The other day I was driving to one of our properties to drop off some mail that had been sent to the wrong address.  It was about three o’clock and as I pulled into the driveway, I saw a long-time resident waiting in front of the building for her daughter to come home from school.  Now, this mother has walked her daughter to the bus stop every morning and waited for her to return from school every afternoon as long as I’ve worked at Second Step.  Like most of our residents, I don’t know this family very well – we say hello and chat from time to time, but the details of their lives are completely unknown to me; I only know that they are living with a low income like all of our residents, and were most likely homeless when they moved in.

The daughter is now a teenager and, by all appearances, seems to be doing well in school.  She’s at the age when a lot of kids start to feel a little embarrassed by their parents.  As she walked home from the bus stop and saw her mother waiting for her, the girl’s face expressed a mix of happiness with a tinge of embarrassment, a smile with a teeny bit of good-natured chagrin.  She was happy to see her mom, even if she didn’t want the other kids to see.  Mom, of course was beaming and waving, as usual, eager to hug her blushing daughter, walk inside, and talk about her day at school.  I smiled to myself and drove past just as they embraced.

This moment, to me, captures the power of a stable home

What will this child become?  Time will tell.  But we know that she, and over 100 kids just like her, will not have to endure the trauma and danger of homelessness while they live in our properties.  They get to experience the safety and peace that a stable home provides.  Their odds of living a long, healthy life and making meaningful contributions to our community increased dramatically on the day they moved in.  The impact of a stable home is hard to measure, it takes time, but we see it every day.

Thank you for caring for your neighbors.

Thank you for spreading goodwill.

And thank you for supporting Second Step Housing.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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