Time to cut the cord. Whenever you start serving at a motel, your intent is to stay there forever, serving the clients as they come and go in whatever way is best for them. You want to commit to them in a way that the rest of society is reluctant to commit to anyone or anything. You want to be the one constant your clients can depend on, in their very uncertain world.
For the most part, this really is what happens. You can start serving in a motel and before you know it, you look back and realize you’ve been serving there for fifteen years or more. You’ve seen thousands of people come and go, and you remember the majority of them fondly.
Unfortunately, every once in a while you may find yourself in a situation where you have to decide whether or not to keep serving a motel. Not because you care for the people any less, but because it has become downright dangerous for you to continue serving there.
If you find yourself in this position because clients are beginning to turn against you (for whatever reason-and they can be many and varied) you need to leave with a quickness. You may feel quite comfortable dealing with aggressive clients and situations, but you don’t have the right to put your volunteers or employees in that position. They signed on to serve the clients and assist you. They didn’t sign on to follow you into the jaws of danger. Even if they did, you don’t have the right to put them through it. They should not have to perform their duties in fear or apprehension.
The motels are inherently dangerous. We know that. Lovely families with children live next door to pedophiles, child molesters, sex offenders, drug dealers and meth labs. It’s unavoidable. The difference is that the violence and danger is not directed against you and your organization personally.
When clients begin to become unhappy with the way you serve, what you serve, what you do or do not bring, and have expectations of entitlement that are hostile, you need to leave. You are no longer effective and in fact can be causing increased aggravation every time your clients encounter you.
Withdraw from that particular motel, with sadness of course, but with the knowledge there are many more motels left to serve, where you can do so effectively, and, while never danger free, at least with a lesser degree of danger aimed directly at you, your volunteers and employees.
Pick another motel that isn’t receiving any service at all and start over, where the people have been yearning and hoping for someone to come help.