When women decide to leave an abusive relationship and come to Women's Community House for shelter and support, even though they are now in a safe place, there are the challenges of dealing with emotions and finances, feelings and fears, working through tough stuff and learning to live in a new environment with many other women and children. Working with the residents as a residential counsellor at Women's Community House can also be challenging and tiring and those special moments where a counsellor gets to celebrate a breakthrough with a resident or encounters an amazing day with the women and the children warms the heart and energizes for the next shift. Recently, a counsellor at our Clarke Road shelter shared a celebration moment with staff, which we wanted to share with you, the reader. The counsellor wrote:
I just wanted to share a little shelter magic from today!
Today, we had every woman in shelter in a pod together with the children who were old enough crafting....for hours....like 5 of them [hours]. They made bracelets out of clothing found in the donation room. They created some 3D hearts off of Pinterest. And then they did some paintings....and decorated the pod.
On my last security check, every resident was in the same pod hours later, some sitting around in a room with snacks, the others watching television....together.
So many different women, so many different journeys, different ages, different cultures and languages....different life stories....all together, sharing space and energy....all day.
Today was a beautiful day. Today reminded me why I do this work (that is at times tiring and can be thankless)....these women and this place. I am thankful for shifts like today where we have the time to truly connect with our residents and get to know them!