A noble act
We need some old-school virtues to deal with the circumstance that finds thousands upon thousands of people living in our streets and woods
The cover of this week’s issue of SN&R is all Anna Darzins. That is her smiling and hugging one of her many grateful clients, a homeless man named Mark. And those are her words quoted in the headline.
As you will learn in John Flynn’s feature article, Darzins works for Elica Health Centers, a nonprofit whose slogan is “Healing With Heart.” This organization was founded in 1979 to serve what was then a wave of Eastern European immigrants. Its name (pronounced “elitza” in Romanian) means “noble.”
Now, there’s a word we don’t hear much these days. Happily, the feudal age and its caste of nobility are mostly long gone. Sadly, the age-old virtue of nobility is no longer much in fashion.
Noble. Righteous. Honorable. Decent. We need these old-school virtues right now to deal with the circumstance that finds thousands upon thousands of people living in our streets and woods.
Yes, it can be frustrating and even frightening to feel as if our neighborhoods and parks have been overrun. We need to get beyond the frustration and fear. We need to find that “place of love” Anna Darzins speaks of.
Flynn and photographer Karlos Rene Ayala spent a bunch of time with Darzins and with the people she and the Elica street team serve. Like her, they found the humanity in these people, most of whom have been traumatized through no fault of their own. Their work was aided by News Editor Raheem F. Hosseini, who himself has spent a fair amount of time visiting with our most vulnerable neighbors.
This piece fired up some compassion in me and I hope it does the same for you.