written by Paige Dobmeier, HoC client advocate
The other day, a man came into our office and was looking for some direction. He left, instead, with a connection. Coming from a local shelter, he wanted to know what his next step should be to find housing.
He shared his recent experiences with staying in shelters and the kind of unfortunate behavior he was experiencing from others, as well as the life circumstances that had left him homeless for several years.
When he left our office, he still had no certainty of finding housing soon, as he was still working to get connected to an agency. He did, however, leave with a warm smile. I believe that smile formed from having the opportunity to share a piece of his story and recent experiences with two people who took a few moments to listen.
I felt truly moved by the gratitude we received from him as the few minutes we spent with him was such a simple act. This man seemed more empowered to continue his journey because he received our time.
One aspect of my practice that I continue to try to improve every day is to listen better and show clients that they are heard.
I am still awed by these moments when I receive such gratitude for such brief encounters, because it represents how powerful the human connection can be when we take time to show others we see them and we acknowledge them, even if all we can give is a moment. I am often reminded by others that a simple smile or acknowledging someone personally can make all the difference to an individual who is in need of that connection, because at times that person is me.
This is why we have the opportunity to empower individuals at House of Charity; because we recognize that we are all connected through the common thread of humanity and everyone deserves the opportunity to work towards living the life they desire.
We value the time we spend with the people we serve because we recognize what a difference taking a few extra moments to connect with someone can make.