Compromise is the key.
By the time someone turns to an outside force for help they have survived some massive failures.
Half of the people I spoke with today are fighting for independence and the other half want to be scooped up and coddled.
I am more pleased with the first group, but each present challenges.
The G.D.I. (college speak for the proud non-fraternity related kids who were Gosh Darn Independent , or something close but more profane) clients are often rebels without a cause. They are angry and embarrassed about being in any “program” : eager to prove that there is nothing wrong with them. They resist the structure and flow of any prescribed course. Power struggles are likely and it takes a delicate manipulation to let the client feel like the next steps were their idea all along.
The Super Extra Helpless clients always feel that there work was completed just by walking in the door. They loudly want to know “Why isn’t there a program to save me? Who are you going to call to change my life? Why are you asking me to do anything other than sit here staring at you?” Typically I am left with the snide urge to demand they owe me Mother’s Day cards if I have to work soo hard to parent them.
Today I could not find my equilibrium. ❌One client came to tell me she needed a job and an abortion. ❌The next client told me she had nowhere to go after our meeting , yet had no belongings with her and when I called LAHSA she suddenly was staying at an apartment❌ another brought a friend with her to demand I recognize her work -even though she would not be paid for it. Apparently the concept that it is only a job that will take you from Welfare if you get PAID for it is foreign to her.❌The last person was fighting to have money handed to her because she wanted to buy cigarettes. ..and she mentioned that right to my face!
It is a balancing act.
Convincing people that they can leave poverty under there own steam and benefit from assistance is an art.
And now I’m exhausted and need to sleep so I can do it again tomorrow.