June 4, 2020 — Walk-In’s home at 24th Street and Chicago Avenue still stands just as it did 51 years ago, when we opened to be an oasis for every person who came through our door. 1969 was a tumultuous time, a bit like now.
The horrific killing of George Floyd happened in our neighborhood. The protests, marches and all that has come with them are right here, too, and throughout our larger society. Walk-In opened as a response to inequitable access to counseling services. We are still here to provide free support and healing for everyone experiencing trauma, pain, grief or anxiety.
From up close, we see in many clients the devastating effects of inequity, poverty, and systemic racism. These forces do tremendous harm to black people and other people of color. And they harm everyone else as well. As therapists know, none of us is separate from the world around us. Trauma’s effects ripple outward.
Through this time, a constant source of hope for us has been our incredible cadre of volunteers. These professionals show up daily, often after a full day at work or school, to give their time to others who are suffering. They’ve adapted to a pandemic, learning how to provide support by phone or video instead of in person. They have constantly asked how they can do more.
None of us can control tomorrow’s events; we can only control our own actions. As each of us decides how to respond to what’s happening around us, we would do well to be guided by the compassion, determination, and sense of justice that we see each day in Walk-In’s volunteers.
(The picture above is of one volunteer team, taken when services were still in-person.)
— Mary Weeks, Executive Director; Heather Martens, Development Director; Jan Ginsberg, Clinic Director; Pang Chang, Director of Volunteers; Gary Schoener, Director of Consultation and Training