I saw something years ago about a presentation concerning inner city youths who were being considered “at risk” in the current jargon. They were likely to have bad outcomes such as, violence, early pregnancy, becoming involved in gangs and premature death. The speaker had coined a new term “at potential” that has stuck with me. I told a young man man this week we needed to raise his potential while decreasing his risk. And I believe he understood what I meant. And appreciated what I am attempting to do.
At many stages of their lives, our consumers are at risk. They are often undecided about which path to choose. There are ones leading to familiar grounds: drugs, illegal activity, or sleeping away their lives. But the unfamiliar ones may be those of their childhood. They might have dreamed about finishing high school, going onto college and becoming middle class. However the effort required might have made achieving that goal seem completely unrealistic. Almost like creating a moon colony next year.
I am not at all trying to be the egotist here. I am trying to say that even it was not me in a person’s life, someone like me would need to be there doing very similar things. I am very subtle and slow and sometimes this is frustrating for those in the fields. There is always hope, as all of the recovery books proclaim but even that seems abstract.
What is concrete is a place where I can feel safe, where I know my bills will be paid and that I am valued. And I cannot guaranty anyone that if they stay with me, that is what they will obtain. But I figure, what have you got to lose?