When this is post goes live, I will probably be sitting in my near-empty cubicle at work, furiously trying to finish up the last bits of paperwork that has so consumed the past year and half of my conscious thoughts. Today is my last day of this job.
Back in 2011, I wrote about me getting this new job as a case manager (a.k.a. “social worker”–in Pennsylvania, you can’t call yourself a social worker unless you have a degree in it). It’s been an amazing experience, with some of the most knowledgeable and supportive supervisors and co-workers I’ve ever had the privilege of being around.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer had this front page article today on Governor Tom Corbett’s drastic proposed Pennsylvania budget cuts and their particular effect on social services.
I work for one of the main social service agencies in Philadelphia. I can tell you that these effects will be real, not exaggerated, and felt by everyone (and perhaps even illegal). Is there really no more balanced, thoughtful, or nuanced approach to this?
In a notable quote from the article, executive director of NHS Human Services, Paul Sachs, told the Council committee about how the changes would eventually cost us more, not less:
We will see an increase in medical hospitalizations for the types of problems that frequently coexist with behavioral-health problems, such as diabetes, pulmonary, and cardiac conditions, not to mention sensitivity to extremes of cold or hot weather. And, I am sorry to say, we will see more people die whose deaths could have been avoided…. The governor’s budget cuts will not save money. Rather, it is an elaborate cost shift to emergency medical care and criminal justice systems, neither of which is designed to address the core problems facing these vulnerable individuals.
Please contact your local representative and let them know that you want this Commonwealth known for fighting for the vulnerable, and to at least show a little restraint, creativity, and nuance in how it maintains fiscal responsibility.
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In May 2009, I decided to drop out of seminary (for many reasons). Then employment drama ensued. I got a job, couldn’t start the job, then got a part-time position at the company, and then was finally able to move into the full-time spot I was originally hired for.
And it’s been wonderful. Over the past year and half, I was able to love my caseload of people and take them from broken and with nothing to on the path towards healing and recovery. I actually got to see change and growth up close–and it changed me.
But, it’s time to move on. As I’ve been praying for for a while, I recently got offered a job that is walking distance from my house. I finally get to realize my desire to not only live and spend my money in the city, but also to earn my money and serve the residents there as well.
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