I just read an article on Slate which details the death of Alvin Cote, a man known as Saskatoon's town drunk. It reminded me a bit of my hometown. It was largely poor, and there were a lot of drunks. But there were two men who drank a lot, who, like Alvin, had underlying trauma and likely mental illness. The town really took care of them. Neither of them had living relatives. Someone, somehow, got them involved with the right kind of social services and got them both apartments near the county health department, and the staff there made sure that they took their medicine every day. If they didn't come by the health department, someone would walk over and knock on their door. Like Alvin, they were much beloved. They had nicknames; a local artist painted a mural of them. They were characters in that small town's story, and people in town really stepped in when they needed help.
Small town life made me very unhappy, but it's really lovely to reflect upon how that place that I hated so much really did some good things.