Soldiering for Social Work

Posted on Saturday December 20, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

 My Snow Covered Car My Snow Covered Car

Since the massive snow storm in Spokane, I have felt a little bit like a soldier going to work. I have also seen some things take place that I do not think where right. On Wednesday, 12/17/08, the snow started coming in heavy. I found myself staying much later at work, something I have found myself doing a lot lately, because of an open house at the Crisis Residential Center (CRC). Even with all of the snow, we still had a couple of people show up. When I was finally ready to leave there my car was completely covered, just like the roads all over Spokane. I was lucky though. Before leaving, we had to deal with some crisis’. Many of the youth who live at our center ride the buses back and forth to school. These buses just stopped running due to the snow. The STA choose to just drop our youth off at different bus stops or park and rides. I really must say that this made me very angry. I felt it was so wrong to just leave our kids. Many of them didn’t have cell phones, they tried calling us collect because they didn’t have any money for a pay phone.

If you can imagine a young, 13 year old, who doesn’t know their way around Spokane. Not having money or a cell phone, and not knowing where she was between where she was dropped off and the center. I can only imagine how afraid some of our kids were. I left before all of our kids had made it back, because I had already been there for 12 hours.

I was awakened early in the morning, being asked to come in for an extra shift. My car was completely snowed into the parking lot. I decided to take the bus to work, and was lucky enough to catch the last bus that would be running. This bus dropped me off downtown, making my walk only a half hour. The next morning I wasn’t so lucky. There where no buses running. Walking to work, meant trudging though the snow for almost one and half hours. I left my house just a little bit after 5:30 in the morning… much too early for my tastes. I would rather get off work that early in the morning then leave for work then. As I was getting ready these two morning, I couldn’t help like feeling like I was a soldier suiting up for war. I was getting ready for whatever would happen.

 A cartoon of the non-profit sector with A cartoon of the non-profit sector with “Give Something Back” written on vending machine. This cartoon was taken from Cartoon Stock

Both trudging thought the snow to work, hearing my coworkers experiences during the snow, and seeing how willing to help many of my coworkers were made me think about something. With the CRC being a non-profit, non of us get paid very much. I make less now with my BA in Social Work, than I did before I earned my AA degree. I wonder how many of the employees at DSHS would have walked to work. I think there is something about the non-profit community organization sector that instills more passion for the work that they do then is in the public social work sector.

Please hear me, I’m not saying that people who work for the state, or other such positions are not as passionate for the clients that they work with. I just think that is a different view point from people who work form community-based non-profit organizations then those who work in the public sector. Really, I am just amazed with the people that I work with and the extra hours I see them put in whether or not they get compensated for them.

Information Overload

Posted on Saturday December 13, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

I’m not exactly sure if it’s information overload, but getting off work tonight I felt like my brain was going to explode. I woke up this morning to go to a meeting with my research group mates. We needed to prepare for our Institutional Board Review meeting regarding our research project. We are looking into the effectiveness of one of the programs where I work. It should be really interesting when everything is all said and done.

The Institutional Review Board meeting was really interesting and got into a lot of really great information. We have a number of edits to make, but all of them are fairly minor. I really believe that the many hours me and my group have put into our project were well spent in creating a great product. After deciding to get together first thing tomorrow to make a majority of the edits, I was off to home to send a flurry of emails and then to work.

I got to work over a half hour early, but I guess that I should have gotten there much earlier. I’ve been working in some off time on creating a database in MS Access to store information on various grants. It’s been kind of cool to spend time working with databases, because it’s not an area I have a lot of experience in yet. Anyways, as soon as I came in, I was demonstrating and talking about the database. As my shift started, I took a minute to prepare for my family session that I would be facilitating. This family is the first that I will be working with all the way through. It went well, but the rest of the day seemed non stop. Leading group felt like a failure… but I guess that happens sometimes and it is really difficult to try to teach a group of teenagers about taking responsibility for themselves.

All in all, I guess I’m just a bit tired and ready for to actually seem like winter break. Maybe next week, but I wouldn’t be too sure about that. I also heard an interesting story on NPR (well, actually I think it was Australia’s public radio) about a website that Australia just started. It’s called Talking Works. It’s a pretty interesting idea. The website is basically to reach out to youth in Australia who are “missing,” i.e. ran away from home or something like that. I don’t think that we have anything as youth focused here in the states, and I liked the format of the site. I wonder if it would be something that might be productive to have here in the US.

Legislative Breakfast

Posted on Thursday December 11, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

 A stock photo of breakfast. A stock photo of breakfast.

My mom keeps telling me that I will need to change my sleeping schedule to more regular hours as I enter into more professional arenas. Waking up at 6:30 am this morning I decided that this is probably true. I got up before there was light this morning so that I could attend Children’s Alliances’ legislative breakfast in Spokane. This event both provoked me to better service and gave me a better perspective on on the shape of Washington’s economy.

The event took place at the Native Project’s wonderful facilitates. I got the opportunity to see many people who I have worked with from the School of Social Work at Eastern, Juvenile Court, and YFA Connections. Senator Lisa Brown also came and spoke.

We spent time looking at what Principles are needed for budget decisions in tough times. I found it particularly powerful to hear Representative Timm Ormsby described one of his views on budgets. He said that the things that we choose to fund in our budgets really show our values. The lobbyist for Children’s Alliance, Teresa Mosqueda explained their five legislative focuses for the 2009 legislature. Lisa Brown talked about the six billion budget shortfall that Washington State is looking at and some of what that might mean for social service organizations.

 The Line Up is a graphic that I made in Adobe Photoshop ( see the [PSD File](/assets/media/micro-mezzo-macro-root-help-photoshop-file.psd) ). It is to showcase the importance of helping the individual and the fixing the root of the problem when working with people. In  Social Work  we call this working at the Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels. The Line Up is a graphic that I made in Adobe Photoshop ( see the PSD File ). It is to showcase the importance of helping the individual and the fixing the root of the problem when working with people. In Social Work we call this working at the Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels.

One thing that I did not hear talked about was adolescents. There was a lot of focus regarding young children and there needs, but seemed to be lacking care for teenagers. The only lobby focus that Children’s Alliance is having regarding teenagers would be health care coverage for every child by 2010 and foster care reform. Neither of these are focused on adolescents, they would just be helped as a type of by product. I firmly believe in programs focused on young children. This will elevate the need for some services when they become adolescents. This is a sort of macro focus for working with adolescents. We need to solve some of the issues that cause them to need services later in life. This is vital, but just as vital is to help those at risk youth now (a kind of micro and mezzo focus). We have a responsibility to continue to provide services to those who are right in front of us.

So… It Starts Again

Posted on Saturday November 29, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

 My yard in Spokane all snowy. My yard in Spokane all snowy.

I guess I can say that it officially starts again. Winter is upon us. First I must say that I have been thankful for a lot of things this year. Two things I was especially thankful was that I could go to see my family in Tacoma over Thanksgiving (Pictures on Facebook). Seeing as how I only had a couple of days off for Thanksgiving and will not have Christmas Eve, Christmas, or New Years Eve off this year… I was very happy to be able to see my family.

Me and my mom drove back to Tri-Cities, I helped her move a table and hung out with an old friend for a while. But as I got back to Spokane, I started seeing a bunch of fog… and then some white stuff on the ground. I guess I kind of expected to come back and see snow on the ground, but was not excited. Maybe I can go sledding soon, but as for driving around I’m not excited.

Stupid Flash Debugging

Posted on Sunday November 16, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

I taught myself xHTML, CSS several years ago. Since then I have learned some PHP and JavaScript, VisualBasic, and C++. The newest thing that I have been working on is Fash. It’s been really interesting, but I don’t think I have a great grasp on action script and I can even fail at following a Tutorial on creating a gallery. I like to work though some things like this to take breaks from studying and other projects that I am working on. The final product was supposed to look like this tutorial gallery:

<iframe src="/assets/media/flash-gallery-tutorial-example.swf"></iframe>

  • Code no longer works for embed

But mine (remember that some of it was quickly done… so isn’t as pretty) Flash Gallery Tutorial did not work:

<iframe src="/assets/media/flash-gallery-tutorial-try.swf"></iframe>

  • Code no longer works for embed

Anyways, I guess enough playing around with it today. I’ll have to go back though and see where I messed up later, I need to work on my literature review for my research project.

New Church Building

Posted on Wednesday November 12, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

 A screenshot of the  Victory Faith Fellowship  of a collage of photos regarding their new church facility. A screenshot of the Victory Faith Fellowship of a collage of photos regarding their new church facility.

My church, Victory Faith Fellowship, has been undergoing a lot of changes lately.

One huge leap of faith that we have made is in purchasing a new building. It has really been an amazing story of our church following after Gods dreams, which are bigger than anything that we could do ourself. It has really been a great ride so far. This Sunday, we will have our first meeting at 2024 N Argonne Rd.

My Website has Been in Every State, Plus Two

Posted on Tuesday November 4, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

Map of US Showing Locations of readers

Checking out my Google Analytics this morning, I realized that my website has been visited by people in every state this previous month. It’s like I can travel around the country (really the world for that matter) every month. My Analytics US Map Overlay tells me that I’ve had visitors from 52 states. One of the extra is unspecified and the other is Washington DC. I thought thought that it was a pretty cool thought. Also, it’s pretty cool that I got 1,412 visits this month. That number is pretty constant too. Someday I will probably upload monthly reports so other people can follow my traffic.

Fervent Retreat

Posted on Monday November 3, 2008 by Jacob Campbell.

  Fervent  Fall Retreat at  Camp Tshimakain, Ford WA  Fervent Fall Retreat at Camp Tshimakain, Ford WA

This weekend was the Fervent Victory Faith’s college age group called Fervent retreat. It was awesome. Unfortunately I did not get to go up for the entire event. I worked on Friday until about 1am. I got up there Saturday and it was pretty awesome. As Joe would say “I got saved.”

It has been a long time since I’ve really felt connected with church or even some sort of community. The last couple of years, I’ve had a number of groups that I got to build relationship with, but this year it’s been pretty dry. I have some friends that I hang out with at Eastern, but not nearly as much as when I lived on campus, or even last year when I hung out in Cheney quite a bit. I also haven’t really been to the Spokane Dance Company since I stopped doing the instructor training program. I just really haven’t hung out with people all that much the last couple of months. When I was in Europe, I met tons of people… but friends you make while traveling are way different then people you know more in-depth.

Needless to say, getting to hang out with a bunch of people at Camp Tshimakain was a very good thing. Joe’s word regarding community (and building relationship last Fervent meeting for that matter) was powerful to me and what I needed to hear. God is so good that way, he always meets us right where we are.

Thank you for everybody I got to hang out with at the retreat, it was the first time I’ve really felt connected in quite a while. It’s been really dry and you are all an encouragement to me. I appreciate all of you so much.

You can check out the Fervent Retreat Album from the retreat. Some great shots of the polar bear swimmers. I also uploaded some videos, The Polar Bear Plunge and Around the World… Play and Record.