Local 888 member Peter Cavicchi wrote this month's Member Spotlight column about two of his coworkers at the Boston Public Health Commission.
Counselors Phazon Martin and Mike Parkinson returned from working the Outreach Team at the Southampton St. Shelter. Mike and Phazon both stand six feet tall with strong muscles and keen minds.
Their actions kept five homeless people from overdosing on Boston's tough streets. Mike described working from August to November, his hands squeezing the Narcan syringe in the nose of a near-death person.
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Pictured above is just one of the many holiday displays that custodian Doug Bowen creates every year for the Weymouth Schools. Bowen says, "I enjoy building the displays and I try to come up with new ways to outdo myself. Of course I want to give the kids a 'wow' factor, but for me it's really all about the 'smile' factor! Their smiles make it all worthwhile." Bowen is the Weymouth Local 888 chapter chair.[/caption]
Phazon has been with the Commission for 9 months full time and Mike has been working the last year full time. They receive satisfaction in helping other people, the drug dependent and homeless. They have empathy for them and their difficult circumstances. Mike and Phazon volunteered for the outreach positions. They broke the ground for this new program.
Mike and Phazon walk into a neighborhood to meet with homeless people hanging out and living outside. They develop positive, nonjudgmental relationships with the goal of keeping people safe and helping to ensure they can get access to drug and alcohol treatment. They deal with overdoses and medical emergencies.
The BPHC Outreach Program was developed as a pilot program. Mike and Phazon's successful work enabled the Outreach Team to become a permanent program for the City of Boston. Mike and Phazon recently returned to work as Counselors at the 450-bed Southampton Street Shelter.
Mike and Phazon really demonstrate the highest attributes for Counselors – and union members -- at the Boston Public Health Commission.
A special shout out to our Local 888 staff rep, Mari Cooney!
Do you know a member who is making a difference in your union or community? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a future Local 888 Member Spotlight.