is Davis, California can and should be proud of one thing, it is it Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter and its Army of community volunteers. Get with the program..

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Work as part of the dinner crews or at Intake. Volunteer