The trash, the ugly, the unfortunate, the destitute… We have all seen them, we’ve all watched them at one point or another. I’m talking about the Homeless men and women of our town Hathian. People that have had a poor go at life, whether it be through circumstances that put them out of their homes, or if through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps even gambling. During the day they’ll sometimes come up to you inquiring of any spare change you might have to help them along their way. Sometimes, we look at them and just shake our heads in a way that truly is heart wrenching. But when we all go back to our houses, our homes, where is it the Homeless go?
That was a question this reporter sought to find the answer to, and he stumbled upon a quaint little place, rented by a young woman named Cat Mason. The place is known as Sheltered Hearts Homeless Shelter, just outside the city proper, back behind the Hathian General Hospital. It may not look like much on the outside, with it’s sign and always open doors, but within the building itself is a plethora of books, to help men and women of Hathian try to get back on their feet. I got to speak with Cat Mason whom also, when first arriving to Hathian was homeless.
“When I first came to Hathian, I was homeless for a few years. Well Sheltered Hearts was opened and was located where that law firm is now over across from Rader Records. I started going by there and spending time there. Then, eventually, volunteering to help pay my way, so to speak, for staying there. They helped me find a job at the Pie Hole and I started just making pizzas part time… After about 8 months, the Shelter closed down and I saw how much it was used and the community had nothing after that,” states Mason.
The emotions that ran through her when she spoke of it truly is an altruistic one as while she worked for The Pie Hole she’d notice some people coming in asking where they could go and if they could get food, having no money. She’d explain that there were motels and hotels that they could try to go to. But, it was all for not. These were people who were in dying need of something more. Something substantial a place to rest that wasn’t by the side of a road, or on a bench in a park. These people deserved a warm place to sleep at night, food in their stomachs and deserved life! So she ended up working hard and made enough money to rent out a commercial spot where she opened the doors and were able to invite the homeless people in. A breath of fresh air could be had.
“My Goal for the homeless shelter is to give people a safe place to come for a meal, a bed, a shower. A place where they can store their belongings in a locker if they need to so they don’t have to carry the stuff around with them all the time. We will offer services to help find employment for them or direct them to educational services. I would like to work with HGH for maybe some simple free medical care if they need it,” explains Mason.
When asked how a citizen of Hathian can help she quickly spoke up, “people need to volunteer, they can help by providing assistance or fund raising for the shelter. They can direct people here they think could use our services. There are countless ways to help a shelter.” As of right now, there are only 3 other volunteers, but she does have hope that more will want to come once there are more people who know about it.
When asked about if there had anybody who have tried taking advantage of her services, Cat had this to say: “Just the other day a girl came in asking the shelter to give her $500 dollars and when she was turned down by one of our volunteers, she attempted to steal the microwave and said it was ‘broken’, and that she was going to take it somewhere to get it fixed.” And it was conveyed that the volunteer she was talking about had been severely assaulted enough to have to get sutures from HGH. Upon hearing this, the woman did get away with stealing 5 books from the shelter. And she explained that the shelter had security footage of the suspect and are now fully investigating the incident with the cooperation of Hathian Police Department on the job.
When asked of what benefits come from donating to a Sheltered Hearts, there were two things that come to mind. As Cat expressed, the feeling of fulfillment for helping others in their time of need, along with the ability to have that of what you donated written off on your taxes which means more on your returns people.
And finally, if you wish to help the Sheltered Hearts Foundation, just follow the road down past the hospital in District 8, stop on in. And for those still wandering the streets and finding it hard to sleep out in the cold, Please – come to Sheltered Hearts. There’s a warm bed waiting for you and a friendly face to talk with.