I applaud Stan "Caveman" DeVries, the homeless individual recently featured in the Empire (Oct. 26), on both his decision to kick his drug habit and his mission to help the homeless.
I'm sure Stan did not intend to offend his friends at The Glory Hole, but some of his comments were an affront. It's true that some of the people who frequent The Glory Hole are battling drug and alcohol addictions. These people are suffering the effects of making bad choices in their lives. Even so, they remain thankful The Glory Hole is there for them when they need food and shelter and are ready to make changes in their lives.
The Glory Hole exists to provide these basic services for people in need. We do not feed or house people who are intoxicated or are using drugs - we ask them to leave and return when they are feeling better. As no one deserves to go hungry, we can offer a sack lunch to eat off the premises, even to those individuals who have lost their entrance privileges for a period of time.
Last fall and winter, we gave Stan hot, nutritious meals, a warm place to get out of the rain, and showers and the chance to do laundry when he needed these comforts. He was a kind and appreciative man who did chores frequently as his way of saying thank you.
So often, we never find out why we don't see a patron again - some die, others move on, a few are able to break the cycle and don't want to revisit their past. In Stan's case, we were happy to read that that he's found a community at Polaris House - he disproves his own assertion that people at The Glory Hole "never get ahead." We know that, when the time is right, people desire to reach beyond what The Glory Hole offers, as there are so many needs beyond simple food and shelter.
The Glory Hole