Good Afternoon Team,

In the aftermath of the events of this weekend, I wanted to take the opportunity to address our response as an organization.  At the Wedge, our values include equal rights, freedom from oppression, and advocacy for those who are marginalized.  We stand with those who speak out against injustice.  We understand that, as Dr. King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard”; this reminds us that our most important role, as clinicians and as fellow human beings, is to listen.

The communities that we serve are most directly impacted not only by the injustice that was the subject of the peaceful demonstrations this weekend, but also by the violence and destruction that spread throughout the city.  We must appreciate that many of us and our members share the feelings of fear, anger, and confusion, and we must listen and advocate for our members’ rights and safety.

Because these events so directly affect our members, and because many of our members are survivors of trauma in varying degrees, we must be very sensitive and patient at this time.  Our work will be to help members address the trauma, to establish some ways to begin to cope, and to find a way to feel safe. 

It is my hope that our work will influence greater justice, unity, and safety.  We all will have a role to play in the healing process.

As for our operations, we are planning to operate as “normal” tomorrow, with our skeleton crews of support staff, nurses, and managers onsite.  The Operations Committee will be in constant contact as we watch for any  changes.  If there are any escalations in violence, we may close again and will announce this via email and phone-tree to staff who do not have email access.

I want to recognize our call center operators and managers who are answering calls and taking messages from home today.  We appreciate their efforts to connect our members to needed services, and on such short notice.  Please join me in thanking Kameelah, Rasheedah, and Takisa, in particular, for handling a majority of the calls.

I want to acknowledge our nurses, who are calling all OTP members who were due to medication today, and who are helping them to manage until they can come in tomorrow. 

Lastly, anyone who is carrying more than usual today, thank you for stepping up in a time of crisis.