Tragedies Among Our People – A Note to Our Colleagues
I presume that many of you saw media reports of a young man who went missing just before the New Year. Tragically, his body was found on Sunday afternoon in the ‘triangle’ (Bike Trail / del Paso / Hwy 160) close to many of the camps where our clients who are homeless live. This tragedy was compounded by the discovery – hours later – of another body, that of an unknown woman who was stabbed to death.
As the temperature has been dropping, the media reports of our region, state, and nation’s homeless crisis has risen. I had thought of featuring this but was searching for a way to do it, and then these multiple tragedies hit. I say multiple as one tragedy has highlighted a cascade of other tragedies. The tragedy of a young man who had gone missing, with family and friends desperately searching only to find him deceased. The tragedy of a woman found murdered; anonymous, alone. The tragedy of communities living under trestles, overpasses and in the undergrowth minutes from the capitol building – what did they hear or see in their haunted world so many try not to see?
At this point our clients and patients who are homeless may make up only a fraction of the overall population we serve but they are ‘our people’ and we serve a very large proportion of them. We hear them, we meet them where they are, and we see them. We see them for visits on the street and in our health centers and programs. Without blinders, we see them when we pass through their communities. We know that everyone deserves to be seen.
There are many populations we serve who deserve to be seen, not the least of which is the population of persons who are homeless. Three years ago I shared a mid-month message about this, and would like to share it again because it reflects this ethos of seeing people “where they are,” and simply seeing them…
The “Mid-Month Message” is intended as a place to share pieces of our organizational culture and/or history. As our tagline says, WellSpace Health has been providing care in our community since 1953. Over the decades we have developed quite an organizational culture. We have had many accomplishments, created histories, have profoundly affected so many, and have been profoundly affected by so many. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it all. And often, one part of the organization may not know about something affecting another part of the organization.