Guest author, Katherine Higgins, shares her experience of working at The Elizabeth House.
Last month I started working at The Elizabeth House. After learning the program and getting used to the rhythm of the place, two aspects immediately stick out to me. First, The Elizabeth House is a home, shared by roommates who live in community. Second, every single person we encounter has a unique, important story to tell.
Living in community is a powerful and educational experience. As a recent college graduate, I know what it’s like to live with roommates—those you get along with easily and those you do not. One of the core strengths of The Elizabeth House is that young women are in direct contact with peers going through the same season of life. No matter their circumstances and plans after graduating from the program, during this time they share, at minimum, a life experience and a physical space.
For many, their time at The Elizabeth House becomes even more. If they choose to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from each other, living in community allows residents to practice healthy relationships and good communication. Moreover, as residents are in varying stages of pregnancy and motherhood, they can share common experiences, provide support and validate each other’s feelings.
Hearing those feelings and the resident’s stories has been an incredibly powerful and moving experience for me. While working at The Elizabeth House I have learned to listen closely and share openly. One of my strengths is that I am an attentive listener and I focus on hearing exactly what people tell me.
Working at The Elizabeth House has allowed me to better understand the difficult situations my sisters in Christ face every day. This experience has opened my eyes to the uncertainties and instability of poverty, homelessness and unhealthy relationships. I am reminded that each and every one of us is unique, with our own story to tell; however, the author is the same. God is working through all of us if we are open to Him.
If you would like to join Katherine and the rest of the team who “do life” alongside the residents at The Elizabeth House, check out our job opening for overnight relief staff. If you would like to volunteer or learn more, contact Dave at Davec@carenetdane.org