Thursday, May 17, 2012

What it's worth, will it work?

Sometimes (often) we feel we just can't do as much as we'd like for clients.

One client of mine was facing particularly difficult financial straits this month for reasons outside of her control.  I offered to provide some grocery gift cards to help bridge the gap.  I was only able to get a $25 card, and felt a little sheepish giving it to her - I mean, you have a $0 bank account balance and need to eat for a whole month - how far is $25 bucks gonna go?  When we met again she told me she really appreciated my help and the card.  The day she went to the grocery store with it they had a "dollar sale".  How perfect!

Sometimes we worry that the situations our clients are facing are too difficult, and we worry about the barriers they face.

I helped this same client make a call for emergency rent bank help.  We were both surprised to find out how long it would take to complete the assessment and get help approved and processed.  She let them know the homeless deadline she was facing and they actually called her back really quickly.  She got in for an interview and to receive her money.  She called me several times that day distraught because it was a very dehumanizing experience for her.  But she got the money.  Got it to the landlord and secured new housing.

The next day the workers who called her back so quickly and processed her request went on strike.  If someone had not deigned to give her priority, what would have happened?  Sometimes when we think we face the impossible, the improbable happens.

When we work hard, sometimes it just might work out.


  1. I find I am often my own worse enemy, because when I see all these big problems, I think about how people are NOT going to be able to help. Often I am pleasantly surprised ;). For most problems, there really are solutions.

    1. Yep, it's a stressful job and I know that when I think this way I only stress myself out further. It feels so good when things work out though!

  2. Isn't it wonderful when things actually work out the way we want them to? It makes all the times when they don't worth it.