The Renaissance Women’s Shelter on Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn is a transitional homeless facility, funded by the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
Two hundred severely mentally ill and chemically addicted females sleep there every night. Screams of horror from the girls being forced to take anti-psychotic medication are common along the stretch Eastern Parkway that passes by the Renaissance shelter. Few road travelers on their way from JFK or Long Island step out of their cars in this drug-infested part of the hood.
Until just recently, hardly a soul took notice of this ‘Bates Motel’ on the dirty part of town. Until landing a new job, I never paid the sandy stone structure much attention, either.
The women who live at Renaissance must sense in their rattled big minds, that I too suffer from similar psychological ailments. When demons hound God’s chosen ones, the gifted with their special senses and psychic- seeing abilities can sense when another is under Satan’s influence, and crazy themselves..
On weekdays, when I stroll into the place like the white pimp from Bed-Stuy, I get a chill when the hyenas stare at me– empty and hollow inside, the poor things– their drive to press on remains ripped to shreds on that Lithium, unlike my mind, which just so happened to put aside those childish things called psycho-tropics, years ago, and now is free of such demented thinking.
Oh girls, I wish I could say to you what I want to say as a friend and not a worker here– just run away from this place as fast as you can– get yourself clean– don’t look back– remember what happened to Lot’s wife.
They are eggs cracked in this Styrofoam carton of unfair life; poor beings with nothing to think seriously about or even wish for. Bitches on sedatives that make one’s face twitch and distort– none of them will ever be pretty again.
Those pills– the one’s the city pays for– they not only cast out demons but leave one lost in one’s thoughts with only the hope that life itself will end soon, somehow, without having to do it oneself . Oh how I remember the bitterness, girls– hang in there!
This place does not hire its own psychiatrists, it subcontracts shrinks, just like the security personnel here from FJC Security Services, a mafia based conglomerate, based at a PO box on Long Island. The one psychiatrist comes for just 30 hours a week—time enough to see all the girls– the doctor in the white coat that avoids all full-time staff here is contracted through another city funded conglomerate called not ‘Zion’, but ‘The Floating Hospital’ of all things– how creepy is that? If ever I had a book to write, this is the story.
Let us pray that the funding from the Department of Homeless Services never dries up, no matter how many become homeless in these trying times. These girls need it most. Don’t ever cut them off or put them out at night simply because they didn’t follow some rule of this place– remember what Jesus said, oh yes, I remember, this is a ‘transitional homeless facility’– why are they all screaming to get out of here?
For me, the demons have gone. They no longer seem to enter me, but to the girls, the screaming hyenas of Ralph Avenue– they can still see through me and tell me, in voices of demons sent subconsciously, that I must ‘connect’ for them– somehow.
This place is just another job– the ugly grey walls– the water fountain in the hallway– the dry one with no running water that the girls of Renaissance spit in– not fit to drink out of, but it seems nice that something breaks up the stagnant walls and overhead florescent light around here.
The billing– I got to get back to work. Must bill the city a ton for this two star Hotel in the insane part of New York– hundreds a night, a-piece– just so the city can sleep– a place to confine all this screaming.
This more than just a job– it’s a way to make a difference, a story to be told– and I shall write it, for them the medicated, the shocked.