And we’re off! The past two months have been an amazing whirlwind in my community and agency placement, and I’m not sure there is anything about it I would change. Between my new experiences in the world of advocacy and my new involvement working with social justice in the faith world, this year is off to a rewarding start.
At my agency, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, I have had the chance to work with various programs and policies affecting the homeless population of Washington. Before my first day at the Housing Alliance even began, I was taken to Yakima to take part in the Emerging Advocates Program, where individuals who have recently or are currently experiencing homelessness were given the tools to become housing advocates. This was an amazing weekend that felt like a crash course into housing and advocacy for myself, and I hadn’t even started working yet. I saw the participants engage and grow and I learned more than I could have anticipated in just one short weekend.
Since my adventure in Yakima I have been taking part in planning for our annual Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day (if you’ll be in Washington on February 17, check it out! http://wliha.org/housing-and-homelessness-advocacy-day) as well as the 25th annual Conference on Ending Homelessness. I’m sure you’ll hear more about these fantastic events in future blog posts from yours truly.
I came into this experience expecting to grow, but had no idea how exactly that would be happening. In the past months I have experienced a positive shift in theology, challenging growth in understanding of systemic oppression, and a new relationship with myself, my idea of community, and my goals for the future. This year is just beginning and I can’t wait to see what else is in store as I continue to engage and change.