This afternoon I start my last shift in Tinkerton. I will have worked with homeless people for just over seven years. Too long. Too many 'incidents' and too many hard memories.
I finally decided to leave three weeks ago. In the past eight days a current resident and an ex-resident were murdered within days of each other. One, on the premises, a harmless wee man who was well-liked by everyone who knew him and the other, the ex-resident, a fragile and vulnerable young girl without a bad bone in her. We do try our best, those of us, who work in homeless services but the job is too big and the damage too severe for us to have much of an impact. We burn out and we become cynical. And there are some who abuse the services. And there are far too many for whom the services offered are not enough.
Next week (strike permitting) I hope to start my teaching course and during that week I'll be working as a care assistant in a residential home for the elderly.