Tuesday, November 21, 2006

last night at the homeless shelter

Observations: everybody psychotic is even *more* psychotic lately. I don't know if it's the short days and the long dark nights, or the cold and rain, or the barometric pressure, or mysterious astrological influences, but the crazy are crazier. A couple of my favorite guys are getting to be downright scary, and that concerns me a little. Oh well.

And another thing. Last night I had the unusual experience of giving a new person his very first tour. Working swing shift nowadays, I pretty much never run across a new person who has never even come to the building before. That kind of stuff gets worked out by other people on day shift, who do the paperwork, the tour, etc. This guy, though, for whatever reason, was all set up but hadn't come in yet.

It was nice, after all these years, to see the place through new eyes. This guy was nice, clean and very appreciative to have a temporary place to crash at night. As I walked him through the common areas and pointed out all the luxury features (e.g.: the disgusting smoking room, the tiny phone room, the pop machine, the bread table, the water dispenser) he actually seemed to appreciate everything. He actually said, "Wow," with this voice that told me he had expected much worse.

I don't know why it touched me so much, but it did. The little place ain't so bad after all. In fact, it was somehow on the cover of the Sunday Oregonian this weekend. Too bad I missed it, I'll have to get on their website and see if they can send me a copy. Apparently, they did a huge article on the state of mental healthcare in Oregon (mostly not good) but gave us plus-points for being one of the only drop-in-centers left open downtown. Yay for us!


Post a Comment

<< Home