I was reading Kip Tiernan’s papers today and came across this from a 1975 newsletter about Rosie’s Place during its first year.
The compassion and respect shown are such a contrast to attitudes we witnessed in Washington this week.
I hope Kip’s words will lift our spirits and remind us of what is possible.
Two of our women died this winter. Alcoholism and the results of it. A small funeral service was held and we all went.
Indian Mary was killed by a car. She was out, drinking, got picked up, and dumped out of a car on the expressway. Some Indian women came to us for help.
Without a wake, a service, it cost a total of $500 to get Indian Mary back to her native land, Canada. We saw the plane off at Logan, the only time she ever rode anywhere in comfort, probably.
When one of our women gets sick and goes to the hospital, we visit her, send flowers, bring the things she needs or wants. Such a small thing, but to those who never receive flowers or visitors or gifts, it means a great deal.
Rosie’s is beginning to become something else. It is beginning to have an important meaning in the lives of those who come to us. We do take care of the basics. But we are trying to do other things as well. And we do to care if the place is jumping.
You cannot measure effectiveness in body counts.
We don’t keep records. We don’t ask questions. We don’t push. Or probe. Or have expectations of them. When we don’t see them for awhile we are concerned, and we do go out and look for them. When we don’t see them, we worry, but when they come back, we never ask them where they’ve been. We only tell them we are glad to see them and we missed them.