Homeless Prenatal- Week 1

Hi everyone!

What a week! In terms of accomplishments, I've learned so much about Homeless Prenatal, the kinds of services they offer, and why people are coming to the computer lab. I've also had the opportunity to tour and meet with the staff and volunteers of St Anthony's CTC in another part of the city. I'm looking forward to collaborating with them and sharing best practices. Soon I'll be meeting with the ED of Community Technology Network, and I'm really grateful that I'll be able to be a part of a larger network of people working on similar issues.

I've had the opportunity to interview one potential volunteer as well as meet with and observe established CTC volunteers and it's been so interesting hearing about how they got connected to HPP and why they volunteer. The economic crisis is pushing people to think of creative uses of their time, and of course it means their time is much more valuable for our clients who are hit the hardest by employment, health, and housing insecurity. Our lovely governator just terminated all funding for domestic violence shelters- wow.

I didn't anticipate how much of my position is community organizing- building productive and collaborative relationships with and between staff, volunteers, and especially clients. It's going to be challenging, but it's exciting and uncomfortable in all the right ways.

One drawback (there are many more advantages) of having a former CTC Vista as my supervisor is that she has already tried and occasionally failed at many of the ideas that pop in to my head. It starts to get discouraging when I hear for the tenth time "Yes that's a good idea but we've tried that before and it didn't work about because of X or Y reason". The CTC is not a blank slate, it has a lot of history, people, ideas, and projects that I need to be attentive to without feeling totally paralyzed or naive for being a bit more optimistic than everyone else. It's going to be a constant negotiation but I'm positive!

Thanks for reading my e-mail novella (should this be a field report?) and I'm looking forward to hearing about how everything is going for y'all!

Comment from Mira Allen on August 31, 2009 - 4:07pm

Great field report Scott. I'm glad to hear you're staying positive. How are things working out for you these days?