As I drove to pick up my son from school this afternoon, I noticed the lady that is known around town as being somewhat mentally ill or “off” and rides her bike. She usually looks clean and put together…enough…but clearly you can tell something is, as I said, off.
Today, I noticed she had a dog with her. This is a new development. I was thinking to myself, where did she find the dog, and the poor dog looks so scraggly.
As I drove on, I questioned myself, why was I more concerned about the dog? Why is it known and *accepted* throughout town that there’s this lady who rides her bike at all times of day and night, and doesn’t have a home that any of us can figure out, and sometimes stops and just dances on the street…clearly unsafe. Why am I not more concerned about how I can help her? I realized the answer is, it’s overwhelming. And it’s overwhelming because I don’t know how to go about helping her.
I don’t know where she lives, better worded as *stays*. If she doesn’t have an address that makes things even more difficult, such as receiving benefits. She clearly needs ongoing mental health assistance. How do I help with those issues? I could give her some money or some food, but that will only last her a couple of days.
And I just got to thinking…why as a community do we allow people like this to roam around like feral cats that we feed and water and do *enough* to keep them alive and comfortable but not really help solve the core issue. This is the second small town I’ve lived in where there’s been such an individual. I’m not sure if this is common, but I think that it most certainly is. I’ve come to the realization that I need to do some research here in my town, and in general, to educate myself on how I can help this particular lady and others I see in this situation.