Every few weeks Linda* one of the beautiful nurses at the supervised injecting room (SIR) in Richmond comes to pick up donations for the people attending the clinic. We donate dozens of Period Packs, toiletries, Tampons and sleeping bags each time Linda visits.
Linda is an incredible person. Her love and compassion for the people who attend the SIR has no boundaries. She cares for each and every one of them as if they were family.
Linda knows more than most people about the firm grip drugs can have on a person and how incredibly hard it can be for them to let go when the drugs take hold and the addiction becomes the focus of the persons life.
“People don’t understand that there is still a person under all of this, a human being who deserves a chance.” She says.
“Each day I go to work I’m confronted with something different. I see people sleeping in the freezing cold with nothing to cover them but a thin blanket. They have no one to go to and nowhere else to be.”
We had a chat about addiction and trauma. Linda agreed with my own experience, that almost all people who become addicted had suffered some kind of unaddressed trauma in their past. Something had happened, often when they were children, something awful, something that still hurt and haunted them today. And most were using to escape the trauma and the hurt.
Linda told us that the Period Packs were very popular and these sleeping bags were saving lives. It was a good reminder for us that even though we often don’t see the end result of our work, someone out there got to feel a little warmer and perhaps a little safer because of it.
* Name changed for privacy.