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(Vice)   Ever wonder what it's like being a social worker in the Tenderloin? "Today: 4 dead clients, 1 murdered provider, 1 client defecated in the lobby, 1 dead dog, & 1 Facebook friend posted pictures of nachos"   (vice.com) divider line 45
    More: Sad, tenderloin, social workers, harm reduction, Golden Gate Park, African-American neighborhood, substance dependence  
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12007 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Mar 2013 at 8:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-03-04 09:56:09 AM
8 votes:

stonent: Yeah, so where are all the "legalize drugs" cheerleaders now?


If drugs were legal we'd still have idiots that couldn't use them without leaving their stinking rotting bodies lying around on other peoples property. Same as we have now. Only for two big differences: 1) gangs wouldnt control distribution, and 2) it would be less of a shame-based issue to deal with addictions, and more of a medical-based issue.

We'd still have the incompetent f-ups who couldn't hold a job but kept drinking and drugging. But there wouldn't be the threat of prison involved in the cleanup. Just .. get you some medicine now off you go.

But then the following entities would be out of work:

- Criminal defense attorneys
- 3/4 of the prison beds in America
- Most large drug gangs
- Major dent in the pharmaceutical industry's profits, since most illegal drugs are more in demand than legal ones.
- Criminal prosecution industry, all those DA's with less work than now
- DEA disbanded and all their mission-creep into civil rights gone overnight
- Various other alphabet agencies whose job involves spying on Americans to find drug trafficking, gone


Pretty impressive list. Now imagine out of all these how many of them have lobbyists and profit significantly from the status quo of today.

If we ended the drug war, we'd have money to help those that really needed help, and to do so properly. Not the infinite band-aids we have now, that results in drugged out and drunk people sleeping on streets regularly in every city in America, or filling up prisons, or feeding this vast array of government like DEA and FBI investigations.
2013-03-04 09:18:46 AM
8 votes:
What did she expect? For all the crap social workers are given, it ain't easy. The hours are long, the pay isn't that great, and you're faced with the inhumanity that individuals can do to others and themselves on a daily basis. If you're lucky, you can get a job doing clinical work for hausfraus and uptight businessmen who are a bit down because the Benz blew a tire, and it took AAA 30 minutes to get there and get it fixed.

Most social workers aren't that lucky. The majority work at non-profits dealing with the discarded, the refuse, the forgotten. They are confronted by that inhumanity on a daily basis. That takes a toll on you, and if you aren't affected, you're either lying or need to get out of the business. If one gets into the field with delusions of grandeur that they are going to stroll in and save the world, they're in for a rude awakening. I have yet to meet one social worker that has saved anyone. The only person that can do that is the individual. And that my friends, is a hellish road. But that road doesn't need to be walked alone.

What's a social worker? We're guides. We're Sherpas. We're the people that walk with the individual on that road, creating the opportunities for that person to get to the destination, and hopefully teach them how to do it themselves. Every so often, someone will get to the top, and realize it's a helluva view.  Will it kill a part of you? Absolutely. That's just an occupational hazard. What this individual hasn't figured out is there is no big victory, no fanfare or homecoming parade. It's the little victories. Like the guy who brought here the picture of the tree. It's the guy saying "I'm holding steady today." Every so often, you get the best words in the world. "Hey, I'm ok now, and I don't think I need you anymore." Awesome. Mission complete. On to the next.
2013-03-04 09:11:21 AM
5 votes:
The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.
2013-03-04 09:46:52 AM
4 votes:

Lee Jackson Beauregard: FTFA: Why are my clients so farked up? Traumatic backgrounds, PTSD, and severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia are the most frequent cases we see). And whenever you combine a drug habit with compromised mental health, you usually get a mess of a brain.

Is the NRA still in favor of proper psychiatric care?


Not a member of the NRA, but someone who has known people with severe mental health issues.

If your not mentally stable enough to own a gun, you shouldn't be on the street to begin with. We closed down the institutions in the name of humanity and this was the real world result.

People like these described once received medical and psychiatric care as well as having a roof over their head and meals to eat. Their quality of life was far higher than today.

We need to open the institutions, run them humanely, get people like these off the street and make psychiatric care readily available. We can do all of this to take care of our own without trampling on second amendment rights.
2013-03-04 09:23:28 AM
4 votes:

airsupport: enik: The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.

You'd think that.  But it never does.


Damn right. But I'm a big fan of the Spartans at Thermopylae. I'm a sucker for lost causes. Never retreat, never surrender.

So enik, with all due love, care, and respect: FARK YOU. Just because you're too damn weak to give a shiat, doesn't mean I want to be one of those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
2013-03-04 09:15:05 AM
4 votes:

Generation_D: And this is exhibit A of "Why do we keep trying to help them?" We shouldn't.


SubBass49: Only reason it shouldn't stop is that instead of waiting in a social services line to get their crack money, they'll be knifing you while you walk your dog to get their crack money.


Exactly.  Welfare is a very cheap insurance policy.  If they don't get their handouts, they'll go up the hill like bandits.  Rich idiots see their taxes pay for drug habits and think it's all a waste of money.  Well OK it is, but the Drug War has turned out to be a far more expensive way to deal with the same problem.

Thing is, even the crack addict who shiats himself knows not to kill the golden goose.  It's nice to know that a schizophrenic drug-addled pants-shiatter has more common sense than Wall Street.  No, wait, it isn't.
2013-03-04 10:50:45 AM
3 votes:
There was a time when most of these people were institutionalized:
www.richardavedon.com

While there certainly were many abuses and problems with the old system, it seems better than letting the disturbed, psychotic, or mentally inept wander the streets, begging for handouts, and dying in the cold. Instead of confronting the problem, we choose to look away and ignore it.

static.igossip.com

teamowens313.files.wordpress.com

As a society, we hardly blink an eye when we spend hundreds of billions to bomb other nations, yet we can't provide basic care for those who can't take care of themselves. We can do better.
2013-03-04 10:27:10 AM
3 votes:

IlGreven: The lack of humaneness of these institutions is what got them shut down in the first place. Which means that's the trick to the thing, because otherwise most people are going to think the kind of people that would need these places are better off on the street.


I won't argue there were some bad apples, there were some very bad apples indeed. Unfortunately instead of picking out the bad apples and cleaning the places up we instead went with the concept of community based treatment centers.

This forgot the socioeconomic realities that economies of scale allowed treatment to occur in the institutions that otherwise never would occur at all. The result has been a disaster resulting in decades of stories like the one described in the article.

We threw the baby out with the bathwater and it's time for society to step up to the plate and actually do something about it. Until we we're only going to see decades more of stories like the ones cited above. There is nothing human about what were doing now and it's a cycle in desperate need of breaking.
2013-03-04 09:58:41 AM
3 votes:

onyxruby: Lee Jackson Beauregard: FTFA: Why are my clients so farked up? Traumatic backgrounds, PTSD, and severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia are the most frequent cases we see). And whenever you combine a drug habit with compromised mental health, you usually get a mess of a brain.

Is the NRA still in favor of proper psychiatric care?

Not a member of the NRA, but someone who has known people with severe mental health issues.

If your not mentally stable enough to own a gun, you shouldn't be on the street to begin with. We closed down the institutions in the name of humanity and this was the real world result.

People like these described once received medical and psychiatric care as well as having a roof over their head and meals to eat. Their quality of life was far higher than today.

We need to open the institutions, run them humanely, get people like these off the street and make psychiatric care readily available. We can do all of this to take care of our own without trampling on second amendment rights.


No, to be specific, Reagan closed down the institutions because he was cheap, thoughtless, and wanted his rich donors that ran private facilities to get even richer.

It didn't take long for those people to max-out their potential benefit and then they would spend the rest of their lives bouncing from the streets to jail/prison.
2013-03-04 09:15:59 AM
3 votes:
If you think this was depressing, try being a public school teacher that serves a neighborhood like that.  Then imagine that these same people are the "parents" of the children you teach, and that sometimes the kids fall down that mineshaft of human existence right alongside them.

(have already caught 3 kids dealing drugs this school year in my classroom)

And with that I'm off to work!
2013-03-04 12:40:17 PM
2 votes:

The Irresponsible Captain: "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me."

It's truly disheartening that we can't find a little more for those who work so hard for those who do not, and may not ever be able to thank them. <b>That people lucky enough to have never worried about a roof over their heads or food on the table cannot muster any compassion and justify it in every way possible.</b> It's the little people like this, fighting every day to hold back the tide that give us hope. They save lives and families.


When Mitt made snide remarks about the 47% this is exactly what was going on. There's a lot of truth in the old adage (and hideous glam-rock song title) "you don't know what you've got `til it's gone". Do most folks ever sit and truly ponder the mechanics of having feet? Nope. The feet are there and Joe Schmoe's usin' `em to walk!

It's easy to hate ignorance or be upset by it. When it comes to folks unable to have compassion for these folks, well, I see it as an expected mammalian response. Think about it like little kids' fear of very old people. There's nothing "wrong" with the old person to an adult. They're a typical old person. To a kid, there's something very wrong with the old person and it's instinct for the kid to be repulsed. Prior to our wonderful, soft society, such an instinct could save the kid's life. You don't want to be poking around a fellow mammal that coughs a lot. You could get sick.

Most adults learn to accept old people. The elderly won't normally make us sick. Adults in or near their primes see most old people as just "run down" or "tired". That is no threat and we can thus accept the old. We add on a human perspective over time and can have compassion, even empathy, for old people. The compassionate or empathic "human" reaction to an old person is learned over time through repeated exposure to the elderly (as one hurdles towards old age oneself).

See a nude transgender rolling backwards in a wheelchair down a hill yelling at people while toking a crack pipe, and chances are the unholy roller will trigger a few of those mammalian aversion cues and we usually never get to the part about compassion. Such an event is also likely to have induced a strong enough aversion response, that the viewer learns to avoid such an individual quickly, and may even enact steps to ensure that he or she won't have a similar experience in the future. A lot of folks don't experience the Tenderloin conditions on a regular basis and will have zero common ground on which to build compassion or empathy. And they won't stick around for further "exposures"...

TL;DR - Mammals sniff mammals and keep moving if the scent is wrong. It's perfectly normal and was once upon a time vital to human survival.
2013-03-04 11:45:15 AM
2 votes:

megarian: I'm an Egyptian!: megarian: I'm in my last semester for my Masters in Social Work... so I'm getting a kick...

Oh wait, no. No I'm not. Difficulty level: Detroit

Welcome to hell. Fear not, you will not be alone. It's one of the most soul-crushing, but at the same time, most rewarding fields you could get into.

My internship has been pretty difficult, shocking, and sad...

...but also extremely awesome, humbling, and rewarding.

Thank you for kind words. Much appreciated :)


Glad to hear it. Just don't fall into the trap that you can save anyone. They're the only ones that can. All we do is create the circumstances to allow them to do that. It's like gardening. They give you the seed. You plant it, fertilize it, water, and do whatever you can to make it grow. In places like Detroit and other places, the soil sucks. It's all concrete, depleted soil, harsh climate, and easy to get trampled. But every so often, that seed you plant finds a way in the cracks, manages to scrape up the meager nutrients that are there, and starts to grow. If you're really lucky, you notice it isn't just growing, but it's flourishing. Every so often, you find a rose growing out of the concrete. If you can take a mental snapshot of that, and nuture it in your own mind, it helps to keep your head up amid the despair.

One of my old Zen teachers told me to be a Bodhisattva.Specifically, one of the ones that forsakes their own enlightenment to guide others along the way. In a way, that's what a social worker is. A Bodhisattva. We stand amid the muck so we can get others to climb out. Just be sure to take care of yourself along the way. Good luck to you. If you need anything, EIP.
2013-03-04 11:33:22 AM
2 votes:

JohnnyApocalypse: Interesting to see and try and figure out "who is right" here. One side says, these are the people who we prop up with our tax dollars, some even going further to suggest that the problem is made worse by liberal policies. The other side is incensed with the interviewed social worker's callousness, indicating that she should move aside and allow someone with a bigger heart and kinder disposition to fill her shoes, some going further to say that she is wrong in exposing her clientele to the public eye (breaking some vow of trust).


I read this as a subset of the population who interprets urban poverty and severe mental illness as somehow part of the world's beautiful diversity, a culture that should be respected and loved. If you disagree with the way things are and don't like stepping on broken needles on your way to work, "go back to suburbia".

As I see it, she isn't really judging the people, she's judging the situation, and it needs judgment. People left out in the cold eating their own feces, transgender prostitutes working for drugs, people dying in alleys, this is "farked up". It's not marginalizing or stigmatizing to call it out. A lot of these people are condemned to lives of fear, misery, indignity. "Go back to suburbia" is the same as saying "leave them for dead". "Keep this to yourself" is the same as saying "let them suffer in silence". Callousness may not help, either, but it's an understandable reaction after years of numbing exposure to it, and "understanding" from people with bigger hearts won't change anything, either. Anger and disgust might actually motivate people to do something.
2013-03-04 11:23:42 AM
2 votes:

JohnnyApocalypse: From the article's commenters, who rightly say there are plenty of the sane homeless who are helped out by social services, you can see that our system does indeed help, and probably helps a majority leave their bad circumstances. But those who are chronically dependent are not helped. The best that happens is we maintain their living conditions until the bottom falls out for them (death). Maybe that's it. Maybe they can't be helped out of it. But it's sad that we can't figure out how to help the mentally ill in this country.


For the most part, the homeless can be broken down into four categories:

-The financial down & outs. People who lost their job or hit with a major medical problem & bills. They're actively trying to get back on their feet, find jobs, housing and re-enter society.
-The addicted. Drugs or alcohol ruined their life, so they fully embrace their addictions. Frequently addicted women as prostitutes.
-The mentally-ill. These are the people who aren't able to take care of themselves or hold jobs. Often, they're deranged or schizophrenic. A small subset are former military. Addiction may also be an added problem.
-Tramps, vagabonds, and teen runaways. Mentally stable people who choose the lifestyle and don't want to fit into society. Teens may turn to additions, and likely would have let because of abuse.

I fully believe that if we made a real effort to reduce homelessness, we'd properly fund separate programs that address the separate above groups (with exception to the tamps and vagabonds, they're free to live the way they want). Each should be regarded as a separate population, with very specific needs and issues. Frankly, the program aimed to help people find housing and jobs shouldn't be the same one who tries to counsel of someone who eats their own excrement and thinks they hear Satan talking in their head, or have to work with people who are tripping out on meth or acid.
2013-03-04 10:59:02 AM
2 votes:
Interesting to see and try and figure out "who is right" here. One side says, these are the people who we prop up with our tax dollars, some even going further to suggest that the problem is made worse by liberal policies. The other side is incensed with the interviewed social worker's callousness, indicating that she should move aside and allow someone with a bigger heart and kinder disposition to fill her shoes, some going further to say that she is wrong in exposing her clientele to the public eye (breaking some vow of trust).

I'm going to rely on the what the article said rather than what people think the article should have said, treating the points made as facts as best as the interviewee saw them.

She didn't out anyone specifically, so there was no breach of confidentiality. Her client base is too large to be able to guess whom she's talking about. So speaking in generalities, she was speaking truth to what is going on. Showing light to a troubled area should be noteworthy, not frowned upon. Oddly, even though she has little faith in her client base, she talks about them with more honesty and sympathy than you might expect. She specifically mentions that the conditions are horrible, and she can see why clients would rather be homeless. She specifically mentions that her clients have mental health issues related to very bad circumstances in life, and being poor and unwell, they turn to drugs, which sadly makes it worse.

Nowhere does she say they should all starve or be homeless, which is what the conservative-minded here seem to be implying - stop giving them money that feeds their addiction; you're only making it worse. And then what? They'll magically get jobs? Move back in with long-lost relatives so that they're not a burden on society? It's either that, or just watch them starve in the street. What I got from this is that we structurally don't know what to do with the mentally ill. From the article's commenters, who rightly say there are plenty of the sane homeless who are helped out by social services, you can see that our system does indeed help, and probably helps a majority leave their bad circumstances. But those who are chronically dependent are not helped. The best that happens is we maintain their living conditions until the bottom falls out for them (death). Maybe that's it. Maybe they can't be helped out of it. But it's sad that we can't figure out how to help the mentally ill in this country.
2013-03-04 10:53:26 AM
2 votes:

Generation_D: Shake your head at peoples life choices, about all you can do really. I can't understand why someone would go get an $80,000 degree to work in a $32,000 job, and a thankless one full of stress at that


It's not like they have a choice. Universities, like a cancer, have metastatized into every facet of society. You want a 16$ an hour job? You need a bachelor's degree. It's not that you actually *need* it, or that you will use anything you have learned in real life, or that you can't learn that same stuff for free (libraries have been around for how many thousands of years?), it's that you need a degree because everyone else has one.

Sounds harmless until you run some number$. University is just a business like any other, with public relations and profit motives.

Universities run a private profit and socialize the debt.
2013-03-04 10:42:08 AM
2 votes:

enik: The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.


Ah yes, let all the conservative Christians laugh at the naive liberal doing God's work.

/not like Jesus ever got criticized for spending all his time helping the bottom of society.
2013-03-04 10:18:57 AM
2 votes:
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me."

It's truly disheartening that we can't find a little more for those who work so hard for those who do not, and may not ever be able to thank them. That people lucky enough to have never worried about a roof over their heads or food on the table cannot muster any compassion and justify it in every way possible. It's the little people like this, fighting every day to hold back the tide that give us hope. They save lives and families.
2013-03-04 10:07:45 AM
2 votes:

Rapmaster2000: Generation_D: I think I got into social work because I had this idea of it somehow "killing" my ego. It seems silly, but it felt very real at the time. There's a sadness to watching your idealism and convictions go to shiat. Not to mention that working in such a thankless and farked system will kill a sacred part of you. I feel tired. For the most part, people do not want help. They want money or they want drugs or they want death.

And this is exhibit A of "Why do we keep trying to help them?"

We shouldn't.

If anything, the state has been complicit in assisting these peoples' suicides. It should stop.

This person had dumb ideas before pursuing a terrible job. Why should I listen to their ideas now? If anything, this person has proven that they should be ignored.


Probably because this woman is part of the line holding 'these people' away from your world.  If anything, she's akin to a soldier fighting the war 'there' so that the enemy doesn't show up on your doorstep.

/analogy may be weak
//but holy hell what would happen if she (and others like her) weren't there
2013-03-04 09:54:31 AM
2 votes:

Generation_D: you've created whole entire areas that are open-air psych wards.


Has it occured to you that the problem has gotten a LOT worse since the government got rid of "closed-air" psych wards?  Lots of people who used to be institutionalized and cared for are now left to their own devices.  Even people that wouldn't require institutionalization are left high and dry by a pathetic excuse for a mental health regime and they self-medicate themselves into oblivion.
2013-03-04 09:19:16 AM
2 votes:
My God, she's Audrey Tautou level of pretty.
2013-03-04 09:13:27 AM
2 votes:

enik: The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.


You'd think that.  But it never does.
2013-03-04 08:50:47 AM
2 votes:

Generation_D: I think I got into social work because I had this idea of it somehow "killing" my ego. It seems silly, but it felt very real at the time. There's a sadness to watching your idealism and convictions go to shiat. Not to mention that working in such a thankless and farked system will kill a sacred part of you. I feel tired. For the most part, people do not want help. They want money or they want drugs or they want death.

And this is exhibit A of "Why do we keep trying to help them?"

We shouldn't.

If anything, the state has been complicit in assisting these peoples' suicides. It should stop.


Only reason it shouldn't stop is that instead of waiting in a social services line to get their crack money, they'll be knifing you while you walk your dog to get their crack money.
2013-03-04 03:34:21 PM
1 votes:

jpk_ks: Something does need to be done about how to take care of the truly mentally ill and disabled. In my state (Kansas) funding was cut a few years ago for group homes. Now, between the hours of 9AM and 3PM, everyone living in a KS sponsored group home has to leave since there will be no nurse on site to help watch everyone. Regardless of weather. Or level of care needed. Period.

The governor that approved that cut - Kathleen Sebielius. Even if Sam Brownback (R) had done it, I'd still consider it wrong.


You hit on my point, community based mental health care is a complete and epic failure. We need to go back to the institutions where we can utilize economies of scale that are presently not possible and allow people to slip between the cracks. In many communities homeless dogs are treated better than the homeless mentally ill and it's not the least bit humane.

Local communities are either unwilling or unable to take responsibility for the severely mentally ill, and they can't take responsibility for themselves. Society needs to step up and do the right thing.
2013-03-04 02:04:18 PM
1 votes:
Back on topic: I live on that "rich person hill" they talk about, above the TL. The hill isn't nearly as rich, and the TL isn't nearly as bad, as this article -- and these commenters -- would have you believe.

Sure it's easy to buy crack and heroin once you get below O'Farrell past, say, Leavenworth...and the biggest benefit to living on Nob Hill is you're close to everything but high enough up the hill that the junkies are tired of climbing before the get to your door...but one of the reasons SF is a great place is that, if the people had their way, far fewer of our dollars would be spent on cops, lawyers, and prisons for people like this, and far more would be spent on hospitals and care.

It's easy to get jaded, as so many "fark 'em all" Farkers above me are. Hell, I'm no great friend to the 14 guys that ask me for money every day (but I'm happy my taxes are providing shelters and programs for those that would use them). Because for every career a55hole wandering the Loin, busting car windows to have a sidewalk sale, you have a guy like this:

http://www.examiner.com/article/shoeshine-man-s-plight-shows-the-gov er nment-sees-no-right-to-make-a-living

And that's why you can't write them all off. You're not required to help these people yourself. That's your choice. But don't go out of your way to stand in theirs.

Final point: you are not allowed to rip on the mentally ill unless you've had a family member/loved one with mental issues. You don't know what the fark you're talking about.

/SF: we'd rather help the wrong guy, so long as it meant maybe reaching the right one. It's better than the alternative.
2013-03-04 01:48:45 PM
1 votes:

JerkyMeat: Marine1: And this... this is why I can't stand the city of San Fransisco.

Are there other cities that are as bad or worse? Of course. None are as pretentious as San Fransisco.

...and the city doesn't need you either ..bu by.  Cya hate to be ya.


If you go through life or existence refusing to accept the criticism of others as constructive, you'll meet ruin.
2013-03-04 12:39:30 PM
1 votes:
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN
2013-03-04 12:07:20 PM
1 votes:

jylcat: Generation_D: you've created whole entire areas that are open-air psych wards.

That's not the fault of the psych workers, it's the fault of Regan closing the inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the 60
s-70s and not funding community care models.


Ding. Involuntarily committing people is absolutely a violation of their right to liberty and freedom of movement. What we realized much too late is that this restriction is reasonable in the face of the alternative.
2013-03-04 11:51:44 AM
1 votes:

calm like a bomb: organizmx: enik: The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.

Ah yes, let all the conservative Christians laugh at the naive liberal doing God's work.

/not like Jesus ever got criticized for spending all his time helping the bottom of society.

Most xtians don't really believe what they would lead you to think they believe.


Yeah, even in a strong church, a lot of people are still 'in process'.  30 to 40% 'Know Jesus' and are doing his work.  The rest know about Jesus and are hoping for a 'prosperity gospel.' it seems.

Our church works alongside social workers when we travel downtown to look for homeless.  We meet with agencies, divide up the encampments and look for individuals.  We can break through with individuals and the workers are good at arranging housing and services.  We develop trust with the homeless and pass the trust along to the agencies.  That said, some of the social workers are Christian.

Our church usually has drunk, homeless, methadone patients, etc... Every once in a while, someone walks in bleeding.  We bandage people, do triage, feed, clothe and direct them to agencies.  But we're a small church.  40 people tops.  We're aware that we're probably not going to be a church that most people will bring their families to.

It's hard too.  We realize that we're not going to save everybody from their condition.  There's been a bunch of successes.  A guy finally gets housed after 12 years.  Another guy gives up drinking and gets a job and a place to live.  Another guy reconciles with his family & goes home to his kids.  Another guy has been outdoors for 27 years, he's likely not going to come inside.  Some folks are just used to it and prefer to live outside now.  I'm not a fan of warehousing someone just cause they think different.

Plus too, some folks are on housing lists with years long wait lists.  A lot of the housing they can afford with help is still disgusting.  Some guys have housing but won't live in it because of the filth.  Some folks that desperately want to live indoors don't fit the programs available.  There just isn't funding for some.

Just about everybody seems to do it out of love. But some workers have been doing it too long.  They've become hostile to the clients.  A lot of clients have some f'ed up behaviors and get banned out of shelters too.  You've got to love a guy and a girl even though you know they've beaten someone else you know with rebar.  You've got to love the people who are difficult to love.

You can't save everybody.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
2013-03-04 11:12:51 AM
1 votes:

I'm an Egyptian!: megarian: I'm in my last semester for my Masters in Social Work... so I'm getting a kick...

Oh wait, no. No I'm not. Difficulty level: Detroit

Welcome to hell. Fear not, you will not be alone. It's one of the most soul-crushing, but at the same time, most rewarding fields you could get into.


My internship has been pretty difficult, shocking, and sad...

...but also extremely awesome, humbling, and rewarding.

Thank you for kind words. Much appreciated :)
2013-03-04 10:56:24 AM
1 votes:

organizmx: enik: The awakening of a naive liberal. It will happen to the vast majority of Farkers eventually too.

Ah yes, let all the conservative Christians laugh at the naive liberal doing God's work.

/not like Jesus ever got criticized for spending all his time helping the bottom of society.


Most xtians don't really believe what they would lead you to think they believe.
2013-03-04 10:35:07 AM
1 votes:

Generation_D: I cannot understand why we open clinics to attract the addicted. It is only perpetuating their addiction.


The problem as I see it is, we think we can cure addiction, while all we can really do is shift an addiction.

CSB:

A friend was an addict (cocaine) when he decided to quit he went through all the programs narcanon etc.  He told me all narcanon did was make you addicted to meetings instead of cocaine, he said it was better, but he realized he would always be addicted to something.  Now he restores radios (I do as well that is how we met) from the 1920s-1950s that is his addiction, he told me he gets the same rush when he finds a rare radio and then finally gets it working as he did with cocaine.  So he is still an addict just a non-self destructive socially acceptable addict.

/CSB
2013-03-04 10:04:14 AM
1 votes:

onyxruby: If your not mentally stable enough to own a gun, you shouldn't be on the street to begin with. We closed down the institutions in the name of humanity and this was the real world result.

People like these described once received medical and psychiatric care as well as having a roof over their head and meals to eat. Their quality of life was far higher than today.

We need to open the institutions, run them humanely, get people like these off the street and make psychiatric care readily available. We can do all of this to take care of our own without trampling on second amendment rights.


The lack of humaneness of these institutions is what got them shut down in the first place.  Which means that's the trick to the thing, because otherwise most people are going to think the kind of people that would need these places are better off on the street.
2013-03-04 10:02:09 AM
1 votes:

stonent: Yeah, so where are all the "legalize drugs" cheerleaders now?


I'm sorry, we spent the weekend trying to figure out how to get the mentally ill the help they need.  Was there something you needed?
2013-03-04 09:59:41 AM
1 votes:

Civchic: Generation_D: you've created whole entire areas that are open-air psych wards.

Has it occured to you that the problem has gotten a LOT worse since the government got rid of "closed-air" psych wards?  Lots of people who used to be institutionalized and cared for are now left to their own devices.  Even people that wouldn't require institutionalization are left high and dry by a pathetic excuse for a mental health regime and they self-medicate themselves into oblivion.


Its occurred to me daily. I have lived for 25 years in or near the same areas that the rest of America sends its pathetic and addicted to come sleep. Streets I have seen degrade for 20 years used to never have people sleeping in doorways that now do.

I cannot understand why we open clinics to attract the addicted. It is only perpetuating their addiction. I would be fully in favor of hospital care, but nobody wants to pay for that, we're too busy paying for prison care instead.
2013-03-04 09:44:31 AM
1 votes:
I'm in my last semester for my Masters in Social Work... so I'm getting a kick...

Oh wait, no. No I'm not. Difficulty level: Detroit
2013-03-04 09:40:28 AM
1 votes:
The article appears to be a statement of the way things are in that district. What is unbelievable is the comments below the article trashing the stater of said facts.
2013-03-04 09:31:23 AM
1 votes:
FTFA: Why are my clients so farked up? Traumatic backgrounds, PTSD, and severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia are the most frequent cases we see). And whenever you combine a drug habit with compromised mental health, you usually get a mess of a brain.

Is the NRA still in favor of proper psychiatric care?
2013-03-04 09:28:52 AM
1 votes:
To the social workers out there:

Why are people who won't save themselves worth saving?

Don't quote crap like I'm paying you to prevent them from mugging me, that is ridiculous. Most of these farkwits you see being homeless can barely function. If anything it seems like maintaining their habits is just helping them on a slow road to where they're going to go eventually.

So why do it?

The thing is, I have lived in urban neighborhoods for over 20 years. Old guy alert: It didn't used to be this bad. But by preventing the drugged out and the drunk from killing themselves quickly with their habits of choice, you've created whole entire areas that are open-air psych wards.

It isn't working, and its stressing you guys out too.
2013-03-04 09:22:48 AM
1 votes:

xanadian: FTFA: For the most part, people do not want help. They want money or they want drugs or they want death.
[assets.vice.com image 426x568]
What money or drugs or death may look like.


I had copied that quote for my post but you beat me to it.

That said, if she only makes 32k in S.F., she probably has to live in one of those 'residential' hotels.  God, what a depressing line of work.
2013-03-04 08:53:33 AM
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: The area needs more hipsters. Look at Brooklyn now. It's safe, business is booming, and there are plenty of young, monied white kids.

I call it hipsternomics. As the number of hipsters grows, the demand for shops and restaurants follows. And since hipsters draw the line at marijuana, the percentage of the population that is drug addicted drops.

Hipsters, while seemingly nothing more than wastes of cheap beer and suspenders, are actually a key cornerstone to the revival of depressed economies.


It doesn't solve the people, they just end up in Camden or something.
2013-03-04 08:47:03 AM
1 votes:
The area needs more hipsters. Look at Brooklyn now. It's safe, business is booming, and there are plenty of young, monied white kids.

I call it hipsternomics. As the number of hipsters grows, the demand for shops and restaurants follows. And since hipsters draw the line at marijuana, the percentage of the population that is drug addicted drops.

Hipsters, while seemingly nothing more than wastes of cheap beer and suspenders, are actually a key cornerstone to the revival of depressed economies.
2013-03-04 08:46:10 AM
1 votes:

xanadian: Pork or beef tenderloin?

I prefer a good chuck roast myself, though...


Yeah, what the fark is Tenderloin in the context of the headline?

I think it's a part of San Francisco, but I'm not sure. I just happen to know that - or think I know that, but I'm not sure. I'm guessing from the headline it's not a very good part of SF. Come to think of it, I'm not sure there are any good parts of SF. I've heard of Tenderloin (where people show up dead or murdered), Castro (where the gay people live NTTAWWT) and the Mission district ("walkin' along in the Mission, in the rain) where some guy missing part of his finger grew up, but I hear that's not a great place either.

/never been to Frisco, obviously - and I call it Frisco because I gather it pisses off the people who actually live in SF. (and it's shorter)
2013-03-04 08:37:53 AM
1 votes:
I think I got into social work because I had this idea of it somehow "killing" my ego. It seems silly, but it felt very real at the time. There's a sadness to watching your idealism and convictions go to shiat. Not to mention that working in such a thankless and farked system will kill a sacred part of you. I feel tired. For the most part, people do not want help. They want money or they want drugs or they want death.

And this is exhibit A of "Why do we keep trying to help them?"

We shouldn't.

If anything, the state has been complicit in assisting these peoples' suicides. It should stop.
2013-03-04 08:23:34 AM
1 votes:

FTFA: For the most part, people do not want help. They want money or they want drugs or they want death.


assets.vice.com


What money or drugs or death may look like.

 
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