As we wind down our studies at Stenberg so too comes the end of our last 2 weeks of practicum. As I have mentioned previously my practicum has been shared between the Drug User’s Resource Center (DURC) and Insite safe injection site. Both experiences have been phenomenal for me in the way of opening my eyes so widely to what things people on the Downtown Eastside. It also showed me what they have and that is both these centers. I am feeling quite sad actually at having to have to finish up and I do put more attention on DURC. I have found the place that I could actually find myself being a member of staff twenty five years from now. Of all of the places that I have done practicum experience the Drug User’s Resource Center has shown me absolutely everything that I believe in with regards to mental health and addiction. The much spoken about “Oppenhiemer Park” is located right outside the doors so in a figurative term you could say it was like being put on the front line except that you truly learn how widely stigma and marginalization are used without any research or insight(no pun intended) on the topic has been made. It is amazing how quickly people are to judge without getting to know any of these people at all. I believe that is a large learning experience for myself. If you want to now haw people are living go look for yourself, nothing anyone could ever tell you will make you feel what you do when you see the situation first hand. It makes me wonder a lot about the division of social classes, ahhh but will be a class for another day (again no pun intended).
The thing I found the most, again about myself, was how much I wanted to jump in and go with the flow and quite honestly at DURC that transition was very easy as there is a lot for people to do there. To explain a little more about DURC it is a center operated through the Portland House Society that helps people with all kinds of problems, social, mental and addictions. The members use DURC as a community center like teenagers would to find things to do. Very similar concept except for the most part adults hang out there. They can get small jobs such as hydration which involves two guys going around the neighbourhood with coffee and/or hot chocolate and water from a cart handing it out for free. Within the center they also have acupuncture, art and dance classes, grief and loss for men and women and spiritual drumming. It truly is amazing how much this center has to offer and I hope it shows how much I would love to be a part of DURC. I will be tracking this down for a place to work for sure. So when you look at things not only is it a learning experience for me but it’s an eye opening, mind opening and life opening experience. I live in Langley and use transit for means of transportation so truly if I don’t mind going all the way to the Downtown Eastside in rush hour transit I must like it a lot. So the overall Stenberg practicum experience has helped me realize what I believe in in the way of assistance and it has also shown me where I want to apply everything that they have taught me and truly what more can you ask for than that? I have been lucky and have been given an opportunity to really do what I want and I am going to follow that plan with all of my heart. I life will work out for many others as it may be appearing to work out for me. I still have a road to travel and it will take some time to get there and I appreciate that it truly is on the right track for improvement. I would just like to say thank you to my IPE Monitor (Michelle) for all of her help if at first I did not have her advice I may not be in this position today. I would also like to thank all the organizations for their acceptance of me as a student and their patience to show me how. Thank you all,