Dakota County Crisis Shelter – Sleeping in the fields and barns

food-lineThe Shepherds were from a despised class. It doesn’t mean they weren’t devout men, it’s just that most were the hirelings doing menial work and had unsavory reputations. Without much thought, one might hear the word shepherd and think merely of keepers of their flock or the Good Shepherd or those who traveled far to see a special baby. For others, the Shepherds were seen as rough, uncultured and untrustworthy. They stayed outside, isolated from the townspeople for months at a time.

My family, the Gallaghers and Egans and Slaters, settled in Dakota County in 1855 from Ireland. Their land now holds County Road 42. The Irish were once despised, after the African American, before the Somali or Syrian. As time passed, my family too had men traveling far, coming to the door seeking menial work, asking for a bowl of soup or a place to sleep in the barn outside.

Now, I see those men standing in line again at this temporary shelter at Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley. They are from a despised class. It doesn’t mean they aren’t devout men, it’s just that they are the hirelings of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Super America and the Dollar Store. They are seen as untrustworthy by some and stay for months at a time isolated. Their shelter will end with us on Monday; we will re-open when we find a more stable site. They will search for a barn, a truck, a storage unit or a bus Monday night in which to sleep.


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