Author: Jerome Shaw (Jerome Shaw)

Shaw: Stand up to racism, lose shelter

I will no longer be writing articles as a client of the Sunnyvale shelter. Unfortunately, I was removed from the facility for fighting. I got into an altercation with another client after I asked him to wear a mask while sitting beside my bed. Harsh words were exchanged, and it escalated after I was called...

Shaw: Sunnyvale shelter donation policy makes no sense

Pasta. It’s what’s for dinner, and lunch and would be for breakfast, if hot breakfast was ever served at the Sunnyvale shelter. Eating pasta 45 times within a 30-day period has to eventually cause some negative health effects. It’s cheap, easy to prepare and serves a lot of people. Understood. What I can’t understand, is...

Shaw: Homeless people need more care than shelters provide

How is a homeless shelter expected to maintain the health and well-being of individuals with a mental illness or emotional issues, when no doctors are on staff? How is a homeless shelter expected to ensure the safety and comfort of individuals who require respite care, when no nurses are on staff? How is a homeless...

Shaw: One person can make a difference when you’re homeless

Holidays became meaningless to me some time ago when I became homeless—especially the heavily commercialized ones. I saw them as glorified weekends that unrelentingly remind the homeless of what they’ve lost or what they don’t have. Thanksgiving to remind you of not having family or friends to break bread with. Christmas to remind you of...

Shaw: South Bay homeless shelter ignores COVID mask mandates

The best ways to protect people from contracting COVID is through vaccination and mask wearing. Getting vaccinated is your personal choice and no one can make you get it, but not getting vaccinated will severely affect your life if you plan to work and live around other people. However, wearing a mask is something that...

Shaw: Words are powerful

Words are powerful. They transform everything about us, through us. I remember hearing the phrase “keeping your word” when I was a kid, and that used to really mean something. If you agreed to do something, then you did it, no matter the circumstances. But nowadays, words seem to just be a means of expressing...

Shaw: No one chooses to be homeless in Silicon Valley

There’s nothing good about being homeless. It’s a hard and exhausting way to live. Most people aren’t able to imagine what living on the streets is like. Lately there’s been an uptick in the number of clients residing at the Sunnyvale shelter, as solutions to the pandemic increase. I’ve seen individuals come in from hospitals,...

Shaw: Santa Clara County needs sober shelters

This summer, I was fortunate to be chosen to be on the Unhoused Task Force, whose purpose is to formulate emergency solutions to aid with the homeless crisis Santa Clara County is facing. Improving the quality of life for individuals who are living unsheltered — those in encampments, on the street, in parks, under freeways,...

Shaw: What it feels like to be a Black man in America

When I was asked to share what I call my Black Lives Matter experience, I was divided within myself. It is difficult to write about an experience in your past when it brings back so many different emotions. Feelings of helplessness, shame, regret, fear and hopelessness. It took me back to a time when I...

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