[This one is going to be extremely hard. It will change quite a lot for a while. You are more than welcome to watch me struggle with it, if you care.]

Outreach is a subspecialty of the trade of social work. It is a very small portion of the increasingly corporate Social Work Enterprise. The City of Cambridge has one program of Outreach – First Step. They have a van that cruises the city and attempts to get the City’s most hopeless into contact with the City’s other social services. When the Ashanti Woman1 was living in the Gates of Harvard, Marty2 from the First Step Van paved the way for her into The System. The lovely Dr. Alan Counter3 had a role in subsequent events and received most of the credit,  but I’m sure that First Step did the heavy lifting4.

Arthur ostensibly works for Tri-City something, but I think it’s him and maybe his wife does the accounting.  He roves the community meal circuit and the drop-in centers to see what he can do. Mostly he ends up, honestly or dishonestly, executing The Model. He is highly resistant to thinking outside The Model.  When someone is so unyieldingly stubborn, there is little I can do for him.

1 I noticed her well before it became apparent that she was homeless – two and half years before she went into a shelter. Her round face peeking out from her long traditional African robe flowing in the breeze, she was handsome. She looked lost. I tried to help her find her way. I must tell you about it. So many stories, so little time.

2 I had met him when he came to the Lamont Library with her husband, but I did not make the connection. When I later tried to find Marty, First Step told me he had left. Just last night, The Advocate, who knew him, told me that he went back to California to rejoin his wife. Sometimes things work out.

3 Making generous allowances for the fact that he is an administrator, Dr. Counter is a decent person. He quite rightly suspected that I had confused the Angela Davis who visited Harvard to elucidate the prosecutorial misconduct in the case of the Jena 6 with the Angela Davis of the Black Panther Party.  He unconfused me – on that point, at least.

4 I don’t know whether Harvard administration compensated the City for getting their butts out of the wringer. The negotiations around Payment in Lieu of Taxes [PILOT] take place privately between the most powerful person in the City Government, City Manager Bob Healey, and somebody who is several levels below The President and Fellows.

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