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."