RAMBLINGS: Welcome To My World
Working with the homeless is always a challenge. The past 3 months more so. It started last year when we had clients dying in the facility where I work. This client I have known for many years. He died on the steps of the back stairwell from double pneumonia. He had refused medical treatment of any kind. Reason? It could be for a variety of reasons. Fear, no money, too independent ( or a better word "pride."). Some believe they can take care of ...themselves, etc., etc.
We have had to deal with extremely bad behavior to the point where police had to be called and a few clients barred from the property altogether. We had volunteers threatened to the point where we had to go into lock down.
In June we had a client commit suicide because the system let him down. He had testified against those who had kidnapped him and forced him into slavery with the promise the system would help him every way. The system failed him. We had several clients die of contaminated drugs. Clients I have known for years. One of my co-workers and I were physically assaulted by a client who was deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. It is possible he was frustrated as he could not effectively communicate with us. He was sent to another shelter and an hour later the Police were called as this same client physically assaulted the staff there including a security guard. I had a frantic phone call from a worried mother because her son had clearly indicated he was going to commit suicide. I still haven't learned what happened. I did learn his mom had some mental health issues as did the son. alcoholism and drugs will always be the number one problem along with mental health. We have two clients, one from the Ivory Coast who witnessed his entire family massacred in front of him. This same client has a disease that is slowly destroying his brain. Another African client from Kenya had to flee his country without his wife and baby as they are nowhere to be found after they fled rebels. This same client witnessed 48 people gunned down at the airport. He remains cheerful and upbeat. His faith in God so strong its a blessing to be around him. This is just the tip of the ice-berg as they say. Welcome to my World .