There’s a story about ScottCalling Last coming across a youngman who had been living outsidefor a long while and was clearlythe worse for it—filthy, crying andoccasionally yelling.
As Calling Last, a 17-year veteran
of street outreach, assessed the man,
he asked himself, “What would I do
if my son were in this situation?” The
answer came easily. “I would help
him get cleaned up.”
Calling Last arranged a hot shower,
change of clothes and wound care
for the young man at the Elbow
River Treatment Lodge in Calgary’s
Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre.
The next step was to arrangelifestyle counselling, self-carecoaching and social support
Street-level health care
Scott Calling Last helps one person at a time, one day at a time
Calling Last’s clients are oftenAboriginal people living withtrauma, abuse, addiction and poormental and physical health. They’reusually homeless—and need streetservices such as a needle exchangeor crisis counselling. Calling Lastknows part of his role is socialjustice—helping people at societaland individual levels.
“When I work with people, I first
check how they are doing that day
and then ask them to consider taking
a step toward improvement—as
they feel able to. It really is one day
at a time. It begins with dignity and
Social worker and ordained
Lutheran pastor Keith Loewen says
many would find Calling Last’s work
too daunting to consider. It takes
wisdom to know how and when to
assist and when to let go. It involves
creativity and working in a system
where supports are not always
Caring service is something otherssee in Calling Last. “He is a gift topeople who have been marginalized,”says Susan Scott, a Calgary-basedfreelance writer familiar withhomelessness.
“When he is out on rounds talkingwith someone, it becomes obviousthat the person he is helping feels likehe or she is special, the only personon the planet.”
— Scott Ranson