The Open Shelter

Martin Matters

Martin is a guest The Open Shelter and YOU have assisted for nearly a year.

He grew up in the area we are located now, on Parsons Avenue.

Martin is not hesitant to help out where needed, whether it is helping clean up our Day Room or helping unload donations that YOU bring to us.

Martin was kind enough to sit down and share some of his life experiences and what led him to The Open Shelter.

“I have lived in Columbus all my life. I grew up on Parsons Avenue and then Lincoln Park. So I have been here awhile. I went to South Junior High. Then I got expelled from South High School. I came from an alcoholic home. I did marijuana and my own drinking. I went to the joint and then got back out. Then I got in trouble again. This time I went to the shelter, Faith On 8th. I got kicked out and then I went to my son’s. I then ended up in shared living. I had a voucher which helped me get housing.”

“I have received sack lunches and food from The Open Shelter. They also helped me get my Birth Certificate and State ID, which helped me out. They also gave me bus passes for appointments. I have got a lot from The Open Shelter.”

“I have been coming to The Open Shelter since July of 2023. I was incarcerated on a felony and got out. I remember when it was on Downtown on Mound St.”

“There are some things I have had to correct in my life with drugs and alcohol. Which I got together which helped me be more successful.”

“I was addicted to drugs and alcohol but I am through that. I have been clean 7 years. It took awhile. People, places, and things is what gets you. You have to change your whole crowd. Because there is one that is going to get you. When you are in a down mode, things aren’t going right for you; and they will see it on your face. That is when you got to be your strongest. I lost a sister to fentanyl in 2019. Me and my baby sister made a pact on no drugs.”

“I spent my share outside sleeping on the docks, or just staying up all night until I fall asleep on lunch tables or on the bus. That’s how a lot of people do it until they get rested up. Then you go back to what you were doing, like coming to The Open Shelter and getting a lunch. At the same time, you are trying to fight and get up. I have been there. Every day, you start out again. You can be right the whole day and then that one person can approach you and get you going.”

“Being on the streets you have to deal with the people, where you are going to sleep at, trying to keep some food in your system, trying to have enough energy in your body in case you get attacked. I was attacked a few times. I either covered up or was able to fight them off. When you are out there, in the circle of drugs and alcohol, someone can have a bad day and take it out on you. If you are not ready for it, you are going to get it.”

“On a typical day, I get up and come to The Open Shelter and get a sack lunch. Get some food, check my appointments. Then I go to the gym and after that I go figure out what I am going to do tomorrow. I have my own place now, the Furniture Bank gave me some furniture.”

“I got a lot of pots and pans, glasses, a TV, blankets and clothes from The Open Shelter. The Open Shelter was a super, big help.”

“I am trying to get back to work. I want to get into mobile detailing or having a food truck. I want to start a legacy to keep my kids and grandkids together after I am gone. I have four boys and one girl and four grandsons and one granddaughter. I have one grandson who is a straight A student. I told my son that I wasn’t too much there for him but he is a better man than me because of how he raised his kids. I tell them how the system is, and not to get into trouble, because it won’t pay off in the long run. It’s harder to get into housing now with a felony that is less than four years old.”

“If someone is looking for help, I would tell them The Open Shelter is a good place to start. You can get medical treatment here through Mt. Carmel, you can get a phone here. A lot of places you would have to run to, The Open Shelter has a lot of that stuff. It cuts a lot of your running short.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top