A Tribute to the Police from a Homeless Man – The Rain Nor’ester October, 2014

Should you be on the street, in a shelter, in a transitional house, you are, “technically”, Homeless. One well-known fact is that the law is part of your life. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. These 2 blogs are dedicated to the police officers who have it in their hearts to understand. The blogs are in 2 parts; blog 1 – The Rain Nor’ester and blog 2 – Sent Away in Sub-Zero Wind Chill. The officers listened, did not prejudge and took action which, maybe, saved a life and helped a homeless man who was wronged by organizations funded to help!

Note: The reality of being on the street is that the daily objective is staying alive. This post will focus on a homeless man who had no intention to use the system. I had not been using alcohol or drugs and my mind was in control. I was just trying to get through the night without getting sick, beat up, robbed, or arrested. The events are true and comments are taken directly from the police reports. The Police officer’s options were:

  1. Arrest me and put me in jail!
  2. Send me on my way and let me get sick in the rain, freeze to death, or wander as you see many people do!
  3. Do what they did!

Episode One: I had spent 7 weeks in a shelter for men in Marlborough, MA. The atmosphere was a good one and the men worked together the best they could. I was holding down 2 to 3 jobs in order to make my goal of $3,000 and move to an apartment. Unfortunately, there are people within the Subculture Subculture defined of the street who would rather see others fail and not succeed. Two young men entered the shelter and proceeded to make that happen by redirecting blame and breaking the rule – fights and trouble making.

To my bad luck, the shelter management believed their stories. That night, October 20th, 2014, between 10 pm and midnight, after doing a 6-hour shift, I was asked to leave the shelter with the clothes on my back, no meds and no transportation.

What to do? This was the night a Nor’ester rain storm was forecast. I walked to a hotel and asked for a room.

Police Report: On 10/20/14, I was called to the Embassy Suites for a male refusing to leave the property. He stated that he was homeless and looking for a free room. He made a statement that he wanted me to shoot him. He was placed under S12 and taken to Marlborough Hospital.

Note: The common questions asked by the police are, “Are you going to hurt yourself”, Ans. “No.” “Are you going to harm someone else.” Ans. “No. “Nothing we can do”. My comment, “Then shoot me.” “That was the answer”. I also told them where I came from and the jobs I held.

Result: I was placed in the safe environment for four days until the rain pasted. The doctors certified I was of sound mind. I was able to retrieve my car but lost my job by missing a shift. Four months later, the talk on the street was that the young men who caused me to have to leave the shelter were hiding. One was rearrested after leaving the shelter. I kept moving forward.

My opinion: The officers had choices. They could have arrested me or sent me on my way.  Instead, they helped me. These officers saved me from a lot of shame and suffering. Police can be Savoirs

Brian Masters


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