Dear Inner Circle,

Heroin appears to be purer than it has been in recent times with the shocking consequence of overdose and death. A young bloke was with us yesterday, making real progress and expressing hope because he could begin to believe in a constructive path ahead. This morning he died. I sat with staff who openly wept. Apologies were offered to me for the tears, but in truth, if ever what was best about Wayside could be materialised and bottled, it would be those tears.

We take things personally here. If we were losing 'clients', perhaps we’d be less hurt by our losses but when we lose someone, we lose a ‘brother' or a ‘sister'. Another staff member was in my office just minutes ago, struggling to come to terms with this particular loss. He told me that the deceased man had last night asked him for a cigarette on his way home. The staff member roused him for putting him in a situation where he was asking him to break a Wayside rule, but he gave him a cigarette anyway. It was probably his last cigarette. Our staff member may have been off side with our rules but he was right in the centre of wisdom. It’s not often a staff member shares with me that he found comfort in breaking our policies.

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