Letter: Headquarters future

To the editor:

I fear for the future of Headquarters Counseling Center. The board of directors has taken an unwise, if not outrageous, move in voting to “separate” the director of the last 34 years with no advance planning whatsoever.

I had the privilege of working with Marcia Epstein for 15 years and seriously doubt that someone with her level of dedication, competence and understanding of the spirit of the agency can be found, and certainly not at the pay scale she willingly accepted. I am worried that the soul of Headquarters will be lost if it is swallowed by some larger agency or if the quality and availability of services are drastically cut.

The agency was birthed through direct, grassroots action and, against all odds, managed to preserve the best of these values even as the focus shifted more and more to suicide intervention. When it comes to hard questions regarding the future direction for Headquarters in dealing with a 50 percent budget cut, I trust Marcia’s judgment over that of any board, particularly a board where so few members have ever worked even a single shift there.

This is a travesty of not only what is right, but more fundamentally what is smart. Shame on you, Headquarters board of directors, for failing to maintain proper funding, for attempting to force solutions that compromise the spirit of the agency, and for “separating” Headquarters from its best hope for dealing with the crisis.