A Southern Welcome

My life in the South changed after moving to Seattle, so returning to Baton Rouge was like going home. The staff’s wonderful smiles and concern for my needs reminded me of the Southern tradition of love. Love one another regardless of oneself.

The first day was rainy and humid, though I received a blessing of the thunderstorm. Since I am from Texas, thunder and lightning is in my heart, which was another example of feeling at home. The week before I arrived, the team in Baton Rouge sent me their idea for the mural. They suggested a river and snow capped mountains on the biggest wall, and the heritage of the Old South was on the smaller wall, featuring the original courthouse and the river bank.

There was not a single day where I did not have food brought to me and staff helping me to do anything, all while being on top of the highest quality of guest care. The trip was one of those that I did not want to end, since like all the RI facilities, everyone sees the purpose of our mission of care to those in crisis.

Lucy Schwartz

Lucy is a Peer Recovery Specialist at RI International and has spread her mural magic in RI International crisis facilities across the United States.