What I learned about being homeless:
• That clean clothes and a bath are priceless.
• That soft luggage and bags are best.
• That moving often is mandatory.
• That people are people no matter their station in life.
• Good shoes and socks can be a blessing.
• Having a good dog is mandatory.
Waran Lytle and his dog Puma were at Safeway for years. Puma, a pit bull, lies on his belly and loves people.
Getting to know Waren and Puma well made me happy when I went to Safeway to grocery shop. Waran told me during a short visit they had a tent outdoors. Cold and wet can be refreshing for short periods of time, but this was a forever tent.
At the time, I didn't know what was going to happen to me. The Holiday Inn Express where I was staying helped me feel safe from May 8-May 11. It was $99 a night. Thinking Waran and Puma deserved that safety, I made room in the back seat of my car. Waran carries all his worldly goods in bags.
They got in my car for the short drive to the Holiday Express. The desk person at the Holiday Express tells both of us Waren can't stay there. Period.
Waren and Puma go to the Riverside Hotel in my car. It's a hot day. Waran likes how the car's air conditioning feels on his feet. Puma loves hanging his head out my car window. The Riverside Hotel charges Waran $102.42 a night to stay there.
My week at the Holiday Inn ends May 11. I pack up my bags again, not looking forward to moving. I move in to the Riverside May 12.
I help Waran and Puma move to the Budget Inn Gladstone. LOL, we move Puma, all Waran's bags, and ourselves up down the many elevators at the Riverside.
The Budget Inn charges Waran $115.00 a night. Waran will stay at the Budget Inn May 15-June 1. His bill will be $1,995.00
Social worker Stephanie Billmyre of Do Good Multnomah was at the Budget Inn when Waran and Puma registered. Stephanie knows how to sign Waren up for state unemployment and federal stimulus money. Ms. Billmyre will find alternative housing for Waran.
Stephanie, Waran and I are celebrating, as the homeless bill sponsored by Metro passed May 19. Thank you to all those who voted in this election.
Susan Liston is a member of the Gladstone Library Foundation and Gladstone Historical Society.
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