Friday, March 8, 2013


I work with homelessness. I'm not at a homeless shelter. I'm not out on the streets. Rather, I'm in a building with my own office and meet with about 10 clients per week, doing case management with them and figuring out what their barricades to housing are and how to get them housed.

I'm getting very scared for myself, though. I'm not necessarily "burnt out", but I do see this as "just a job". Just a thing I do. I lack empathy for those I meet. I don't get caught up in their stories. I don't get sad. I don't really feel invested in them.

I talked with my supervisor about that this week and shared those things with her. She was very kind and said, "Ash, what's important is that you recognize that. And because you see that, you can change that. You don't have to just accept it."

I told her that I was really scared because I felt like this came on really early and she reminded me I've been at this for several months and this starts to hit most people within the first few months.

Since that conversation, I've really engaged with people again. I care about them again. I ask them questions, I take an interest in the, and I invest in them. I don't want anyone leaving my office without feeling just a little more hopeful, a little more supported, and a little more cared for.

Because people deserve lives with dignity. 

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