bus pass
In the worldPoliticsPolitics and political scienceSocial justice

The day-to- day work at a homeless drop in center is quite possibly the least glamorous job in the universe. Walking through crowds of people, some of whom have extremely strong smells attached, all crowded into a five foot wide foyer for warmth and the privilege of being “first”, is the first part of the day. Five minutes later, in the chaos that ensues when a hundred grumpy, cold, and hungry people enter the building simultaneously, I have to keep order, then serve coffee and stale donuts (or muffins, occasionally cookies, or croissants — basically whatever got donated). Print PDF

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Walking Upstream
In the worldSocial justice

There is a traditional story (origin unknown) that goes something like this: Two women are fishing on the side of the river, enjoying the weather and each other’s company. They have had quite a good catch, and are getting ready to head back, when they notice that many people are floating down the river, crying out for help. One of the women drops her fishing pole and begins pulling people out of the water. The other drops her pole and begins walking upstream. The first fisher turn to her friend in horror. “What are you doing?”, she asked, “These people need to be pulled out of the river before they drown.” Her friend nodded. “Yes, they do. Please continue to help them. I’m going upriver to see what is pushing them in”. Since finding this uncredited story while writing a research paper while working toward my MSW, it has resonated with me. Social workers play a lot of roles in society, everything from case managers to counselors to administrators to politicians, and in those roles they are often caught between pulling people in immediate danger out of the river, and trying to find out how to prevent them falling in

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