As I was driving to work, I saw my soon-to-be New Foundations participant literally dancing down the sidewalk beaming with a smile from ear to ear. I knew it was going to be a good day. What keeps me in this line of work are the meaningful interactions that fill my soul and one of my favorite experiences working with people is always move-in day.
Two weeks prior to moving in she was generally cheerful but her eyes were heavy with stress. Today her eyes were bright, her smile bigger, and her step was purposeful. As a New Foundations participant she will be starting college, saving money, and building on her life skills.
When we interviewed her for the program she was living in a shelter. She expressed that one of the challenges for communal living is that her youngest son likes to grab a healthy snack whenever he is hungry (he likes oranges and bananas best!). She is raising her kids to have independence and wants them to be able to eat healthy foods when they are hungry. But with a shared kitchen space, he can't have that freedom.
On move-in day, he walked around checking everything out. He flopped on the bed and then bounced off to check out the kitchen. He found a bunch of bananas his mom had just bought and looked up with wide eyes, a grin, and said "I'm going to have a snack!”. My heart filled with the kind of joy that only comes from human interactions like this one. Welcome home little buddy.