As I personally find myself working in the 'flow,' notices of good news and potential news come in. There are also situations and events daily that cause my emotions to be all over the place.
COVID-19 may be on a plateau. We have vaccine. We have lower positive client cases. We operate in "COVID-mode" to continue to prevent its spread until we are told by Public Health that we can relax distancing and PPE guidelines. Given all that, and given news of funding and incredible gifts coming our way (more to share later), my heart is still heavy.
My gut tells me that this Summer is going to be rough. And Summer in Phoenix starts before the solstice on June 20th. It starts in May as temperatures rise during the day and stay high overnight. Cooling down on pavement and asphalt becoming virtually impossible.
My gut tells me that while we continually implement improvements to our practices and service delivery model, that we have so much ground to cover we are miles and miles away as a community from having sufficient housing resources to be 'caught up’ on housing placements and ending homelessness.
My heart tells me that my colleagues who are Black are hurting. I carry personal concern, worry and fear for my employees of color, thinking of them as my own family. I listen and listen some more, and then when I speak I have to stop myself to listen more. I have to check myself as I work to break my implicit bias.
My heart tells me that the new Councilwoman for Phoenix District 7, Yassamin Ansari, is compassionate, intelligent, and truly interested in solutions to ending homelessness. Within hours of her inauguration she visited the Campus. On Day One she did that.
My gut tells me that the family of clients who pass away are heart broken. Some carried away in an ambulance, and we not knowing the outcome of their hospital visit.
My heart tells me that I am full of love and compassion, yet sometimes powerless. I can't be everywhere at once. I repeat the Four Agreements multiple times per day: I will not assume, I will not take things personally, I will do my best, and I will be impeccable with my word.
My gut says "suck it up" and "carry on." I am not homeless. I am not Black in America. I am not a lost, wandering soul travelling alone to a hospital.
I still believe that as humans we have more in common than we are different. When I overhear shouting, crying, arguing, and violence outside my office window, I sometimes say "Why can't we all just get along." If only we humans didn't complicate things for ourselves. We have the solutions, we have the resources. We have the ability to choose to put aside our ego and detach from our personal desired outcomes, to live up to the greater good.
This Reflections may be more personal than usual, and you all recognize I am human. I ask you to recognize all of our unsheltered and unhoused neighbors as human, too. Thank you for supporting our collective efforts to treat everyone with respect and dignity.