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January 27, 1984 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-27
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Homeless seeking shelter

Page 1

The recent controversy over where Ann Arbor's
homeless should find shelter has created misunder-
standing over who the homeless are and how they can
best be helped. This week's cover story takes an in-
depth look behind life on the streets.
The most difficult time for a person without a
home begins after dark - especially during the
coldest winter in history. In this week's cover photo,
an aged man heads toward shelter at St. Andrew's
Episcopal Church. Photo by Jeff Schrier.
New Nelson Page 3
Machine-made music takes on a new dimension.
Bill Nelson provides this different listening enter-
tainment on his first album. Find out how unique this
sound really is.


Stream of success Page 4
Robert Altman is practically a household name
here at the University what with his filming et al. But
not only has he engaged Martha Cook dormitory in a
major film project, he is also dominating the silver
screen at the State with his recent film Streamers.
Find out about all the commotion in this week's film
Happenings ' Page 5-7
Your guide to fun times for the coming week in Ann
Arbor. Film capsules, music previews, theater notes,
and bar dates - all listed in a handy-dandy, day-by-
day schedule.

Arena, in Detroit, will be rocking soon to "Only the
Lonely" and the other pop songs by this popular
group. Also, the University Philharmonic Orchestra
is previewed as they prepare to perform Beethoven's
Symphony No.5 on Tuesday.
A terminal review Page 9
Whether you're thinking of purchasing a computer,
or just wish to know more about them, this week's
roundup of five different books about computers is an
informative look at the world of high technology.

Twinkle toes

Page 12

No-tell Motel

Page 8

Since 1964, The Paul Taylor Dance Company has
been dancing its way in and out of the area. Find out
why it's one of the country's finest dance companies
and what it has in store for its coming performance at
the Power Center.

Groovin' their way into the area, The Motels are
ready to make a big appearance. Grand Circus

Friday, January 27, 1984
Vol. !I, Issue 14


Magazine Editors .................Mare Hodges
Susan Makuch
Sales Manager .........................Meg Gibson
Assistant Sales Manager ............ Julie Schneider

Weekend is edited and managed by students on the
staff of The Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Ar-
bor, Michigan, 48109. It appears in the Friday edition
of the Daily every week during the University year
and is available for free at many locations around the
campus and city.

Weekend, (313) 763-0379 and 763-0371; Michigan
Daily, 764-0552; Circulation, 764-0558; Display Adver-
tising, 764-0554.
Copyright 1984, The Michigan Daily.




"The people that are here are here
out of condition," he says. "They got
caught here. If they were able to raise
themselves up before the winter hit,
they would have been out of here,
because they know how it is here."
homeless, Lewis says, because
they believe the poor have brought
poverty on themselves. People fear the
homeless, he says, because they
mistakenly believe "streetpeople" are
prone to violence and crime. Experien-
ce has shown Lewis that the opposite is
more often the case.
"(The homeless) have been beaten
down. These aren't people who are
hyped up to do anything, to hurt
people," Lewis says. "They are the vic-
tims. . . and they attract more violence
when they are shoved into corners of
the community where they are not
supervised, where they are on the
A case in point, he says, is the recent
murder of 19-year-old Brian Canter,
who stayed briefly at Arbor Haven
before he was killed. Two former Arbor
Haven residents, who were expelled
from the facility shortly before Can-
ter's death, have been charged in the
"(Canter) wasn't killed in a shelter,"
Lewis says. "In fact, there is a good
case to be made that if he had had some
kind of day care, some kind of place
open that he could have gone to ... that
maybe, maybe he wouldn't have had to
wind up in that stupid apartment,"
where police say the attack on Canter
Homeless women are most often the
victims of abuse because they have lit-
tle means for protecting themselves,
says Laura Seger-Baddeley, a frequent
volunteer at the St. Andrew's shelter.
The extreme conditions that women
endure frequently make them mem-
bers of the "hard-core" homeless -
people who have suffered so much for
so long that they refuse any further con-
tact with the outside world.
"The things that would put a woman
on the street are so much harder,"
Seger-Baddeley says. "Women are of-
ten dependent so that the conditions
have to be more extreme or she won't
leave the situation she's in ... so those
out there are more deeply damaged
than the men."
Seger-Baddeley says the women
frequently end up in the streets after
being abused and exploited in a long
series of relationships. Desperate to
survive, they may turn to prostitution.
By the time they end up in a shelter like
the one at St. Andrew's, "they're angry
. and they are very difficult to help."
THERE ARE A few people at St.
1 Andrew's every night who refuse
to socialize during the raucous hour
before lights-out. One, a stooped young
woman who keeps herself swaddled in a
heavy black coat, refuses to look
anyone in the eye. No one tries to talk to
her and no one will talk about her. She
comes and goes each night without a
The number of people who show up at
the shelter drops as welfare checks
begin to arrive near the end of the mon-
th. Many of the regulars splurge by ren-
ting a room at the Embassy Hotel for
one or two nights to get more than the
usual four or five hours sleep on the
foam pads at St. Andrew's.
"Six-thirty (the mandatory wake-up
time) comes awful early when you
don't sleep much all night," says Tara,
who is 20 but looks younger, despite her
well-advanced pregnancy. Tara, who
does not want her real name used, says
the din in the church's recreation room

Eddie: The stereotypical streetperson

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2) Selected Best Chinese Restaurant by Michigan Daily
3035 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Open 7 Days A Week 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Celebrate contract ratification!
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9:30 p. m. - 1:30 a. m.

rarely lets up - the drunken snoring
and rumblings of her "roommates" of--
ten keep her awake for hours. Even
when she at last is able to doze off, one
guest's careless trip over the prone body
of another inevitably wakes her. A
night in the shelter is not easy.
"After a few nights, people begin to
get pretty short in the morning," Mum-
ford notes. "You're not too sweet at 6:30
in the morning if you haven't slept in
quite a while."
Tara puffs absently on a cigarette as
she works a crossword puzzle. Although
she has been without a permanent
home since Thanksgiving, she says
living on the streets "doesn't bug me
too much.
"I'm working on getting a place
together," she says. St. Andrew's
shelter workers have helped her wade
through the paperwork.necessary for
her to begin receiving welfare and, after
her baby is born in March, Aid for
Dependent Children benefits. She hopes
that income will support the two of
them long enough for her to find work
as a secretary. She is vague about the-
events leading up to her homelessness,
saying only that she narrowly avoided a
"marriage of convenience."
"I really don't know what I would
have done if the churches didn't have
the free meal and shelter programs,"
she says. "I've learned a lot about
myself ... It's not easy to describe it.
It's a lot of little things about surviving
on the streets. I've learned how to
really rely on myself more, which I
didn't do before."
Tara says the first hard lesson she
had to learn was where to spend her"
days. Everyone is required to leave St.
Andrew's by 8:30 in the morning,
following a free breakfast. She says
many of her friends from the shelter
join her at "world headquarters" - the
Ann Arbor Public Library - where she
reads Kurt Vonnegut novels and writes
in her diary.
Seger-Baddeley says Tara is one of
the lucky ones - her homelessness will
come to an end soon now that the social
service bureaucracies are aware of her
"The biggest problem for somebody
like Tara is fear of the unknown," she
says. "If I were her, I wouldn't be
nearly as calm. I'd be hysterical, I
think. She's handling it pretty well."
Others in the shelter also do what
they can to work their way out. Rex
Reynolds, 42, attends a vocational
evaluation program at High Point
School five days a week. A recovered
alcoholic, Reynolds hopes one day to
become an alcohol and drug abuse

"Right now I'd just like to get some
kind of job to make some money so I
can get out on my own," he says.
"Then I could try to help others by
showing them how I can be when I'm
Reynolds hit the streets just under a
month ago, shortly after being released
from University Hospital, where he was
being treated for a leg infection. His
boss laid him off while he was
"Suddenly I found myself out of ajob,
out of a place to stay, and out of
money," Reynolds recalls. "Nice
'Christmas present."
Things have been looking up since he
entered the vocational evaluation
program, but he is anxious to leave St.
Andrew's. "I don't like being a bother
to anyone," he says.
BUT THERE remains a steadfast
population of homeless people who
may never again have a home of their
own. For the most part, they are the
stereotypical street figures -
bedraggled alcoholics and mental
patients - who prefer to spend warmer
nights sleeping on benches and in
parking structures.
Their existence is a source of
frustration for social service workers
who say they cannot take such people
into custody until they have broken a
specific law.
"The state legislature decriminalized
vagrancy and public intoxication and
they were supposed to give us some
kind of resource to deal with people in
those situations," says Ann Arbor
Police Chief William Corbett. "But they
haven't. So what does a police officer do
when he gets some down-and-out drunk
on a (freezing) night? I don't know if
the shelters would accept an in-
toxicated, quarrelsome individual ...
We worry about them. We don't want
anyone to freeze to death."
The - mentally ill. create a similar
dilemma for public officials, says Saul
Cooper, director of the Community
Mental Health Center. Until they are
judged to be dangerous or completely
incapable of self-care, "streetpeople"
cannot be forced to accept treatment.
"People who are deviant are not
necessarily committable. (They) don't
have to be seen diagnostically," Cooper
says. "Their personal liberty cannot be
deprived unless they meet certain
Although programs exist to aid men-
tal patients in the transition to life out-
side the hospital, many are released
who are not capable of caring for them-


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Live Music by the Roosters

2 Weekend/January 2Z, 1984


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