Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Social Networking meets Social Work

On Saturday, a woman in distress, fearful of an abusive husband finding her, decided not to buy a bus ticket out of town, and I began my weekend as a social worker (a human resource). Since it was lunch time, I drove her to Good Samaritan, and dropped her off, promising to drive her and her things to Park Place East, which has cheap clean rooms for rent.

She told me she was diagnosed bi-polar, and was taking medication. Days before, she had been to the Women's Center, but didn't stay long enough to receive help; and also SIRSS, without much help. Listening to her speak, I realized that her own manic thought processes and actions were causing her distraught condition -- and vice versa. Because she was homeless, I got permission from my own house manager for her to stay temporarily in a vacant efficiency apartment near my house.

On Monday, I spoke by telephone to two representatives at SIRSS (Laura and Pam), and met with Mary Campbell at Good Sam to find out what the system could do for the damaged damsel. Park Place East rejected her application for a room because of an unspecified ordinance violation.

Driving her to SIRSS afterwards, I had to pull the car over into the City Hall parking lot so she could throw up. She said she felt dizzy and weak. At 2:30 p.m. I brought her to the intake room at SIRSS, gave my cell phone number to the receptionist, and went about my bus'ness. At 5 o'clock, I phoned SIRSS, who told me she had left.

The last time I saw her she was sitting on a picnic bench at the rear of the SIRSS building with some guys smoking a cigarette. Some of her stuff is still in the apartment. I suspect I may be seeing her again. Her father lives in another state; he has my cell phone number. She probably should check herself in for treatment. Since her medication apparently is ineffective. If see her again, I will suggest that option.

The Case of Look-alike Patient
Now what are the odds of this happening? . . . Yesterday, after getting off the phone with SIRSS, I'm leaving Schnuck's Market and I see a guy I think I know -- a counselor at SIRSS. . . . As he approaches I say "Hi Sonny" and he sez "I'm not Sonny. I'm his patient." and I go "wuhh?" And he says he explains that the real one has a few more pounds on him. So I say, "Well Goodbye, Not Sonny." and go home. But later in the day, I run into both of them at SIRSS. Turns out the patient is quite an artist. He happened to have his portfolio with him. I snapped his photo, but it wouldn't be right to post it here. But I encouraged him to get hooked up with C'dale Arts to have a show at the Civic Center.

One final note on SIRSS.... If you were wondering what was happening with plans for a new building, the agency has purchased property across the street from its current facility on East College, and they have Capital Campaign going to get it built.


Castle Perilous Games said...

wow, you went beyond the call of a Good Samaritin. Good job.

Parentheticus said...

More like a Good Carbondalitan. ;-)

UPDATE: subsequent to her visit to SIRSS, the damsel found lodging at the home of man who lives near Good Samaritan House, until he "forced himself" on her. After that she slept in an unoccupied trailer for a night or two and in the closet of a friend, who is not supposed to have anyone else staying in his room (supervised housing) ...

Yesterday, she may have caught a break. ... She heard about some rooms for rent near Wall St. for 250 per month, available immediately.