One thing that constantly impresses me about the residents and staff at this facility is the spirit of hope and optimism which seems to be the driving force behind the daily activities that take place here.
On any given day it can be felt as soon as one walks through the front door and is greeted by Maggie, one of our awesome day-time program assistants. Optimism and positive thinking are her trademark characteristics and she lends so much of this spirit to the residents living here, many of whom are facing extremely difficult life situations and who might have cause to feel anything but hopeful.
Many residents interact in very supportive ways and share their experiences of hopeful progress as they work through their difficulties and move towards permanent housing. Parents who use the family lounge offer assistance among themselves as they struggle with the monumental task of raising children when they often have scarce economic resources to do so. Those housed in the Veterans' Victory House program seem to share a similar spirit of cooperation and are able to form a bond with their fellow former service members.
One thing that nearly all of them do is encourage each other in countless ways and take action to lighten their neighbor’s load at every opportunity, guided by a hopeful spirit.
This spirit which is almost tangible on some days at TLC continues to amaze and inspires me. Recently I overheard a woman who was looking for information on how to become a resident at TLC, so she might solve her housing crisis. She asked Maggie if there was someone here who was an overall person in charge, someone who controlled everything who might be able to help her.
I knew the person she meant was Doug Hopwood, Divison Manager. So I was a little surprised at what came out of my mouth next because I had put no thought into it. In response to her question about who controlled things at TLC, I answered, “God.” She turned to me and smiled and said, “I like your spirit.”
I smiled to myself knowing that it was not my spirit but the spirit of an overarching power that is greater than any of us but which inhabits each of us, giving us the ability to face our own difficulties each day with hope and an expectant optimism.