There are experiences, challenges and situations that bond us together and other experiences that, at times, draw us farther apart. When put in crisis situations, these two counterparts tend to be magnified and often, more compelling. One of the most remarkable things we witness here at Friendship House is the overwhelming presence of unification and community in the face of great struggle.
We see people who are young, people who are old, people who are heart broken, people healing, people lost, and people found. However, one thing remains true about every person we encounter: their story is truly and unmistakably unique to them.
With this diversity, we encounter an expected amount of pushback. People disagree, people argue, people don’t always cooperate. After all, we are expecting 24 strangers to live cohesively together in each home. Not everyone is going to have the capacity for understanding and kindness at all times.
Despite the often turbulent road, our residents find a community of people with shared experiences who are all on a united journey to heal. While their story is exclusive to them, their histories often parallel and many even overlap. We regularly share our weekly highs and lows with one another at house meetings. Our lows are stories of abuse, addiction, conflict, and fear that are released from the individual. While our highs are stories of triumph, resilience, and perseverance, which are celebrated as a group. Friendship House is a place where judgment is shadowed by overwhelming understanding.
For the staff, hearing the highs and lows from each resident is a highlight every week. We hear their powerful stories and we are inspired. We hear their challenges and we relate. We are all in this journey together, a shared struggle that is the human condition. We remain unified to succeed.
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