(5 posts)(3 voices)
  1. PM is not working from my pc today. But I wanted to let you know what happened with the homeless woman.

    I called the first number you gave me. Spoke with the counselor for 1/2 hr. Their suggestion? call the police. I think I am drawing the line here. They asked me if she sounded mentally ill. I can't tell. The second number is that that referred me to of my local catholic charity which is completely useless.

    Thank you for taking the time to get me the numbers.

  2. The police are very often the first responders in this type of situation.

    I know you are frustrated but one of the main reasons you are having trouble accessing services for this person is because you are doing it in the third person. There are very few, if any, agencies that will respond to a request for services that comes from a third party rather than a family member or the homeless individual themselves particularly if the individual in question shows no desire for services.

    The only ones who can access services in the third person safely is the police, hence the suggestion that you call them. The police will contact social services on her behalf (if she wants that) or take her for mental health screening if that seems indicated. Isn't this what you would like to see happen? I am not sure your reticence to follow that suggestion. It will not get the woman in trouble, she will just be taken care of if she agrees to services.

    If you were to bring this woman into a the County social services offices, she could be screened for whatever services she may be eligible for as well but that is not something that I recommend you do on your own.

    Do not lose faith in the social services system, it is just a client demand driven system. We take care of many, many, homeless people, homeless mentally ill people, the poor, the working poor, etc. However, if the client doesn't request services, there is precious little anyone can do and I kind of agree with this. You may feel outraged by this mindset but it is a slippery slope having individuals decide that someone needs services if they aren't asking for or wanting them.

    The only time, really, that you can call on behalf of a client is in the case of abuse or neglect of children and the elderly. Then it is Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services otherwise it is encumbent upon the individual to request services.

    Have you ever asked this woman if she wants you to contact agencies on her behalf? If her response is yes, then you can let her know you will be doing so by contacting the police and that she should not be alarmed by their presence. If she says no, then there is little more you can do. That is her right to refuse.

  3. Any further developments?

  4. Actually, I don't know. I was late and ran for the train this AM (so I was in the rear of the train - she hangs out in the front end of the platform). I am having for lunch the food that was intended for her. Will check on my way home to see if she is around. The truth is, the thing that bugs me is that she is in her 60's, a woman. Maybe if she were a guy, a younger guy, I would be like, oh well...I know, I am terrible.

  5. del

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