I posted this on my Facebook page this morning but a friend suggested I blog it, too:
Just saw a crazy homeless guy standing in front of the Circle K at Irvington and Park. He’s madly talking to himself, waving his arms and glaring at people in cars who stop by him at the light.
Normally, I’d tsk tsk and drive on. But then I thought of Nick Delich and Jared Loughner.
So I thought I’d call 911 and see if they can get him some help. Then I remembered that cops aren’t social workers, they’re cops and more likely to hassle him than help him.
Then I thought, “he really isn’t harming or threatening anyone” and decided against 911, it seemed excessive. Perhaps I should call a mental health agency? But which one?
Because I’ve done enough stories about mental health, I know that none of the mental health NGOs that have contracts with the county or state have teams of crisis workers in vans to drive up to seriously mentally ill people in crisis and offer them any assistance, let alone whisk them away to the happy home for treatment.
So I sat there waiting for the light to change feeling totally inadequate and helpless. The light changed and I drove on.
How many times a day does that happen in this country both literally and metaphorically? Too many, I’m thinking.
We all just drive on and leave crazy standing by the side of the road.