Hope is in the Maybe.

July 31, 2014

I don’t exactly know how to do this.  How to introduce myself, via the internet, on a blog.  How to say, “I’m Rachel, and this is my thing.  I blog, and I love Village of Hope.  So I’m doing that now.”  I suppose I just did, though.  

Let’s try this again.  

I’m Rachel.  And I love Village of Hope.  I believe in this place, and what we do here.  So here I am, to hash it all out.  I really hope to be a new voice for this place.  Because I believe in it, and I love it.  Who I really am, and what I actually do, doesn’t matter so much in the grand scheme of things.  But in case you’re curious, I cook at a nursing home.  I love what I do, but I do it to finance the things that I really like to do.  Like working here at the Village, where I can write to my heart’s content.  And work to make this place better.  So I do that now.  

I love this place, because hope really matters here.  It’s not just a cool catchy title or something.  Hope means something around here.  To these people.  To this staff.  And to me.  Hope means something to me.  To us.  

So a while back, I read something that really got to me.  

There I was, sitting on face book.  Doing what most of us do, I think.  Scrolling through my news feed, mindlessly reading about the dietary choices, and little adventures of all my face book friends.  And I came across one of those pintrest things.  

You know the ones.  The cute little pictures that say something sweet by Mother Theresa, or someone awesome like that.  

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And there it was.  And I was mad.  Really, really mad.  

It looks awesome, doesn’t it?  

The fading night’s sky.  

The city lights.  

The cool, contrasting letters, that say the really awesome thing.  

We’ve all seen them.  We’ve all read them.  And on any given day, at just the right moment, maybe we even believed them.  

…But I was mad.  

I was mad, because it isn’t true.  

I was mad, because I think it’s a load of junk.  And I don’t buy it.  No, my cheesy pintrest addicts, I don’t buy it.  

Hope totally knows fear.  Hope knows just how ugly, and bad, and paralyzing fear can be.  But hope gets up.  Hope stands up, and refuses to be a victim.  Hope stares fear in the face and says, “Maybe…”.

Maybe it won’t be this way forever.
To the childless woman hope says, “Maybe I will get to be a mom.”
To the victim, hope says, “Maybe someday someone won’t hurt me the way he hurt me.”
To the jaded, hope says, “Maybe it won’t always go that way.”

To any person who has ever felt stuck hope says, “Maybe I can change.”  

And the truth is, I think that’s all of us.  

Maybe.

Hope is all wrapped up in the maybe.

It does not allow fear to paralyze  Instead, hope says, “I can conquer.  I will conquer.  I am a conqueror.”

Hope knows fear.  All too well, I think.  But hope refuses to let fear get in the way.  And I think that’s the point. Hope stands up, and stares fear in the face, and says, “Get out of my way.”

And it’s a battle.  The whole thing.  It’s one big fight.  Every day.  

We may come out of it a little banged up.  We might.  We might come out on the other side a little battered. And bruised.  And a little bit broken. 

But mostly okay.
And mostly on the mend.

Because we have hope.  

At Village of Hope, we’re about rehabilitating people from homelessness.  Giving hope.  Helping people to stand up, and face their lives.  And face their fear.  And change.  Really, really change.  

And we believe it’s possible.  

Hope takes us by the hand, and says, “Let’s try this again.”

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March 11, 2014

What an blessing to come to work and help children tell their story of homelessness and work to make their story end happily! Relationships is the key to stories in the present and in the future. Every person you meet has a story, Take the time to listen to them tell their story. You’ll be so glad you did.

I am Somebody

December 18, 2013

I have been reflecting on 2013 and all the amazing opportunities the staff and volunteers at Village of Hope have had to make a difference in the lives of families.  We see lives changed every day! We couldn’t do it without the people who partner with us, when you share your time, talent and money you give help for today and hope for the future.

I challenge you all to be somebody this next week and make a difference!

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December 18, 2013

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The little boy ran into my office today, crawled up on my lap, put his hands on either side of my face, looked me in the eye and said” I miss you”. He is very hard to understand but that came out loud and clear! After he left with our usual “See you later” I started to think about how and when we lose the ability as adults to  tell people what we really feel. To my friend and I we do not worry about labels or judgements or what is and what isn’t. We just are together. He knows I am so glad to see him and he’s glad to see me. I want to carry that feeling in every interaction I have with homeless families  and remember how I felt when we looked into each other’s eyes.

April 19, 2013

What can communities, agencies and the  governement- all   who are  fighting homeless learn from the Moon?

It was May 25th 1961 and President Kennedy, in a special address to congress on the importance of space announced the goal that before the decade is out , the nation should commit itself to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to earth.

What an bold statement!  He states” We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share” Lesson 1. Everyone deserves the right to safe and secure housing- as a free people we must fully share.
He goes on to acknowledge; “But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon-if we make this judgement affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. FOR ALL OF US MUST WORK TO PUT HIM THERE.”Lesson 2: A small group of individuals cannot achieve something so monumental- it will take all of us working together.Toward the end of his speech, President Kennedy said” This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, material and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts” Lesson 3: If it is important enough to do, it is important enough to do right with all the resources needed. Lesson 4: The President set the goal and stated it boldly for all the world to see.

I can’t believe that if we can put a man on the moon and return him safely- we can’t end homelessness.

 

April 15, 2013

Homelessness and Workforce Development

Investing in job training and skills that work to improve the employment status of homeless families presents a huge opportunity for impact. Studies show a return on investment as high as 9.00 per dollar invested! The majority of homeless people who currently are unemployed are working hard to find employment. It is a battle every day to find job opportunities when you are struggling with basic survival such as where will my kids sleep and what will we all eat?  Homelessness carries with it huge barriers to employment. Many people find themselves without education and basic skills to find and keep employment. 

Village of Hope Family Shelter have adults who truly want to “make things better for my kids” and “make a difference by working hard and doing the right thing”.