The recent Compass piece by Chantelle Pence on social services (Sept. 16) was thought-provoking. Catholic Social Services shares her desire to increase the inclusiveness of social service programs. We strive each day to close the gap between theory and practice. We are often asked to provide insight into reasons why a homeless person remains on the streets despite the many services available. Like other service providers we don't always know the answer, but we do know that each individual is just that -- an individual, and outreach efforts need to be tailored to accommodate their individual needs.
For some, our Brother Francis Shelter "net to ladder" approach works. They simply need us to provide a safety net today and hold the ladder tomorrow by providing work clothes, job skills training, employment and permanent housing referrals. Others may require more time to seek out treatment options for issues that impair their independence. For straightforward issues or more complex situations, our doors are open to meet people where they are and walk beside them in their journey forward.
-- Susan Bomalaski