Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rich People, Poor People All Got Dreams

A line in a song made me think about this. Simple and true. I felt like I hadn't reflected on it in some time.

As I work with my clients day to day we don't often talk about their dreams. More frequently we're dealing with a crisis, navigating benefits programs, or discussing resources for basic needs, like food pantries. Dreams are still there but we're focusing on what needs to get done. Many times this does mean the basics: Benefits stopping, client getting behind on rent, food insecurity, issues with quality of housing.

I do discuss long term plans with clients and these may include aspirations. A common one is finding subsidized housing. Two important steps are usually needed, in some combination, to reach long term goals. Planning and meeting basic needs. It's easier to plan when your situation is fairly stable and this, for a variety of reasons, is challenging for clients who are in situations of ongoing crises or have physical or mental health challenges.

Occasionally a client mentions he wants to complete the GED or college. Learn to play an instrument or a new language. I enjoy having these conversations with clients to understand better what makes them tick and to eventually discuss how they want to pursue them.