The Intermittent Volunteer’s Weblog

Befriending People in Dallas Who Are Homeless

Arrested & Jailed: Sherry Parker, Poet January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Arrested & Jailed


Three days after the Bridge closed its courtyard for sleeping and the subsequent police sweeps began, Sherry Parker and her boyfriend, Sarge, were arrested for ‘criminal trespass’, which in this case meant sleeping in public on private property, and spent ten days in jail.  I had heard about this through the ‘grapevine’ when I went looking for them in early December and couldn’t find them.


The police report of their arrest says they were ‘warned.’  They say not.  Sherry had a clean record;  Sarge had just worked off some tickets through community service.  They were told by the arresting officer that this offense would put a Class B Misdemeanor on their records.


Both Sherry and Sarge work full time, but their hours prevent them getting into shelters to sleep, including the Bridge, as they often work evenings. 


Sherry, like many women on the street I’ve spoken with, used to sometimes seek shelter and safety on the Bridge campus.


I ran into them in late December and sat with them on some steps to get caught up, at which time Sherry handed me the following new poem from her journal.  It was cold on the concrete steps, and they had just been robbed.  As luck would have it, an Anonymous Angel had just filled my car with coats and blankets.


Does adding a Class B Misdemeanor to people’s records help them get out of homelessness?  What do you think?




Always Returning

Always returning

     to some lost place

Where the winds moan softly —

Surrounding me in the emptiness…

Always returning

     in the same swift race

Speeding up gradually;

Enjoying the chase —

Always returning

     to some promised light — 

That beacons out brightly —

Saving souls in the darkness —

Always returning —

     Eternal — to me —

A lost soul —  seeking solace —

Thoughts left bound in their brightness.

copyright Sherry Parker, 12/28/09


You may see some of Sherry’s other poetry by clicking on the category “Street Voices” at right.


3 Responses to “Arrested & Jailed: Sherry Parker, Poet”

  1. SoupMan Says:

    You have touched on a key issue for the ‘working’ homeless. Those that work during the day, sometimes do not get off of work early enough to get into a shelter for the night.

    Conversely many homeless work night jobs and most shelters do NOT let you sleep at their facility in the daytime. What it boils down to is many homeless do work, but do not make enough money to actually get out of homelessness. Yet those working homeless sometimes have the most difficulty getting shelter beds.

    For some homeless it becomes a choice between going to their job OR getting a shelter bed for the night. When temperatures dip below freezing this can be a difficult choice. Even when the weather is nice, sleeping on the streets can be a dangerous experience. It seems the homeless are being penalized for seeking employment and working.

    So what’s the answer??? Well no easy answers, but one obvious solution is more shelter beds. There are less than 2,000 shelter beds in Dallas and a homeless population that many estimate at 10,000. You don’t have to be a math major to see the problem.

    p.s. Sherry’s poem shows she has a real talent for writing. Not surprising because many of our homeless men and women have skills and talents that are often unseen and unfulfilled.

    Signed, David Timothy, a.k.a. The SoupMan
    Executive Director—SoupMobile Inc.

  2. Karen Shafer Says:


    Thanks for commenting and for your accurate analysis, making points that few people understand.

    We need to get that SoupMobile shelter up and running as soon as we can! Boy, is it needed.


  3. SoupMan Says:

    Yes, you are right on. The SoupMobile Shelter needs to come off the drawing board into reality. I’ve already put the word in with the head man telling him of my request for a shelter. I’m pretty sure he got the message and even more sure he is working on it. Sometimes his timing is a little different from mine, but as usual God seems to know what he is doing!!!

    Signed, David Timothy, a.k.a. The SoupMan
    Executive Director—SoupMobile Inc.

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