My main focus with working with the women at Freedom House Recovery Center is building trust and rapport. Many of the women have had their trust broken, they have broken the trust of those they love and they have often times been the victims and the abusers of trust. Trust is a very hard thing for any person and it is especially hard for women at the house who have lost the trust of people that they love on a very deep level. I aim to be fully honest with the women that I work with. I aim to fulfill every promise that I make to them but not only that but to go above it. This requires me to go in to work and leave my own problems at the door so that I can be truly present to the women there. Often times they demand my help but instead of me getting offended by demands—I try to meet their demands with kindness. I have been building my character to meet their demands but also to say “I can’t take care of your need right now but I will before the end of the day.” At first this was hard because often times if I don’t meet their demands immediately they feel like I will forget about their needs. However, with time I have been able to show them that I will follow up on my promises. This means a lot to them but also it means a lot to me for them to be able to trust my word and my ability to follow through on my promises. I haven’t been perfect but I have been able to be honest with my mistakes. Through this I have been able to show them my humanity and give them an opportunity to understand that I am human too and sometimes forget. The women at the house hold me accountable to the promises that I make them and through this mutual accountability I am able to cultivate a safe environment for all served and for myself.
–Beth Ross works at Freedom House Recovery Center this year in women’s transitional housing. She is working on her Wellness Coaching Certification and enjoys many sports.
Character is one of the 5 values we focus on during the service year. Here is the JSC definition:
Character: I am truly accountable to those served and approach opportunities for change with awareness of community assets. I meet commitments on time and act responsibly with public and personal trust. I am accountable for my words and actions.