Friday, May 23, 2008

Dear Mayor Newsom

First, I want to thank you for all of the socially conscious programs and initiatives you have put into place. I am proud to have been able to show care, compassion, humanity and offer a glimmer of hope to people who are homeless as a volunteer with Project Homeless Connect. It was gratifying to be involved in beautifying San Francisco by participating in Project Green Connect. While growing up in small towns in the Midwest, I used to dream of the day I would come to live in San Francisco and be part of a community of progressive, forward-thinking, open-minded, peaceful, loving citizens – part of a cultural revolution. (photo credit)

Here, I found work as a child advocate. How amazing. I am honored to be part of an organization that recruits our citizens and trains them to be advocates for children who are dependents of the city and county.

In addition to thanking you, I wanted to tell you a story about one of the children I work with. I wanted to tell you about a teen boy who lives at Edgewood. When he was born, his mother was just fourteen-years-old, a child herself. She was not adequately prepared to care for him. While in her care, before the age of two, he sustained injuries so severe that he is permanently deaf in one ear. Since being removed from her care, he has been placed with a long list of relative and non-relative caregivers, many of whom have struggled to care for him properly. Most have fallen short.

When the place that had been his home when he was eleven and twelve years old decided they could not meet his needs, he was fortunate to have been taken in by and found a home at Edgewood. He arrived just after the first of the year, just before his thirteenth birthday. At Edgewood, he is thriving.

I have much admiration and respect for the professional who dedicate their lives to nurturing, protecting and sheltering some of our most vulnerable youth. The staff at Edgewood has been part of creating positive outcomes for many of them. Last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting Ken Epstein, director of programming at Edgewood. His belief that people are born with possibility and his determination to turn hopelessness into hope was inspiring to me. I hope it will be to you too.

Please let the staff at Edgewood continue to serve our youth. Please let them continue to serve this boy. He doesn’t need to be displaced again. He doesn’t deserve to be displaced again.

Thank you for your consideration.

Write the mayor yourself.

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