Focus on where you want to go not on what you fear

As a new employee here at Changing Homelessness I wasn’t sure what to expect during my first street count. Honestly, I was scared!

The thought that rushed through my mind was an unfortunate encounter I had more than 10 years ago in the Shultz Building elevator with a man I assumed was homeless.  I know in my heart not all people who are homeless are bad, but it took me taking a job in this field to realize how special they are.

The August Surge opened my eyes up to a whole new perspective on homelessness in general.

Since this was my first street count, I decided to observe how the experts interacted with people. And I must say it was an emotional roller coaster. I was overwhelmed with sadness to hear their stories, with happiness to learn their situations weren’t getting them down, and most of all love because I could see the strength they had in the hope that things would get better.

From what I have witnessed, the men and women who are homeless living on the streets all have stories to tell, sometimes heart wrenching and sometimes heartwarming, but no matter what they do their best. They deserve kindness. As I watched Dawn Gilman, our CEO, she interviewed people with such dignity and respect. She spoke calmly to them even if they began to shout. She never raised her voice and her presence, and demeanor seemed to soothe them. I was amazed at what I was observing!

Working at Changing Homelessness has educated and enlightened my spirit. I look forward to the Point-In-Time Count coming up in January. I will definitely be more than just an observer!

Author: Christina King, Changing Homelessness, Inc.

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