Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the new life.

As many of you know, I recently made a big move back to my home town for a new job. I like to refer to the new job as saving the world, because on a small scale that's what I feel my work is about. 

I've been there almost two months now, and am feeling a bit like I have the lay of the land. Essentially what our non-profit does is assists people in several different ways to prevent them becoming homeless. 

My job (so far) seems to be a big mixture of things at different steps of this process. I inspect homes to make sure they meet basic needs. I meet with people to hear their story and figure out how we can best assist them. I do lots of paperwork. I visit our family shelter to answer questions our clients might have. I help people find affordable places to live. I talk to landlords. I do more paperwork.

And here is what I've learned so far:

*Although my skin became real thick, real fast, there are some stories that are impossible to not take home. It doesn't mean I am soft. It means I have a soul.

*I have to--quite literally--guard my heart. It sounds terrible but I can't let all of the stories sink in. I can't let my mind completely process it, otherwise I'd never leave my desk because all I'd be thinking about is how the nice young man with the four adorable little boys doesn't have anywhere to sleep tonight.

*Some people do try to work the system. Some people don't. I have to have compassion for both because either way, they still need some kind of help.

*The power of eighteen passionate and strong woman can be intimidating. But it also is changing the world and inspiring me more every day.

*I cannot help everyone. I can try and save them, but it is not my job to change behavior. I can do all that I can, and that's enough.

As you can see I'm learning a lot and it seems like it all changes every day. Hopefully you all don't feel like I've dropped off blogging world--there's just a lot going on!

On another note, thanks to Aunt Barb and my mom who both made a donation for the Greater Kalamazoo Holiday Food Drive! I have a whole trunk full of stuff now. Please let me know if you would still like to donate--only about a week and a half left!

Be the change. Make the difference.


  1. You are so very wise, and I am very proud to be your Mom! LYWB

  2. You are an incredibly special person, Jess. I understand all of these tactics very well and they are all equally important to remember as you continue on this path of changing individual worlds every day. You rock, keep it up!