This week I attended a memorial service for those who passed in the last year. This is the second memorial that I have attended since 2012.
The saddest life lost I felt was a young woman who died while incarcerated in the Monroe County Jail.
She was a regular on La Avenida (Clinton Avenue). She stayed in an abandoned building and panhandled to meet her needs. She had a drug addiction. From what I heard from those who spoke of her, she was well liked.
I do not know what led her to be incarcerated but it was her withdrawal that led to her death. From what I heard she died due to inadequate care at the jail while going through withdrawal.
it was a life that might have been saved if she had received better monitoring and care.
This past December a family member of mine who was homeless and addicted died while living in a park. He was in rehab but relapsed, mixed some drugs and lost his life, he was 25.
We have to come up with better ways of helping those who are homeless, addicted and/or suffering from mental illness.
My plan and my hope would be that the city and other agencies would work together to meet the needs of those who are ready and willing to accept assistance.
Through my previous experiences with people in need I know that some people do not want to be in the system as it is now but it can be changed and if the dignity of the individual is better respected we may be able to help them make the changes they need.