Those of us who represent First Light are often called upon to tell people what we do here. Stories or comments from the guests and volunteers can speak louder than things we say. What they say is often the most poignant way of describing what happens here at First Light or how it impacts them. From time to time, we will share some of their thoughts with you here.
Here is a recent entry from our Overnight Volunteer log (the volunteers are invited to make comments and share thoughts about spending the night here) : "Tonight was smooth sailing! I was quite nervous when I arrived, but the women couldn't be more helpful. I'm floored by how quickly they accepted me as the new volunteer with kindness and grace. This truly is an incredible community. They love each other as well. The kids are beautiful girls who stay so positive even when in this tough situation. I'm blessed to have this opportunity and hope to begin regular monthly service..."
Not too long ago I encountered a young woman with three children had been here as she was readying them and herself to walk out the door to a new living opportunity. I expressed good wishes to her saying to take good care of herself and her babies. She stopped and said "I cannot thank you all enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you...I will be saying that for the rest of my life....for giving me a chance to be here and stop to figure out what to do next."
Guests come here not just to have a meal and sleep in a safe place. Our social work staff and their time with the women can be life changing when a woman is ready to pause, assess and refocus. There can be so many variables at play. There is never just ONE reason a woman becomes homeless and stays homeless. We help the guests look at realistic opportunities and advise how to take one step at a time to make changes that must happen in order to accomplish even simple goals.
We're building a sense of community here where women on staff and women who are guests can feel united in a mission to rebuild lives. The guests, the volunteers, in-kind donors, cash contributors and staff, alike, create this community. It's so much more than a meal and a bed.