Who are the families at IHN?
The story of Susan:
When Susan and her grandson Ian arrived on their start date at IHNWC, it was easy to tell that they had been through a lot. It had not been long since Susan was hospitalized. She had lost so much weight since the loss of her son to a drug overdose. She had tried to stay strong for Ian, but the loss was too much for her. Susan lost her job and with being so sad, lost her home.
Ian was a polite 12-year-old boy. You could tell that he and his grandmother were so very close. In fact, it seemed the only time Susan had a genuine smile was when she interacted with Ian.
On the first day, Susan stayed to herself. She shared with the IHNWC staff that she had always been a hard worker. She never missed a day of work until the loss of her son. She did not depend on others as she was always able to take care of herself and her family. Being at IHNWC, she felt like she had failed. We encouraged Susan to take advantage of this gift of shelter. That she was not a failure, but indeed had made the tough decision to enter shelter for the hope of a better life.
The morning after their first night in shelter, I invited Susan into the office to chat. Susan shared that the meal was wonderful. That it was the first time in over a month, that she and Ian had a meal other than Ramen noodles. She shared that Ian played board games with the volunteers and that she had a wonderful conversation with a caring volunteer. She said that she was looking forward to what the future would bring, which is something she had not felt in a long time.
This family has enjoyed many meals, met many caring people and in doing so has found healing. Susan now smiles all the time. She is getting help to learn how to deal with the loss of her son. Ian has made friends with many of the children who volunteer and will be attending Vacation Bible School, go on outings and maybe even camp.
This family will be in their own house by Summer's end 2017. By staying at IHNWC, they have had the opportunity to heal, to find their way out of the darkness of loss and into the light of hope.
A prior guest enjoying some time outside.