Court is one of those places where every side of human life is on display.
It can be brutally cold or heartbreakingly sad.
But court can also be a place of hope, often last hope. A place where people end up after every other social safety net has failed.
Such was the case last week with longtime offender David Jeff.
For the most part, David Jeff seems like a kind soul –– clearly he has had his fair share of sorrows and challenges in life, but he had a smile on his face and gentleness in his eyes as he was shown patience, kindness and concern by court staff and local police last week.
Jeff has been in this position many times before. Most, if not all, of his troubles with the law stem from his chronic alcohol abuse. He also has a history of mental illness.
So, when he is not in a safe and supportive environment, he needs to be protected from himself and the public needs protection from him.
It seems one of the biggest challenges for Jeff is stable, affordable, supportive housing.
It doesn’t take long sitting through the court proceedings to see that if more resources were moved in that direction, much less money would be spent in policing and court costs.
This has been going on for years. When are we going to learn?
We all need to take a page from the courtroom and be a little more understanding, a little more patient and a lot more proactive when it comes to helping those most vulnerable in our community.
Great examples of those making a difference every day include CMHA homelessness outreach worker Wayne Lucier and Jubilee Place manager Mike Charron.
These men work tirelessly every day and are clearly dedicated to helping those in our community who need it most.