Saturday, February 18, 2006

Walter Hoving

I don't get it -- do they rent RV's or horses? Or do they rent children on horseback? Or maybe their target market are children with loads of expendable income and no parents, and they're renting the adults on horseback. On another note, the girl in the picture was standing and talking to the gentleman who was filling the tank. I couldn't quite see inside the Recreational Vehicle, so I was not able to tell if she had already made the sandwiches or not. If she had, then she should be commended for next proceeding to come keep her guy company while he fueled up the wagon. If she hadn't.....well, she better uncross her arms quickly and get back to work.

Today I visited the Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena. It's a Christian-based rehab for women. It costs $300/month to stay there. You share a room with another women, and each room has it's own bathroom. You're given chores to do, but aside from that each woman must get up at 5:30 every morning and clean their bathroom. Then they read the Bible for an hour (I think, and if Oprah is reading any of this, it's all fiction as I don't want to be lambasted b/c my memory is incorrect), have breakfast and then go about their day. In the first month you cannot have incoming phone calls from anyone and/or visitors. After a month you can get phone calls from the payphone; there is one per floor. There is no email. You can have visitors come and visit you on Saturday from 1-4 pm and Sunday from 1-3 pm. After 3 months you can leave for small periods of time. You cannot eat cookies or cake after 9 pm. You cannot maintain contact - via phone, letters, or in person visits - with a boyfriend. You cannot be a lesbian. There are designated times that you read and study the Bible. I'm sure there's more, but these are the basics.

I hope that doesn't sound negative. Afterall, this is a Rehab. Most of the women are old, and their faces show a long, weary life. This isn't a last stop per se, but if you can't change here, you're getting pretty close to the point where you live on the streets and just await your demise. I've been to visitor hours twice now and I really enjoy it. You see the women's families; you see their young children coming to visit "Mommy"; you see their parents or siblings bringing them food and a slice of what normalcy is; but what you mainly see is that there are people who care about them. I don't listen in on their conversations, but I don't see a lot of accusing or condemnation. You just see people coming to spend some time with people they care about. And then you see people who don't have visitors as well.

I want to thank the people at the Walter Hoving Home, and similar institutions for the work they do. Sometimes this life is tough, and whether we want to admit it or not, we are all in this together. So it's nice to see people doing something for others.

As for me, when no one was looking I stole some money out of the donations basket.


sss said...

wow. How did you come to start visiting this particular home? As someone once said to Shay, you have a big heart Squi.

liquid said...

do you know someone that lives there?

jbo said...

i don't have a big heart; I go for selfish reasons. i have a cousin there who is far from home and i go to offer her the support of simply getting a visitor during the small window they are allowed visitors. it's true though that we reap what we sow as i receive support for myself just by going.

liquid said...

perhaps you can be rebranded as, "Ski, let's rage sensitivity."

jbo said...

you and me, let's start Raging Sensitivity. our first victim - Rosenblatt. that guy needs a little sensitivity training.

AKA said...

this reminds me of the novel "choke" check it out i think you'll like it.