By Holly Herman
My name is Holly Herman. I’ve been a periodic speaker/trainer for the last four years, sharing my experience as an Executive Coach.
I was attracted to Community Lodgings by the work they do. Community Lodgings is doing work that directly meets the needs of the community. The afterschool programs for the children help the community on so many levels. The transitional housing provides a safe environment with a comprehensive program to guide people back to independence.
I speak to the transitional housing residents. They are able to ask questions and get advice in a group setting many times assisting each other with advice. This environment creates ties among the residents. Residents may become resources for each other.
Community Lodgings is creating a safe learning environment for their clients. The afterschool program and summer programs for children offer a place to go, individual attention for the children, an educational environment and an alternative from potentially harmful situations. The transitional housing program allows families a safe environment in an individual setting. The program(s) offered to the transitional housing families gives these families the tools to independent living – breaking the cycle of poverty in many cases.
All programs are based in education of the individual – promoting personal responsibility, using tools and resources wisely.
Community Lodgings has opened my eyes to some of the reasons for homelessness. It has also shown me the tenacity of individuals overcoming great obstacles that have been placed in their path.
There are two experiences that stand out for me:
One, a client at one of my training sessions asked what to do about a co-worker that was unfriendly to work with. It was a two-person office so she could not avoid this unpleasant person. I told her to give her co-worker a new compliment every day, about her work, her appearance, or anything else she could sincerely think of. When I returned the next month, she reported that she had done the complementing every day. Not only was her co-worker much easier and more pleasant to work with, her boss had given her a raise and praised her work and attitude on the job. Wins all around.
Two, I was also told about a new family moving into one of the transitional housing apartments. The family included Mom and two sons. During their tour of the apartment, the youngest son said “Mommy, where are all the other kids going to sleep?” At first everyone was confused by the question. Then they realized, the youngest son could not remember living in a space of his own, his only reality had been in a shelter situation. That story showed me what a profound impact Community Lodgings makes on the individual and in turn, the community.