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Through the Looking Glass

June 14, 2010
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Every Monday I sit in a poorly air conditioned, glassed in office and answer phone and greet visitors for Interfaith Homeless Network.  The phones are relatively quiet and there aren’t too many visitors.  I play on the internet all day and get a lot of piddly stuff done that gets lost in the shuffle of home life the rest of the week. 

Interfaith does a lot of things.  They are a homeless day center.  They help their families (its families only that they help) find housing, get on public assistance, get into school, find jobs, just get a leg up in society where many people shut a door in their face.  I love volunteering here. Over all.

There is one aspect I do not like.  They are understaffed.  Because they are understaffed, the people who do come in, normally have to wait quite a while before they get seen by the one case manager.  They get angry with me.  Their children get h0t (did I mention the poorly air-conditioned office?), hungry and fussy.  The moms get embarrassed by their children, hot and fussy themselves.  It creates for a hostile waiting area sometimes.

My desk looks out onto a parking lot that is shared with an empty warehouse. Not a breathtaking view for most people but some days it sure is to me.

Today was one of those day: the case manager had one person in her office doing an intake interview to see if she would be accepted into the program and four people waiting on her: two mothers and two children.  One very hungry young boy and one very patient alibiet hungry teen.  The waiting room was grumpy.

Then the young girl who was in with the case worker came out.  She was finished with her appointment.  I watched her walk through the glass doors and out into the hot sun.  I watched as she did a happy dance and rejoice with her arms waving in the air.  She made it into the program!  A chance at making it out of homelessness.

I watched through the looking glass as someone’s life changed today.

by OH Photography

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jonie permalink
    June 22, 2010 10:02 am

    Love your blog.

    See you on THL!


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