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some days are better than others…

November 27, 2014

At work this morning, a co-worker got some high praise from the mental health unit at IWK (the Lords of Medicine in Halifax) for the work that she had put together to better support one of our clients – and added praise for what the shelter team had done for this young woman. We had succeeded (massively) where the IWK could not.

So, needless to say my co-worker was in a great mood. And with such infectious news the whole team quickly had a bounce in its step. (It’s always nice, on those rare occasions, when the Lords of Medicine admit that maybe they don’t always have all the answers…)

And then I talked down a new youth intake, who was scared and confused and near freaking out of his mind, because he was new to Halifax – and new to the homeless streets – having just been beaten and kicked out of his home in small-town Nova Scotia – for being gay.

I convinced two alpha males – from homes where the father’s fists and the mother’s broom handle had ruled over their lives – that rather than go at each other’s throats over a missing $25, and deal with all the police hassle that would come with it – that they first try and talk out what was going on. An hour later they come walking up the drive, sharing a cigarette, like nothing ever happened.

“It’s all cool”, they say – hand bumping me as they come back in for lunch.

With others we talked of housing possibilities. One was excited to be off to look at an apartment. Another has two to see tomorrow. Another youth talked of being one-month addiction-free – and was all smiles as she went off to see her grandmother for tea.

The afternoon staff immediately picked up on our good vibe of the day; and the kids were now all jolly because we were getting our first real snowfall of the year, and as I left for the day, I realized that it had been one of those kinds of days that should end with good cheese, and a glass of wine.

And maybe a good movie…

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