Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

Throughout this blog you are now seeing advertising. I need to provide this so as to keep going financially with this ministry. If you see something that is inappropriate to this site, please let me know - maybe get a screen shot of it for me. I do get credit for any "click" that you might make on any of the ads. If you're bored some night and want to help me raise some needed cash, visit my site and click away to your heart's content....

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Kensington Issue That Isn't…

Today, as I was doing my thing in Kensington, I met three new (new to me) people who reside on the streets in the midst of their Substance Use Disorder, active drug use and Medicaid's incompetence in providing dignified, prompt and respect filled health care.

These two men and one woman claim Delaware County as their own.  Brookhaven and Aston are the hometowns of the men.  The woman worked "for many years" at a Wawa that I can absolutely guarantee all of my Glen Mills, Pa. neighbors frequents on a regular basis.  You, dear neighbor to me in Glen Mills/Garnet Valley, have met her!!!

We speak of Kensington as if it is some faraway land filled with 'addicts, junkies, freeloaders, panhandlers, prostitutes and whores' more gently labeled as 'them' and 'they'. 

It is not. 

By default, this aspect of what's happening in Kensington is NOT a Kensington issue.

These human beings who are made in the image of God and who are worthy of the highest dignity, honor, respect and love are, for a stunningly shocking majority, our actual, factual, literal, real, genuine, authentic, bona fide next-door neighbors to YOUR suburban mailing address! 

Philadelphia suburbs resident:  That's YOUR next-door neighbor on the streets of Kensington!!!!

Read this series of blogs to better understand what your neighbors are experiencing and

Get Involved Accordingly!!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Overlooked Aspects of Harm Reduction

When we think of 'harm reduction' three aspects top the list: distribution of Narcan, safe injection sites, and needle exchange.  All three are very worthwhile pursuits.

There are several aspects of Harm Reduction that tend to get overlooked.   

Let's look at this partial list of overlooked aspects that 'Dakota'provided to me one day not too long ago when I asked her why she doesn’t go to detox even though she's very clearly stated that she is sick of this lifestyle…

"The long wait time, the need to get high before going in, the need to hide enough drug to inject during a quick trip to the bathroom while waiting too many hours for a bed, the rudeness of the staff, the strong possibility that at the end of those hours being told that there are no beds available in the entire city and to come back the next day."

Let's break this quote down a bit…

These three points are related:

The long wait time, the need to get high before going in ( a side effect of expecting a long wait time and wanting to avoid dope sickness), the need to hide enough drug to inject during a quick trip to the bathroom while waiting too many hours for a bed…

Reduce the Wait Time = Reduce the Harm

…the rudeness of the staff,

Reduce the Rudeness = Reduce the Harm

Remind staff to demonstrate the dignity and respect that is owed to any patient with Substance Use Disorder who is seeking treatment.

…being told (after many hours) that there are no beds available in the entire city and to come back the next day."

Increase Bed Availability = Reduce the Harm

Here are a few other overlooked aspects of Harm Reduction:

Discipline or remove from employment any nursing/medical staff member who tells a Substance Use Disorder patient in their care to "Get out…" -

Discipline or Remove = Reduce the Harm

When a Substance Use Disorder patient needs hospitalization for any condition, provide the best available and prompt detox comfort care while tending to the specifics of the medical situation that made hospitalization necessary.  

Provide Prompt Comfort Care in the Hospital = Reduce the Harm

When a patient with Substance Use Disorder has been admitted to a detox facility, provide prompt and complete detox comfort care. 

Provide Prompt Comfort Care in the Detox Facility = Reduce the Harm

Provide Rehab services in the jails so patients with Substance Use Disorder do not find this to be a time of 'mental rot.'  

Turn Jail Time into Rehab Time = Reduce the Harm

I leave this testimony with you from the blog: As I write this, one of my Medicaid-reliant loved ones from the streets sits in a crisis center awaiting a bed for detox.

I have personally been to several crisis centers in Philadelphia. A few months ago, I went to one and sat for about 13 hours in a waiting room so very sick shaking and sweating and vomiting everywhere and all for them to come out and tell me that there were no beds and said to come back the next day to try again. 

Mind you I was very very sick and when they told me that, I asked them what should I do as I was laying on their bathroom floor vomiting everywhere and it looked like someone had sprayed a hose on me because I was dripping wet. My clothes were soaked and I was flopping on the floor like a fish out of water. 

The doctor said to me "I don't know what to do." She said she cannot give me anything because I am not admitted and there are no beds. So they asked me where would I like to go to because they will call a cab for me. As I was waiting for the cab, security and a nurse came outside to me and asked me what I was doing and I said "You told me you are calling a cab." The nurse said, "We did not call one and you have to get off of the property!" 

Mind you, I had no money and I was so sick so I ended up walking to the EL. The SEPTA personnel told me I cannot go through without money and I told them that I just came from the hospital. I showed them paperwork and they still said "No" so I ended up jumping the train and the SEPTA personnel hit the alarm! 

So thank God the train came before any cops got there so I was fine. As I was on the train I dropped to the floor and had a seizure. When I woke up people were standing around me and they were waiting for the ambulance but I jumped up and said no and got back on the next train and got off at Somerset station and had to find a way to get well... 

My experience that day with the crisis center made me so sick to my stomach thinking that I really wanted to get clean and I really wanted help and nobody helped.