It is often hard to explain what we do at the PARC because it isn't tangible. What happens at the PARC happens within. It happens in their spirits. It happens in their souls. The things that happen at the PARC are sustaining. When those that come to the PARC leave, they carry deep within themselves the things that they have been given.
Anna came to the PARC 5 months ago. For the the first few weeks she just sat at a table and worked on her projects. She didn't talk much and had a lot of walls. Anna felt hurt by her family and life. She felt abandoned and alone. The longer she was here the more confident she became and the walls began to fall down. Her gifts became evident and her heart began to open. Anna is resourceful and a true servant. If anyone needed help she was quick to step in and do what was needed. She is extremely gifted in organizational skills and administration. Anna is smart! Somewhere in the journey of her life she had been told she had a learning disability and she carried that label. As she spent time at the PARC that label began to fall off and her heart began to heal. She began to believe in herself.
Last week as I walked past Anna's table she was sitting with a friend and crying. As I sat with her she told me that she had a choice to make. Her father had texted her and offered her the chance to come home and help her get back on her feet. She was scared. He lives in a city she has never lived and it would mean putting herself in a situation that had been painful in the past. I began to remind her of all the things she had discovered about herself and the ways she has changed. A volunteer joined me to encourage her and to remind her of how very capable she is. Anna found the confidence and courage to say yes. She found the confidence and courage to go back to her family and start a new life.
Anna has stayed in touch since she left. I received a message from her and she told me, "I'm pretty sure that moving to Dallas was the best and hardest choice I made. I have an interview on Monday. Things are going the way I wanted. Thank you, Valerie for pushing me and letting me see the bright side of it all."
Anna has hit the ground running since she arrived in Dallas. Matt Morgan is one of our volunteers that comes once a month to teach the members about how to get a job and the journey that is necessary in order to get their 'dream job'. He gives out his contact information and offers to help them if they need help. Anna told me, "I've been emailing Matt and he's been a big help with my resume and he will continue to help me. He answers back quickly." Anna isn't giving up. She has had 6 interviews since arriving in Dallas. She has 2 interviews today and one on Saturday. She was nervous about a test she had to take for one of her interviews, but she passed it!!
We ARE SO VERY PROUD OF HER. Life is hard, and when people experience homelessness, they quickly lose themselves and their sense of worth. The PARC is a place where they are encouraged and loved. There is an atmosphere where everyone can feel valued and respected. At the PARC, they realize they are capable, and a sense of purpose is established. The Sky is the Limit for Anna. There is no stopping her now!