Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Street Social Work"

I got an opportunity this week to practice a little bit of street social work.  A guy about my age (not smoking) was sitting on a park bench and complimented the shirt I had on.

I asked him how he was doing and he said:

"I'm having the worst day of my life."

me-"I have a lot of days like that.  Do you want to tell me the story?"

him-"have a seat.  yes  I would like to tell you about it."  I am a college educated guy and I have had EVERYTHING handed to me on a silver platter my whole life.  In fact I only associate with millionaires.  But I mis-managed my inheritances, and now I'm homeless with $50 in my pocket and a vehicle.

I told my kids I've come to Mountain Town to camp because I'm too embarrassed to tell them the truth"

me-"What did you used to do for a living?"

him-"Manage my millions."

me-"Are you a victim of the recession?"

him-"Don't use that word.  I am not a victim.  And don't use the word "homeless" I don't like labels.

me-"Well, regardless of what words you choose to use, I am trying to get a feel for your story"

him-"What would you do if you were in my shoes?"

me-"Well, It's completely different for women.  I would make sure that if i'm living in my vehicle that I park it somewhere where:

a.  I don't get raped
b. I'm following all the rules and laws about parking my vehicle or camper.

me-"The last thing you need right now is for some cop to throw you in jail for the night"

me-"Why don't we go to the library I will get you the Mountain Town emergency resource guide, which I refer to as the bible.

him_That sounds great.

me-The advantage to you going to a shelter is that you will get hooked into services more quickly.

(I told him a little about my story)

him-"Your situation is worse then mine.  Well, thanks for adding a little bit of light to my day, and if I have any more questions I'll call you."

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