Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homeless Count

As I go through some transitions in my professional life, I am taking some time to get back to my roots as a social worker. These last few years have been tough in my line of work -- privatization of the historically public mental health system in NC; funding cuts in the system, not to mention in my household; and struggles with the power structure and trying to create change from within the system. What I've seen is an increase in human suffering, and fewer resources available to alleviate it.

So, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, I'll be getting up at 3:00 a.m. to participate in the Orange County count of unsheltered homeless individuals.

It's part of this national grassroots effort:

I'll be co-leading a team of six volunteers. My group will include a homeless outreach worker from Housing for New Hope, the mayor of Chapel Hill, Mark Kleinschmidt, and town council member Penny Rich.

We'll be visiting homeless camps within the town limits. We'll see the invisible people, and hopefully give them the opportunity to tell their stories.

Stay tuned . . . I'll report on the experience here.

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