De-escalating conflict is like typing without looking at your hands.

Can you type without looking at your hands? If not, this newsletter won’t be very helpful. Do you remember learning how to touch type? It was REALLY hard. First, someone had to teach you where to put your fingers. Then, you had to think about every single key very carefully (“’J’ is my right index […]

A dog taught me about homelessness.

I had dinner with my aunt last week. She explained that she had called a dog rescue program and asked them to contact her when they had a dog that absolutely no one would ever adopt. Three weeks later they called her to say that they had a Maltipoo (Maltese Poodle mix…  Google them, they’re […]

Homelessness is War

Jeremy was one of my best friends in high school.  For nearly four years, we saw each other almost daily. We ran cross country together. We drove to dances together with our dates. After graduation, he was a groomsman in my wedding. And then the United States invaded Iraq. Jeremy was a sniper platoon leader […]

How bad are homeless people?

I stumbled upon something interesting over the weekend and I had to share it… In an average night in New York City in January 2022: That means: Is it possible that homeless folks aren’t as bad as the world thinks? peace, Ryan SOURCES AND NOTES (1)          That number is from the annual point in […]

Someone who is “Level 3 Drunk”

In this week’s training, I teach how to de-escalate conflict (and enforce the rules) with someone who is drunk or high. The are four levels of people who are under the influence: Here is a 1-minute video from that training teaching the core tool for individuals who are a “Level 3.” If the link above […]

“An addict will do anything to not be dope sick.”

“I am scared sh*tless of being dope sick. I will do anything, anything I have to do to make sure I’m not dope sick… An addict will do anything to not be dope sick. It is our biggest fear.” Sherri If you work with the public, there are two things you need to know about […]

Can withdrawal from heroin kill you?

The intern’s face was pale white, and her eyes were panicky. “Ryan, I need help.” She led me into her office. Harold was lying on the concrete floor of her office. “He says he is withdrawing from heroin,” the intern said. I tried to talk to Harold but didn’t get very far. He was far […]

A story about PTSD and dragons (written by AI).

I listened to an interview the other day with Sal Kahn, founder of Khan Academy. He talked about how AI is changing education (for better and worse). Specifically, he talked about how Khan Academy is using AI to teach people around the world. I am terrified and excited. I am intrigued and overwhelmed.  It made […]

What Librarians taught me about social workers

The last two weeks I wrote about social workers in libraries. I got several emails from libraries pointing out issues that I should have included. It reminded me that I am not an expert in this area. That is why I am particularly excited to be interviewing two actual experts for this month’s monthly training.  […]

How about a social work intern in your library?

Howdy! Last week we tackled the question about whether libraries should hire social workers to support folks who need help beyond what the library can provide. If you have no budget but really want to bring social services to those you serve, you may be asking: Are social work interns a good option? MAYBE. Social […]