Earlier this week Officer Chung told me to remember that I'm not going to be able to save everyone. I got my first hard lesson in that, as it pertains to Starfish, yesterday, when Columbus Division of Policereported on their Facebook page that a blind 79-year-old man was robbed in Linden.
That's the gentlemen we were trying to help a couple of weeks ago. Several people from Starfish, including Jim, who can speak to him on a level no one else can, tried to get him some assistance. Samantha from Senator Brown's office, who has been such an advocate for Jim, was ready and willing to help and spoke on the phone with John a couple of times, but refused.
Jim offered to drive John to Senator Brown's office. We offered to get him a cab, which as you can tell from the story, he is able to use, but he wouldn't do it. Jim made one more attempt on Wednesday, but John, who was riding in a cab at the time he was talking to Jim, became aggressive and refused to listen. As it turns out, that conversation happened the day after John was robbed. Even then, he still wouldn't let us help.
Truthfully, I'm the first to admit that cases of homeless are not something Starfish Assignment is equipped to handle. There are often many complicating factors at play, and our group is not comprised of professionals in that field. There are plenty of groups who DO specialize in homelessness and who we could have steered John to. So, I recognize that our involvement would have been minimal. But seeing what Senator Brown's staff did for Jim, I feel confident they'd have been able to help if he'd have been willing to let them.
Well. There you have it. The update no one wants to write or read.