In the ‘polite society’ for which Canada is known world wide, it is very challenging to ask the hard social questions about What is working? What is not working? In our efforts to be courteous and to ‘play nicely in the sandbox’, we have congenial conversations which avoid confronting our reality with honesty.
For people whose lives are part of urgency and crisis and unsolvable in short term measures, a very stressful experience of the world takes them on trajectories of limited options and choices which lead in the wrong direction. Our slow moving systems safeguarded by their own paperwork, theories of change, records and reports, scheduled availability, assessment by those who are not in touch with the people they serve, focused on evidence based criteria which seldom tell the whole truth, are minimally able to ‘help’ and only on their terms.
The young person who wrote the following articulates the frustration and hopelessness of a world known to too many young people … from The Doorway archives:
“If I can help:
I think we all have opportunities in life; I am waiting for mine, like we all are. I have this dream, this big idea this hope and what it is, is to start my own…. Foundation? or organization to help our youth. …. I have so many ideas.
What are we (society) doing to help our youth at risk? I want more interaction, more hands on, more involvement, more of a connection, and follow up. What our youth needs is for us to reach out to them. They are at such high risk today, so many can’t ask for help themselves or even recognize that they need help, and I want to be there to assist in their change. For any child who feels lost or not wanted, or loved or thrown away I want to help.Looking back at my experience, I had no help. The social workers I had did not know what I needed because well, they did not show an interest. I had things written down and said about me and what kind of person I was but that was all false. They did not know anything; I had such low self-esteem I could not reach out to them. Therefore, I felt I was ganged up on and when children feel that way, they act out.
So we need to wake up and smell the coffee because our children won’t change if we make assumptions and neglect what’s really wrong Calgary!! Not just one city but all the provinces. I think we can only blame ourselves! Think about all the homeless, drunk or just how many “high risk” youths we have on our streets and why. We pretty much allow them there. It’s time to snap out of it people. How many of these places really make a difference? How many of these people said they were going to make a difference in our children’s life? Change your outlook, and stop assuming and do it. Just read our newspaper people, start working together and get some ideas to REALLY help save our youth at risk.”
We are profoundly sorry for the truth spoken here.