“Get a job, bum!” someone screamed from a passing car.

Jake carried six bags of crushed aluminum cans down a busy street. He wasn’t walking very fast. The bags were heavy and tearing in several places. “Get a job, bum!” someone screamed from a passing car.  Jake kept his head down and continued walking. He didn’t want a confrontation. Eventually, Jake reached the recycling center. […]

What color is that rule?

3:00 a.m.  The darkest part of night.  The first big thunderstorm of summer.  Rain poured off her straw-colored hair. She struggled to carry her three children by herself—a newborn and twin toddlers in car seats.  She shuffled slowly along an urban bicycle trail.  The incision from her C-Section was infected. Can you imagine what that […]

My employee escalates conflict

Dear Ryan, How do I help my staff who “don’t get it” and escalate problems with our homeless patrons? Sharon Sharon, That is a great question and one I get a lot. First, let me tell you what not to do.  Do not “summarize.” Avoid summarizing what your staff member is doing: “Please be more […]