September 17, 2017
I know this has been an incredibly trying week for everyone, especially for those who still don’t have power or water! First and foremost, our Resource Center is open if you need to take a shower, do a load of laundry or escape the heat. Our internet was restored yesterday and we are no longer in a boil water zone, so we are fully back to business! We lost a large tree in our driveway, but a group of volunteers, board members and staff came out with chainsaws and manpower to clear the way so that families could re-enter our program on Tuesday night. We have quite a lot of debris that we’ll need to remove, so be careful navigating into and out of our parking areas, as they’ve changed a bit.
As much as I want to get back to business as usual, there’s a part to this experience that I feel compelled to ask of you and your family. Many of you went without power and water, unable to shower, conserving food and water. You felt uncomfortable in the heat and had to find ways to stay cool. Your laundry piles may have grown high. You might have lost your fresh food, so you had to eat food that is non-perishable. You might have had to leave your home and sleep with friends and family, fearful of what you would find when you returned home. You may have even evacuated to a Red Cross shelter. You may have lost the ability to communicate with others, fearful of the unknown.
These feelings, the inconveniences, the unknown and unfamiliar, are all experienced by the families we serve in our program, not just for a week, but during their time of homelessness. The day a family enters, Mark offers them a hot shower, food, a safe place for their belongings, and gets them started on working through their piles of laundry. The basic needs of power, water, food, and support are met through our program. We then fight hard to restore a sense of normalcy and the hope that things will be okay. These are the feelings you’ve had during this week as everything is slowly being put back into place as utilities are being restored, as shutters are coming down, and resources are becoming available.
So here’s the ask….as you’re returning to normalcy, please don’t forget how this past week felt. Let is connect you to the families we serve and to those we have yet been able to help. I know we all experienced this week differently, and I don’t want to undermine the seriousness of anyone’s reality with this message, but I think it’s fair to say that we all shared the same fear of losing our families and homes, of becoming homeless.
Hoping you are all safe and well. As always, we are thankful for you and your support!
Tara Pagliarini, MSW
Family Promise of Brevard