My work is in transition again. At the beginning of this year, I was one of three staff supervising the seniors group at St. Vincent de Paul’s day program for mentally-challenged adults. This was a continuation of the job I had been doing for the past three years in the program since my 16 year stint in St. Vincent’s Electrical Shop program. My first year at Vinnies was in its Woodwork shop program. So things were relatively stable for me in my two decade history. You can read below (in a previous entry) about the big change this year when I took on the voucher store. The store system couldn’t afford to keep the store running, so it was hoped that by implementing a work experience program there, my program could adopt the store and the needy of Victoria would still have this resource. It would also solve the problem of not having qualified supervision and a structured program for the 3 mentally-challenged people who work in our downtown store system. So there came job number two for me this year. But it was too good to last. The funding didn’t come together, so the work experience program never got off the ground. Without this program, there was no reason for my program to pay for me to staff the store. So a couple of weeks ago, a store cashier took over the staffing of the store. I was initially supposed to transfer to the main thrift store across the street so that I could start a program to answer the supervision issues of the mentally-challenged. But then management crunched the numbers and discovered that the funding that we get to care for these three people was insufficient to pay for my salary. So they proposed a compromise. Now I’m working three days a week at my old location, and two days downtown on my new program. Job number 3 of 2009. This compromise job has one big bonus for me. The seventy people at the main centre are like family to me, so I’ve missed them in the six months that I’ve been downtown (and they’ve missed me!) Now I get to spend time with them again. I may just help out wherever I’m needed since I’m there just three days a week. That’s fine. It gives me variety in my work, and it gives me a chance to work with more of my old friends. I’m still in the process of putting together a calendar of activities and outings for my 3 friends downtown. It will be nice to continue to work with them too. But I’m working there for two days and only am going out with them once a week for an hour or two. The rest of the time, I’m helping out in the store. This is a bit dull. Hopefully I can find a way to make it more interesting. It’s tragic that I can’t continue my relationships with the poor and the homeless that I developed in the six months at the voucher store. It would have been great if I could have continued that work. I got to know many people by name, and it was very rewarding to see how I was able to help them. But it was unsustainable, so those six months will just be a happy memory.