In the heat of the Northern Hemisphere summer, and particularly the Midwest humidity, I want to call attention to this situation from last week. In the 108 degree record-breaking heat, the men and women in this un-air conditioned Medium Security jail, or Workhouse (as it’s commonly called) were caught on camera calling for help.
I’ve been thinking lately about if and when I want to go back to work, and what I would even want to do, and I’m struggling. I don’t know if I want to be in direct practice anymore, and I don’t think I have the patience to work with addicts or mentally ill people anymore.
Most of the time in my old role, I felt like an imposter.
The very first time I worked alone in the homeless shelter, I felt completely overwhelmed, and I didn’t know how I’d make it through the night.
I was a shelter supervisor on Saturday and Sunday night from 4:00 pm to midnight. I had to work the desk phones, oversee dinner, make sure the chores were done, do any intakes that came in, hand out 9:00 pm medication for folks who had them, breathalyze the residents before they went to bed and enforce lights out, and keep notes of everything that happens for legal and case management purposes. In a shelter with, at first, 30ish, and eventually 40 residents. 40.