There were at least twenty clients in the waiting area. They were the people that our society could not or would not accommodate. Most prosperous, well established people would rarely encounter the disadvantaged and marginalized in our society. They might read about them or hear about them via the media.
Only the truly unfortunate members of society would experience the humiliation of applying for welfare at a social assistance agency. No one could really understand the plight of these disadvantaged people but themselves.
Some of the more dedicated and compassionate welfare workers would do their own research and would attempt to have empathy with their client’s plight. The majority of these workers had not personally experienced the devastating poverty, hopelessness, depression or the physical and mental disabilities that would oppress their clients on a daily basis. Few would know what it was like to struggle with serious addiction issues.
Poverty, homelessness, mental health, disability and addiction had created a billion dollar industry for those who were in a position to profit from these societal plagues.
The irony was that the poorest and most needy in our communities were responsible indirectly for creating and maintaining full time and often permanent employment for a staggering number of agencies, businesses and workers.