Roots and Branches: Reflections from Sister Mary
As I recall the cramped quarters of that patchwork first shelter in the locker room of a vacant recreation center a quarter century ago, I can hardly believe all that has happened. Words can hardly contain all the chapters in this ever unfolding story of Project HOME – successes and failures, struggles and breakthroughs, hard-learned lessons, a little more drama than we bargained for, and always, always, those moments of grace.
We have learned many lessons over these 25 years. One of those lessons is that each of us has a role to play, and that this work is only possible through the contributions of each person. The mission of Project HOME can only come to life because of the diverse community of people who offer their myriad gifts and skills and resources.
From our earliest days, our residents have been our mentors, our colleagues, and our friends. They continue to teach us powerful lessons about human dignity, about the possibility of transformation, about our best selves. And over the years, we have had so many crucial partners who have shouldered the burdens, taken the risks, and helped do the hard work of turning visions into possibilities. We have been blessed by talented staff, energetic volunteers, committed and engaged trustees, unbelievably generous donors, all of whom have embraced this mission and given so much of themselves. Managing properties and real estate, ensuring compensation and well-being of staff, overseeing complex IT systems, managing fiscal resources, going out on the streets day after day to build trusting relationships with some of our most struggling sisters and brothers – almost miraculously, it all gets done.
Countless people toil behind the scenes, taking responsibility and undertaking the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis – all with the end goal of empowering people and families and communities to break the grip of homelessness and poverty. Ending homelessness will take all of us doing our part. It begins by simply choosing to care, to affirm human dignity, and to believe that we can build a different society in which each person has what he or she needs to flourish and contribute.
We are exceedingly grateful to all of you who have shared that vision during these past 25 years, and helped turn that vision into reality. And we are grateful for all of you who are new to our community, for spreading the vision and empowering us to continue this work and accomplish even more in the years to come.