Lessons Learned: November Staff and Guest Writing

Word on the Street, Issue 16

Frank DeAngeli is a case manager at Interfaith Sanctuary and works with members of Boise’s unhoused community every day.

  • Homelessness is not inherently caused by personal flaws or failure. Many of us could one day find ourselves in this position without a place to go.
  • Those who serve the homeless community have all experienced their own unique struggles which give them perspective on how to best treat a traumatized population.
  • People within the homeless community look after each other like family. Facing the same obstacles, they come together to make one another feel comfortable in the shelter.
  • Many addicts have a strong desire to quit, but often do not have the resources or support system to stay sober in the long term.
  • Finding employment and housing is difficult for anyone. Finding employment and housing can feel nearly impossible while living in a shelter or with a criminal background.

“Lessons Learned” from K-12 students who live in Interfaith Sanctuary’s family program and participate in a weekly writing class.

  • Never go on vacation or you’ll get kicked out of your house. 
  • People can mistreat a space that’s nice and that is hurtful. 
  • Make the best of your current situation. 
  • Some of my generation actually has common sense.
  • There are other LGBTQ people around even if you didn’t know it! 

Shirley is a guest at Interfaith Sanctuary’s emergency shelter and loves to pursue creative projects.

  • There are still so many people willing to help the homeless in our city.
  • That giving goes a long way and it only takes seconds of your years of life to say thank you.
  • It’s a big world. On the homeless side, there are many different walks of life, even people with full-time jobs that still can’t afford housing. We need affordable housing.

Karen is a guest at Interfaith Sanctuary’s emergency shelter who participates in Project Well-Being.

  • Instead of jumping to conclusions, look at the situation carefully and be non judgemental.
  • Empathy is important.
  • Put one foot in front of the other.

Kristina is a guest at Interfaith Sanctuary’s emergency shelter who is preparing to be a new mother.

  • When you are homeless you use words in daily life that others don’t. This program shows you those two sides – how to communicate in a different way than on the street.
  • You are stronger than what you think you are.