Monday, October 22, 2007

Professionalism and Inspiration

The problem with Skid Row is that no one knows where to get the proper information. I have lived on Skid Row since February 7th. I have wanted my teeth fixed since February 7th.
I have not been able to get them fixed. You have to get information about this place and that place on the street. "You have to go to the Hippie Restaurant on Tuesday morning."
Of course it took me seven months to find out that they just nick named the place the Hippie Kitchen or Restaurant. I am not sure what the place is called or what the place is.
I have a hernia. I have been wanting to get it fixed but I felt there was no way to get it fixed until I got a job. Of course I felt I would get an office job.
That was not the case. I secured a job in a warehouse. I was lifting one hundred pounds or more. I could have really hurt myself. The clinic that did the physical did not catch the hernia.
My luck that another office of the same medical clinic discovered the hernia (WITH MY HELP)
and it cost me a job sitting at a desk.
If I had accurate information about services in Skid Row I could have had my hernia repaired and my teeth fixed. I would have been ready,willing and able to do anything. Mind you, the willing part is the confidence I would have to interview for a position commensurate with my skills and abilities instead of being scared to walk in a office because of low self esteem.
Holes in ones mouth does not bode too well when trying to become a colleague or co worker in
an office suite.
I am shocked how many workers in Skid Row have inaccurate information or no information about the services offered. I was surprised how much is available and no body knows about them. I was appalled at how many case managers claim they can get everything done for you with no problem at all and then do not return phone calls for a week. Of course they tell you that they were busy. It does not matter that their superiors are three times as busy as they are and they return calls or emails. That has been my experience until today.
I called the Los Angeles Mission Community Clinic. I asked to make an appointment. I was surprised that I could make one. Michelle was the operator and she took down all of my information and gave me an appointment for tomorrow. She was thorough and polite and wanted me to tell everyone that the clinic is available. I was shocked. Had I known that I would have my job. I could be advancing instead of worrying about my future. It took damn near a calendar yeara to find out what I needed to find out. I was so discouraged that I never bothered to inquire at the mission. In fact I was told that they did not provide services to people outside the mission. I have to say that at another mission, a caring and efficient executive counted on her underlings to take care of me and they dropped the ball totally.
No phone calls etc. A horror story. It is enough to make one less confidant that there is help out here.
How can city officials help the public if the organizations within an area embellish about the services they provide or do not know themselves what they provide?
I am thankful that the LA Mission handled it professionally and courteously. So far so good.
If information were accurately available to people in whatever area they need while in Skid Row, maybe, just maybe, guys like the one who is in the picture would know where to get help and he could move forward with his life.
The woman in the above right picture is an inspiration. She is an example of determination and courage. I was talking to a security guard of a mission, recently. He told me that she stands at that door all day long without moving. People line up behind her for all of the meals and she lets them go around her. Her soal goal is to make sure she is the first person to get a shelter bed when the door opens at 9:00 PM. That is amazing discipline. That is amazing focus.
She has motivated me to be just as resolute about rejoining the labor force. I shall be like she is. She not only gets the bed, she chooses which one she wants.
I shall put that kind of focus into a position and go from there. My recent legal problem is not going to stop me. I am determined. I am qualified to be a productive team member in the real estate community or change careers. Either way, I am not going to hold my head down.
Thanks, young lady.

1 comment:

Brad said...

We are encouraged by your challenges and how you face them. You are never alone, we in the community care and want you to do well. May God Bless and Keep you dearly in his hands.We will continue to read about your journey.

Gloria Staunton
DTLAL Magazine

Christian Martinez, Publisher
Don Noyes-More, Editor

Anna Maria Loepz, Urban Affairs