Identify Society Homeless 366 4/29/2024 Day 212, Monday, Warning ⚠️

4/29/2024 Day 212, Monday, Warning ⚠️

At around 6:00 a.m. I woke up in the tent. My sleep has been good, although I do have strange dreams. I try not to put too much stock into dreams. In one dream last night the blankets were wrapping around me real tight almost as if to suffocate me. Sometimes before I go to bed the idea of sleeping in the woods close to the road makes me feel vulnerable, as if someone or something could sneak up on me while I was sleeping and do me real harm. Regardless, I have to sleep, so I take my chances and enjoy the necessary Oblivion that is sleep.

At around 7:30 after working on writing blogs, I gave myself a quick baby wipe shower, brushed my teeth, and drove to work.

The Outreach team arrived at the shelter. At 9:00 a.m. My partner Ezekiel and I loaded up the truck with some supplies for the homeless and we began driving towards 114. We stopped and we saw Jay panhandling. We introduced ourselves. Jay said that he lives in his van and doesn’t really need any services. But would be interested in coming by the shelter at some point and discussing getting on the rapid rehousing list. Jay is a New Hampshire resident, and is planning on getting MassHealth through The harm reduction Center, after we suggested that. We said our goodbyes to Jay, and left him to panhandle in his chair on the off ramp of the highway.

The Outreach team left Jay and went and picked up Ben in Haverhill. We brought Ben back to the shelter and began working on helping him find another addiction treatment center. Ben had been kicked out of two detoxes prior and needed to find a new placement. Ben did a lot of the work himself calling various detoxes looking for a bed. I found out that Ben was banned for life from one treatment place because of his behavior. It seems that Ben has issues with addiction as well as problems with authority. It was a real struggle calling many treatment places to secure a bed for Ben. 

At 1:00 p.m. The director of the shelter and the Outreach team had a meeting with the police. Ezekiel had set up a meeting with the gang unit. Both myself and my boss, the director, had no idea. It was a bit frustrating since we work with homeless people, not gangs. Ezekiel has been making his own agenda since starting to work with us it’s not going over well with myself or my boss. Ultimately the meeting with the gang officer was unproductive, but it was good to meet him and learn about some of the issues with the gangs and Lawrence. It seems a good portion of the gang activity is centered around drug dealing, no surprises there.

When we returned back to the shelter, Ben had found a detox bed at Highpoint in Brockton. I drove Ben to New Beginnings recovery center accompanied by the Shelter’s recovery specialist. The director at New beginnings was able to get a ride for Ben to treatment through a grant-funded program that provides rides for people entering drug treatment. 

At 3:30 p.m. I took a ride with Jaime, a shelter worker and we engaged with an encampment right next to the Lawrence hospital parking lot that was positioned on a hill next to a bridge the river runs under. There’s also an encampment under the bridge. There we met with May and Jose. I did rapid rehousing referrals for both of them. 

We arrived back at the shelter just before 5:00 p.m. and an Uber dropped off a patient from a psych ward in Western Mass. The psych ward that this patient was from never verified a bed with us here at the shelter and dumped this patient on us. My boss, the shelter director, called the psych ward and was able to work out a solution with the director of operations. It seemed that one of the social workers at the psych ward just dumped this patient right on us, which is extremely negligent. We dropped the patient off at Lawrence hospital where they will be picked up tomorrow by the psych word and take her back there for treatment. 

At 6:00 p.m. I ended my day of work.

When I left one I drove back to my camp. I’m still nervous about the guy who approached my campsite. I’m hoping that nobody disturbs me or destroys my peaceful little home. 

I relaxed in the tent for the rest of the evening and then I went to sleep.

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