Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The past few days have brought some disappointments. I suppose no one is exempt from those in life especially no one who interacts with and cares about people.

The purpose of our Prep Program is:
1. To assess the woman's situation/needs and to evaluate her level of motivation and follow through.
2. To find and train a mentoring group for this woman in particular.

Yesterday I had an appointment with a woman who is in our Prep Program. She will inevitably face an eviction soon because her income (even though she is working full time in a dental office) is not greater than or equal to her expenses. She was sharing an apartment with a man and he left her in May. She is now left to meet these bills, with her two teenage children, alone.

I have been meeting with her for several weeks. She has some anxiety/depression problems and I honestly feel like that is crippling her right now.
She is opposed to medication.

I could write a lot about our interactions, what I talked with her about. I could write about the time that I gave her food, even though that is technically not allowed. I could write about how we recently pulled her credit report and reviewed that. She had never seen her credit report before.

She couldn't see anything but the crisis of housing.

There is little I can do at this point to ease her anxiety about finding a place to live other than explain how our program works and to assure her that we will help her find transitional housing if she needs that before we can get her into an apartment.


There is more to the story, but the moral is: she wanted help with housing and finances now, not tomorrow, not in a month. We cannot help her right now, we need to wait just a little while.

That was not good enough for her.

Instead of sticking with it, she walked out of my office yesterday halfway through our appointment refusing even the possibility of going to a shelter or transitional housing program because that is where the "crack heads, junkies, and people with hepatitis live" (she grew up in the Bronx...).

The hardest part of that interaction was the frustration in trying to communicate effectively with her. She heard what she wanted to hear.

I can see what her life could be like.
I have seen this process occur many times.
She cannot see past the here and now.

My heart breaks and screams at the same time. I don't understand. I mean I can theorize and pull reasons out of her story, but...
it is just so hard to watch.

I will admit that it easier when they are rude and offensive to let things go. But I know there are other layers to this woman. I know that she is a hurting little girl with great fear and anxiety that may be beyond her control. She will not accept true help.

Sometimes I like to view myself as someone who is fighting for and then along side these women. But with something like this...I am left facing a giant with no amo...or left facing nothing at all. The woman has turned the other way and run and the giant is chasing after her.

I cannot follow.
I cannot fight.

I will leave the battle in the Lord's hands.

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