Community listening project returns to Point Roberts

Mental health counselor Maureen Buckley is taking her listening skills to the street, restarting the successful Sidewalk Talk program she began in early summer.

“People came each time, regular wonderful people,” Buckley said of the half a dozen Sidewalk Talk sessions she held from May through July. “Everybody came with concerns and worries and felt better after they left. It’s normal to want to talk and it’s normal to feel better after you do.”

The community listening project Sidewalk Talk began in San Francisco and has spread to 13 cities in the U.S and abroad. The premise is simple. Volunteers, mostly mental health professionals, set up two chairs on city streets and are available to listen to anyone who wanted to talk. “When I found out about it I thought how wonderful it would be to do it here,” Buckley said. “I loved the idea of just being out there to listen.”

Her next Sidewalk Talk will be on Sunday, September 25 starting at 1 p.m. on the east side of the community center. Look for the bright green chairs.

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