Compass - Finding Who's Way

In 25 minutes I was able to accomplish what usually takes me 3 days - pumping out articles for the monthly newsletter.

When I first was hired, one of my responsibility was to develop the format for our monthly newsletter. I was to come up with the concept, design, and article ideas. I titled it “The Compass” - providing direction for our clients. I honestly didn’t know where it would end up, if it was going to be a flop - who was going to be writing the articles. I soon found (figured) out that I would be the energy behind this.

I haven’t had a month where this newsletter has been a drag to put out. Whether the editing process, coming up with article ideas, or coming up with new ways to attract attention to the document - there’s always new energy. Clients that I talk to on a daily basis are my muses. In talking with them about the challenges they face, their success, and what goes on after 5 p.m. - they always have something interesting to talk about.

Last week’s key challenge was to find a grant program to fund a housing outreach program for recent immigrants. The client pointed out that many of the housing programs are developed for the landlord as the key beneficiary, and the client’s office needs to develop a program that has the immigrant-renter as the key beneficiary. After emails and phone calls, I sat in front of my computer completely frustrated because I understand the project, I see the benefits, I see the need....yet search results aren’t generating the same kind of enthusiasm.

My Friday night train ride usually allows me the opportunity to clear my mind of the phone calls - but I was (and obviously am continuing to) obsess over this call. Over and over in my mind - why aren’t there programs for renters to have the same kind of representation when forced into substandard housing? Ahhh! It’s Sunday and I’m still obsessing!

A couple of weeks ago I couldn’t stop my search efforts to cover the cost of the backbone of an interoperable communications system for a series of islands. Why there’s not funding to connect fire/life/safety from a multiple of nearby jurisdictions blows my mind. There’s plenty of money out there for walkie-talkies, but money’s missing for wires, dishes, computer systems, and training on how to layout the whole damn thing.

There’s not enough money for jurisdictions to share criminal records. There’s not enough money to train officers on how to deal with offenders with mental illnesses. There’s not enough money for school districts to work with children who’s parents are MIA because of drug addiction.

This is what I hear every day when I’m on the phone with clients. I’m not a senator, congresswoman, or their staff. I don’t get to impact the budget, grant programs, or decide where the money goes. I can only play cheerleader, hoping and praying on Sunday (downtown or Santa Monica) that people will read our summaries and consider applying for these programs. I hope they contact their governmental affairs staff, their congressperson and senator to bring more money to their jurisdictions.

I don’t know if clients know how they impact us. The same - I don’t know if I impact them either. I can only hope.

I started this blog entry as a puff piece to talk about the newsletter. But - obviously it turned out to be something else. I’m going to head back to the loft now to clean the bed area, sweep and most likely mop the floor.

Yes - Today I wrote this from 9th and Santee @ Starbucks.

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