Movement. Movement. MOVEMENT!

My official job title reads "caseworker"; yet it's a term I'm not too fond of. My rationale is that it implies an impersonal, almost robotic, connection with my "clients". Yet I'm not too fond of the term "client" either, as it triggers an "us and them" mentality. I wish there were more appropriate words that illustrate what we do; instead of viewing homeless people as our "cases", I'd love to see terms that promote these relationships not as just another number or statistic, but as unique human beings.

Working with homeless people involves the art of endlessly multitasking, while wearing many different hats. This is seen in both the positive and negative names people give me. On any given day, I could be labeled as any of the following; their case-manager, outreach worker, peacemaker, advocate, judge, activist, pastor, adviser, provider, administrator, boss, counselor, disciplinarian or friend. This colorful display of names, does little to sum up the endless complexities of every single week. These labels also fail to grasp the uniqueness of each person we come in contact with, the problems that are raised and the potholes we bump into along the road. Within all this chaos, we can never forget the beauty and unusual hope that continually grows in the smog, bringing light.

Yet, there's something that unites all this chaos and eclectic energy....

Whether I'm acting as a peacemaker within an intense battle between two cliques...
Whether I'm advocating for a chronically homeless individual who's lived on the street for over 15 years...
Whether I'm counseling an alcoholic who's seeking sobriety and freedom from the bottle...
Whether I'm disciplining someone for yelling obscene slogans and provoking conflicts...
It's all about movement!

Whether I'm slaving over a computer to keep the resources flowing into our agency...
Whether I'm attending community meetings for the sake of the "least of these"...
Whether I'm assisting someone with a transit card so she can remain employed...
Whether I'm praying with someone who comes into my office weeping bitter tears...
It's all about movement!

Whether I'm finding a lost individual who now has a new opportunity to get housed...
Whether I'm giving someone a check to help pay a portion of his security deposit...
Whether I'm sitting in the stinky street chatting with a confused and rejected soul...
Whether I'm visiting and praying for someone trapped in a Nursing Home, hospital or jail...
It's all about movement!

Not stagnation!  
Constant perpetual movement!
That's what the goal is.
That's what we're looking for!
That's what we're seeing!
Movement of our people!
....and we'll keep on marching toward that goal

Over, under and through
Using all resources
Seeing all opportunities
Getting all that's needed
Listening to all good advice
Enduring to the triumphal end.
....and an undercurrent of movement keeps flowing

Movement. Movement. MOVEMENT!
That's what it's all about...

Movement towards housing
Movement towards employment
Movement towards benefits
Movement towards income

Movement towards sobriety
Movement towards health
Movement towards mental stability
Movement towards spiritual freedom

Movement towards self-sufficiency
Movement towards peace
Movement towards equality
Movement towards wholeness

And that's what I'd like to be known as
...a Mover of our people
...a Mover toward their goals
...a Mover that helps set them free from the vices that have captured them.

And in humility, I must pray; knowing very well that my strength, my wisdom and my resources are not sufficient for so great a task. I must echo the timeless words of Paul; "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

Popular Posts

It’s Political: My Own Self Realization

Uptown Trauma

I'm Grieving!

Uptown Gentrification and Housing Discrimination!

Getting Identification!