I’m staying at the Sullivan Arena shelter tonight. I’ll be updating this thread all night. Just checked in. Right after I checked in there was an overdose by the bathrooms. Narcan was administered and the paramedics just showed up. Very intense situation.
Still trying to get a cot. The emergency situation disrupted things. All the staff are super busy. It’s non stop and I’ve only been here an hour.
Got my cot. It’s right in the middle of the arena. The guy next to me is super mad someone took his earbuds. I’m just laying down. They provided me with a donated blanket. Besides guy next to me it’s pretty quiet in here.
A guy started laughing really loud and has been for about 3 minutes. He’s not far from me. Now many people are telling him to be quiet. Can’t explain how strange it is.
The guy is still laughing. Now a lady is upstairs yelling and screaming and cussing.
A staff member is going around checking if everyone who is sleeping is ok.
Was given this wrist band when I was checked in.
When I checked in they searched my backpack and made me take stuff out of my pockets. Trying to make sure people don’t bring in drugs or weapons. I was also asked to fill out a form with questions about where I stayed last night etc. You can choose not to answer.
Just grabbed a snack. The food is pretty good. There’s an area upstairs area with a TV. A lot of people are eating and watching a Vin Diesel movie.
There’s an outdoor area with almost 20 port o potty’s. People smoke there too. This is where everyone uses the bathroom. There are portable sinks right when you walk back in to wash your hands.
Just talked to a guy who said he used to live in Wasilla but lost his housing. Has been staying here since Feb. Said he served in the Navy for 3 years. Was in a bad car accident in 2006. He’s amazing at knowing dates and numbers, but said car accident damaged short term memory.
For example he said the day he joined the navy and the day he was done. Exact time down to the minute. Exact day and date he moved to Alaska. Exact day and time he lost his house in Wasilla. Exactly how many days, hours and minutes he’s been here. It was pretty incredible.
Just got dinner and a coffee. One guy in line wouldn’t wear mask and started yelling and screaming. No one really paid attention. I’m told by having food all day, non stop instead at scheduled times, it really cuts down on problems when people are in line.
All the men sleep in the main arena. There is a separate area upstairs for women, couples, and LGBT people. There is one area for food, by the TV and tables, so this area is comingled. But it’s mostly men.
There is an old man here from Guam. He’s in a wheelchair and mute. Very nice man but he shouldn’t be here. Was told the higher care facilities don’t have room for him, so he’s here.
I’ve been here for only 3 hours and have already seen and learned a lot just by talking to people and observing. I guarantee if all the members of the Assembly and mayor spent a weekend here, and no one knew who they were, positive action would be taken to improve things.
One of the staff just came and announced he was turning off the TV to clean. It was right in the middle of the movie. Everyone was sitting down relaxing, this caused a big disruption. Guy next to me told me he hates feeling like a kid.
I talked to him a while after. He said he suffered a broken ankle and has been struggling since winter. Said he wants to work but transportation is a real problem. He also said he has a wife in housing but he’s not allowed to stay where she’s staying.
I’m wearing a lanyard that identifies me, and I tell everyone I talk to who I am and what I’m doing here.
You can’t take food in the common sleeping area. People are constantly being reminded of this.
Just went to get some more coffee but was told they are out. You have to be back in the building by 10:30 pm or else you won’t be allowed back in. If you’re gone for more than 24 hours you lose your cot. If you keep coming back you can keep it.
They are cleaning up the eating and relaxing area. I really wanted to finish that Vin Diesel movie. A guy is walking around the arena screaming “get the fuck away from me” + “I’ll shut your fucking mouth for you.” He appears to be talking to himself. It echoes through the arena.
There’s a table of 6 men just outside of the arena seats by where the food is. They are talking about football and the weather. They could be anywhere doing that but they are here. As they were talking a guy walked by talking crazy nonsense to himself. No one even noticed.
There’s no outlets to charge phones in the main arena, so you have to go upstairs. Lots of people changing phones and even a few laptops. A Rihanna song is playing on the speakers. Same man is walking around yelling. Someone just told him to shut the fuck up. No one reacted.
I was told a while ago there were 383 out of 400 beds taken. They expect numbers to surge as it gets colder.
I’m at my cot now on arena floor. Many more people in here now.
Just met a guy whose cot is near mine. He’s reading “Triumph and Tragedy” by Winston Churchill. He has other books too. Said he was up here from Tennessee fishing and he got mugged and lost ID and credit card. He’s trying to get ID back but it’s difficult.
This is the view from my cot.
The lights in the arena just got turned off. Much darker now. That 867-5309 song is playing on the speakers.
At least there is music. Shortly after I took this video the music turned off. Now a lot of sounds from phones, occasional coughs, people walking around, and a guy close to me hitting himself really hard in the chest.
It’s pretty quiet in here except that guy is still laughing. Was told he suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Someone else is listening to the BBC nightly news.
Now a guy is yelling all kinds of nonsense and a lot of the word fuck. The other guy is laughing even louder. Another guy said he just wants to sleep. Words can’t describe this.
I forgot to tweet this when I got here in the chaos of the OD situation. When I first walked in it smelled really bad. A guy had shit in his pants. They had to open the showers so they could clean him off. As I’m writing this from my cot a man near me is screaming for security.
Still laying in my cot. Lots of coughing and people walking around.
To give you an idea of how it looks in here, this is a pic I took on Monday when we were here for a tour. My cot is right in the middle. It’s dark now as lights are off.
Now a woman is screaming from the second floor. A man yelled “fuck you, bitch!”
They bring these portable toilets in at night from outside for the men. The bathrooms upstairs are closed at night. The smell is indescribably horrible.
Came upstairs to charge my phone. A man approached me who wreaked of booze. Started talking all kinds of nonsense. Then walked off and started yelling.
If I was staying here, like for real and not just to see what’s happening, I’m certain I would be drinking a lot. It would be the only way to make it tolerable and also to deal with living this way. It’s easy to see why people in this situation drink or use drugs.
Got kicked out of upstairs. Was trying to charge my phone. Back in cot. Lots of snoring and coughing. And some talking. Going to be a long night.
Guy just walked by my bed. Looked like he was talking on phone but he had music playing. Said he was going to fuck this bitch up. Now he’s just walking around talking to himself. Others wandering around too.
There’s a situation developing. Guy came in and started yelling loud and talking to himself. His cot is behind mine. He’s saying really disturbing stuff and making threats. He said he’s bipolar and doesn’t give a fuck. Just walking around and talking to himself.
This mentally ill guy is back in cot near me. He’s talking to himself about the super bowl and Philadelphia eagles and also saying he’s going to fuck people up and just making really strange sounds. Calling someone a fucking rat. Just left and is walking around again.
Someone is now either laughing or crying. Really hard to tell. Does it for a bit and then stops.
Whenever I get close to falling asleep someone wheels by a trash can, or someone starts yelling, or someone walks by my cot, or someone starts a hacking cough. Really trying to fall asleep but it’s proving difficult.
Been waking up all night to all kinds of stuff. Really hard to sleep. Guy next to me is snoring really loud and there is continued yelling and people walking around. It’s also pretty cold.
Nearly 5 am selfie.
Same guy in cot behind me keeps talking complete nonsense. Another guy walking around yelling and saying fuck a lot. Super tired but can’t sleep.
It’s escalating with the guy. He’s yelling at someone now and threatening him. It’s real close to a fight. More people around him now. Another guy just screamed shut the fuck up from the other end of arena. Totally wild. More people waking up.
He’s being escorted outside of arena now. Lots of people woke up and there was more yelling.
He’s back now yelling again. Breakfast starts at 7 am.
There’s a place to drop off laundry. You drop it off and then pick it up later the same day or the next day.
The arena lights just turned on. It’s chilly in here. I can hear cars driving by the arena.
Came upstairs for breakfast. Many people up here. TV back on. Very chaotic. One lady is repeatedly screaming fuck you to someone. Another guy and woman are arguing with each other. A few hours ago no one was here. Now it’s probably 100.
Breakfast is cereal.
No coffee. But people have instant coffee. One guy offered me some. Just needed to get some hot water, which they have. There’s no shortage of food.
These two guys next to me at breakfast are talking about how they could get in a fight and hurt someone to “get a ticket out of here.” I guess they mean going to jail. Older woman just sat down and started yelling at all 3 of us.
The one guy has had like 4 bowls of cereal. I joked that he looked hungry. He told me he was cold and hungry because he spent the night outside due to missing curfew. He said he’s been here since March 2020.
There is one woman who is walking in a circle talking to herself with the biggest smile on her face. She’s been doing it since I sat down. These 2 guys are talking about how crazy all the women here are. A guy is trying to help the older woman that is yelling at us.
Now she’s yelling at one of the guys next to me. He told her “shut the fuck up cunt.” Then she called him a “stupid drunk native.” She walked away and now he’s laughing about it with other guy. Other woman still walking in a circle talking to herself, laughing, and singing.
Whoa. She left and now he’s going through her bag of food. If she catches him it’s gonna go down. He told me to never leave anything or it will disappear. She came back just as he sat back down.
Guy and woman are yelling and fighting again. He told me he was in the marines for 16 years. It’s just so wild sitting here watching this. They are telling each other to kill themselves.
Guy in a wheelchair just came by to our table. Telling these guys he’s trying to get into Brother Francis where it’s calm and quiet. But he said it’s full and he’s waiting for a spot to open.
Another guy just sat down to eat. Told a guy next to him to leave because seat was taken. Another guy told him to calm down and now he’s yelling at him saying he’s gonna fuck him up and that he runs this place.
This place is total street rules. Every man for himself. And if you don’t stand up for yourself you’re going to have problems. The older woman is back. Still yelling and talking about all the mother fuckers and rats in here.
Tobacco is definitely king in this place.
The one older woman was arguing with the guy again. They keep telling them to kill themselves. Then she looks at me and says, “how was your night, sweetie.” And we talked for a few minutes. Then she went back to being really mean and saying the most outrageous things.
Been standing in line to take a shower for 10 minutes. 5 people in front of me. Guy in line asked me how long I’ve been here. Said first night. He told me to keep to myself, never leave anything laying around, avoid the dope heads, and lock my tote. He’s been here a while.
Still in line for the shower. Line has not moved. Some serious commotion upstairs. Guy just let 3 people in the shower.
Frustrating to have to wait in line to take a shower.
Just got into and out of shower. Showers are in a hockey locker room, so it’s a communal shower. They give you some soap in a cup after you sign in. Probably 10 men in here showering and changing. One guy begged to skip line so he wouldn’t be late for work.
Outside now. Definitely a morning chill in the air. One guy was denied entry as I was leaving because he was way drugged out. More yelling and fighting outside.
Left and got a ride home. There is not words to describe the contrast from being there and being at my house. End of thread.

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