02 May Patience, Compassion and Meeting People Where They Are
Patience, Compassion and Meeting People Where They Are
AR is a homeless senior who has lived on the streets of New Orleans for more than 10 years. He has several medical and cognitive issues that require medications to keep him healthy and stable. He never felt comfortable accepting support from others which is why he has been homeless for so long. In the past, he had those he loved hurt him and steal from him, including family members. The streets were the only place AR felt safe.
Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans (TAS) Outreach Worker, Parker, was assigned to the outreach team in AR’s neighborhood. AR was Parker’s first client when they joined the TAS team. Parker read the situation with AR very well and knew to take things slow. Parker’s goal was to get AR into housing but they knew how guarded he was. Parker started to visit with him and just get to know him. AR started to open up. Due to his medical issues, AR ended up in the ER a lot just to get access to medications. This was the first hurdle Parker began to tackle with him.
Parker went to see AR daily to remind him to take his medicine and they started looking into primary care options for him so he did not have to go to the ER. Parker even offered to take him to the doctor, but this made AR uncomfortable. AR was afraid to go with Parker or anyone to new places. He was very confined and secure to the corner of the street where he lived. Parker remained understanding and found medical volunteers with Southern Solidarity that physically came out to individuals for services. The team came to AR on the streets. This made him extremely happy and he felt safe. He now gets his medicine regularly. Parker’s compassion, patience and willingness to meet AR where he was, created a strong bond between the both of them.
As AR continued to feel safe, Parker was able to support him even more. Parker helped him get a state ID and have his social security benefits and SNAP benefits reinstated. Prior to this, his social security benefits were being taken by other individuals. Not long after this, AR received the keys to his new apartment, a huge step after 10 years of homelessness. Parker said the excitement on his face is something they will never forget. AR was overjoyed for this new opportunity. Parker brought groceries to AR and helped him get furniture set up. They recalled AR saying “Wow, I get to keep all of this.”
Parker continues to work with AR and hopes to get him more comfortable maneuvering around the city and riding the bus. Parker is extremely hopeful for AR’s future.
When you support TAS this GiveNOLA Day, you help us in the fight to end homelessness by providing dedicated, compassionate social workers like Parker, to help serve our city’s most vulnerable individuals. With your support we can continue to help AR and many others lead a better life. Please click the button below to make a contribution today.
Many in our community are one lost paycheck away from life in a shelter.
The COVID 19 pandemic increased homelessness throughout the United States. You can help those in our community facing homelessness with a gift to Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans this Give Nola Day. Your gift helps individuals like A.C. find housing and jobs to lead stable, happy and self-sufficient lives.