Sometimes the work life of a reporter can be rough. The job typically has long, unconventional hours and can cover topics that aren’t always the most comfortable or easiest, emotionally.
What makes the job and all of its pitfalls worthwhile is when a story you write has an impact on the community — when a piece leads to change. I had one of those moments come up over the past few weeks.
About two weeks ago, I heard about the city of Sherman taking action against an established homeless camp along Peyton Street. The city had received permission from the property owner to enforce trespassing laws against the people living in the camp and have since razed the site and much of the wooded area surrounding it.
A week later, the city took similar acting against a second camp about a mile away behind the Ashley Furniture HomeStore.
From the beginning, I knew that this was going to be a special story that touched people. In the end, I was not wrong or disappointed.
In the days that followed, other reporters and I received several calls from people wanting to know more about the situation, or wanting to know what they could do to help. In some cases, people offered clothing or other supplies for the people who were displaced. In other cases, people wanted to know if there were any groups or efforts to assist the former members of the camp.
In a few cases, I received voicemails with no return number, so if I haven’t spoken to you, please feel free to each out again.
Meanwhile, online a conversation about the local homeless situation started. People were talking about the topic, and that is the first step to making a concentrated change.
There are days when I leave this newsroom exhausted, both mentally and physically. The job isn’t easy and most definitely isn’t one for everyone. However, the pay out for me is when I can look in the mirror and tell myself that I wrote something that ultimately will have an impact.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been rather comfortable when I look in that mirror.