by TJ Swanson, Housing & Program Associate

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family reunion 1Last month, Safe Haven and Catholic Charities hosted a Family Reunion for past and present clients. It had many of the trappings of a classic family get together, from yard games, basketball, arts & crafts to home cooked greens, plenty of crock pots and goofy uncle jokes. Over lunch families that hadn’t seen each other in months as well as those meeting for the first time swapped stories and shared videos of children’s school performances while giggles and basketballs could be heard from the gym. Afterwards the adults gathered with staff to discuss where clients are now and celebrate their success. From graduations, professional licensing, children choosing from MULTIPLE colleges, and first time bank accounts. The resiliency and strength of our families not only brought tears from friends and staff but hope for current clients who are just beginning their journey to a better life. The true beauty of these gatherings doesn’t come from the success of our organizations, but from the power of the clients and their ability to take what life has given them and make a story more powerful than any we could tell on our own. They are the ones who hold the keys to the doors confronting them, we simply hold their hand as they turn the lock.