STORIES OF CHANGE
Our youth have developed connections and friendships amongst themselves that will hopefully last a lifetime. They support each other and are able to share experiences that are not always easy to talk about. With our guidance and support and with each other they feel safe and understood.
If you were touched by this story and want to help Homeless Youth get off the streets, make a donation of any amount at DoorsOfChange.org
Trust is difficult when you’ve experienced trauma and/or lived in constant uncertainty of your environment and the people around you. Many youth seem to be constantly watching their back and looking over their shoulder unwilling to open up when they first walk through our doors for the first time. From being greeted by Joanne asking if anyone has laundry, to talking with our case worker Geny about getting a bus pass, food stamps or other resources, the environment we provide is judgement free, safe and welcoming. We provide a much needed sense of relief to those who don’t know who or what to turn to at any given moment. I’ve found that over the course of a few weeks, youth may go from looking over their shoulder to asking for resources to try and find a job or housing opportunities. Some might feel comfortable enough to open up to volunteers about their past. There’s no reason in the world why a young person should have to experience abandonment and severe trauma, but their willingness to open up proves that there is a very important reason why we provide Doors of Change for young adults. Our program is more than a meal, mentoring music and arts program, it’s a safety net for those in need, a sense of family, reliability and ultimately trust. This trust leads to something beautiful; hope and encouragement to open the door to a new brighter future.
One of the things I love about TMATS (Taking Music & Art To The Streets) is a warm, welcoming environment. It really is a sacred space.
Everyone gets along & the atmosphere is charged with a creative buzz enhanced by all of the exciting things going on. Even the animals get along. Which is so awesome. I love animals & getting to play & visit with the critters makes me smile.
The most exciting is when we are doing our art project & someone comes out of Geny’s office with a huge grin announcing that they got a job, are going to start school, found housing, or found a way to get back home via Greyhound to their families. And the pets get to go, ready with their kennel & ticket because they’re family, too.
Our social worker goes above and beyond for TMATS participants. In fact, I think that most everyone at TMATS goes above & beyond, all of the volunteers, too. Such a comfortable place to be on Thursdays & Sundays with everyone working together so harmoniously.
The TMATS participants play a big role in sustaining the solution-focused, creative atmosphere where no one feels left out. They don’t hesitate to offer suggestions, encouragement, or a helping hand to one another, or even to staff & volunteers when the opportunities present themselves.
It really is an atmosphere reminiscent of “home”. To me, home is the Ultimate Safe Space, and I truly believe that Doors of Change does an amazing job of providing the Ultimate Safe Space for all who come through their doors.
If you are touched and want to help Youth experiencing homelessness get off the streets, make a donation of ANY amount at – https://doorsofchange.org/product/other-donation/