Monday, April 25, 2011

Virginia Street Project

Halloween party, Ginny Cutler, ??, Nikki Chrisman, me

Mark, Jeremy, Charity and Natalia at the same party
Stockton Ave, where VSP use to be

in front of DTMHC Me, Ginny, Karen Wrinkle, Dr. K, Nikke, ??,Alexis Horozon, Kelly Laur, ??, Gary Goldberg, Art Lhowe

employee of the month VSP

VSP and board of supervisors (Ron Gonzalez, Rod Diridon, Mike Honda)
When I started working for Santa Clara County, I worked for Virginia Street Project, an intensive case management program.  The idea behind the program was to work intensively with mentally ill clients who had been in the hospital multiple times.  There was a reserch project comparing this project to other case management programs Community 'Companions and Downtown Mental Health.  The research provided evidence the intensive program kept people out of the hospital, and saved the county money in the long run.  However it was a very intensive project, with and average of 15 clients per worker. We had psych techs and occupational therapist, in addition clinicians and psychiatrist.

When I started with the county, we were located on Stockton Ave.  They had been on Virginia Street before this.  After about six months we moved to the Downtown Mental Health, as security was a problem.  It was a warehouse, with no rear exit. 

As a result we were given more and more cases.  The developer of the model visited with us, and was saddened that his model was almost non-existent.  Virginia Street Project was folded into Downtown Mental Health as part of a reorganization process. 

Our boss, who was very much invested in the project, passed away shortly before the program folded.  She had a relapse of cancer and didn't survive.  Kelly Laur and I sang at her funeral.

As a side note, Kelly signed for my hours when I got my clinical liscensure.  Nikke had been my supervisor, but as she passed away, was unable to sign.

My Dad, the Scoutmaster.

This is the sleeve from my dad's scout uniform when he was the scoutmaster in Carbondale, Ill.  We had some pretty good times.  I was actually in two scout groups at the same time; Blazer Scouts and the regular troop.  We had a total of 10 boys in the regular troop.  At scout camp we were the only troop with just one patrol.  We did a week long summer camp, but were the most unprepared scouts in the world.  We forgot matches, so had to keep the fire going just enough all night so it would lite in the morning from the embers.  My dad couldn't get off work some of the days, so we were on our own during the day.  That was usually OK because we were very busy.  However one day a couple of the boys got into a fight.  It was pretty touch and go for a time.  Someone from the camp office visited us that day.  

We would hold our regular meetings in the primary room at our church.  It was a small church which didn't have a gym like some churches have. 

The set up was to my benefit.  I was able to get my basic scout requirements done in the Blazer patrol.  While in the regular troop I completed four required merit badges; two at summer camp--swimming and conservation of natural resources.  We also finished personal fitness and first aid.  There were members of the branch that taught these two courses.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Wardles and the Neuberts Visit Steve Young

Some time ago, when the Neuberts were still living in the ward (maybe 15 years ago) we were invited to San Francisco 49ers training facility and to meet Steve Young.  Marie Neubert called Sheri wit the invite.  Bryce Neubert, Marie's brother-in-law is a singer and personality in Utah and the Mormon community.  At the time they were putting together an infomercial, informative video, with regards to a group home program out of Utah, and Steve Young was going to be a personality on the program.  They needed children, with whom Steve Young could interact.  We were asked to bring whatever sports equipment we could find.
I found a Denver Broncos football, a soccer ball, and I think another football, but smaller.  We were informed that Steve had sustained a groin injury in the game the previous day, and we weren't to bug him about getting his autograph or such stuff.  Steve rejected the Bronco football, but started kicking the soccer ball to the kids.  My boys, enjoyed this part.  They were big into soccer. 
He then took the other football and started tossing it to the kids.  He tossed a pass to Natalia, who was never my most coordinated child.  However she focused, and actually caught the ball.  She did not catch it in the most graceful manner, as she made an ice cream cone catch, only grabbing the football by its end, with a lot of the ball showing.  But she was very proud of herself. I was proud of her too.
Always since, we have been able to say, Natalia caught a Steve Young pass.  His part with the kids did not last long, and they had gotten all the film they needed.  Bryce then interviewed Steve Young on some bleachers apart from the rest of us, and it was pretty much done.

49er training facility from the ACE Train
I could not tell you the name of the group home, nor did I ever see the finished video.  I don't know if the finished product included Natalia's catch.  But that catch is imprinted in my brain, and I can play it back when I need a smile.