ShelterCare Quarterly Newsletter: Spring 2015

IMG_6591New Lobby Creates a Safe Space and Special Moments

Since opening our doors in October, Jessica Johnson has been the warm, friendly face greeting everyone who comes to ShelterCare. Recently, Jessica transitioned to a new position, Supported Housing Office Manager. During her time in the front lobby she witnessed many special moments. Here are a few stories from Jessica’s seat at the front desk.

Hope can entail help, empathy, compassion, direction or purpose. At times, all it takes to give hope is a friendly smile and caring ear. At the front desk I was not only able to be a part of this mission, but I could observe hope as it happened. I found this experience to be nothing shy of awe-inspiring. More often than not, I was our client’s first experience at ShelterCare. Not only was this a big responsibility, but it was an honor as well.

Stories That Inspire

Asking for help can be a humbling and uncomfortable experience for many. A woman came to my counter speaking in a whisper so that others would not overhear. I looked her in the eyes and assured her that sometimes the hardest part was telling someone you need help. and that she was brave for being able to do so. This woman broke into tears and talked to me at length about how she had found herself in this situation. I reassured her that any of us could find ourselves in a similar situation and that she should hold her head high.

People fall upon hard times for a multitude of reasons. Our Homeless Prevention Program gives those in need a hand up. One man, a military veteran, came in need of assistance quicker than we are typically able to accommodate. Rather than directing him to the standard channels, our main screener, Eddie, came out to the lobby and sat down beside him to discuss his specific situation. Eddie was able to prevent eviction and keep this person from homelessness that very day! Although this is amazing in and of itself, what happened next is what was sincerely moving. This man stood up and thanked Eddie for helping him. Eddie shook his hand, looked him in the eye, and said, “You are welcome sir, and thank you for your service to our country.” I was immediately humbled by such a profound moment of mutual respect and hope.

I am honored to be part of an organization that not only provides hope, but serves it up with a healthy dose of dignity.

– Jessica Johnson | Supported Housing Office Manager

To read the full newsletter click here.

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