I’m almost finished with the 3 weeks of *classroom* training for my new job. It’s going well and I’m learning about a lot of social service programs that I never knew existed, even though I’ve worked at the agency for more than ten years. That’s one thing I’ve figured out about social workers; we’re expected to be a resource for our clients and a good social worker should know all of what is available to help people. There are simply too many programs for anyone to know very much about all of them. As a caseworker I worked in the Medicaid program and knew it very well, but didn’t know much about anything else. We spent all of about 10 minutes learning about Medicaid in training today, so you can imagine how little the others were able to pick up and *know* about that particular program. At least I’m an *expert* at one of them!
To begin with I’ll be placed in the homeless services/emergency assistance unit taking applications and finding placement for homeless individuals and families. Next week, our training time will be spent making site visits to some of places where the homeless are provided with temporary housing – shelters, motels, rooming houses, and transitional housing sites. I’m looking forward to the chance for some field time, although I imagine it will be eye opening.
Speaking of eye opening: I learned that my county spent more than 9 million dollars last year providing services and housing for the homeless. Can you imagine? Typically, families are put up in motels, at a cost of approx. $1800 monthly due to a lack of any more affordable alternative. Do you or I spend $1800 on housing each month? That $1800 isn’t buying a room at the Hilton either – those welfare motels in our shore towns are some of the most run-down places! I'm curious to hear how much you know about the homeless in your own communities; I think if I asked my neighbors the same question, most would say that they're not aware of a homeless problem in our area. I mostly thought that the homeless were found in cities, not in an affluent area like the one I live in. Clearly I was wrong - what about you?
So anyway, that’s the update on how I’ve been occupying my workdays. I miss the routine of my old job and my friends, but life is good.
The pretty yellow flower is Hudsonia ericoides – Pine Barrens Heather. Great patches of this plant cover sandy places in the barrens, but this one was just about finished for the season.
festival of Lights
2 weeks ago