Written by Hayley Ruffner
As the holiday season approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the joy and festivities ahead. It is a time of year often rooted in excitement and family tradition. At the same time, we are keenly aware that this time of year can also bring with it a sense of loss, sadness and loneliness for our friends on the street or our formerly homeless friends who have now transitioned into a place of their own. Many of our friends no longer celebrate with family. They aren’t invited to parties. They don’t decorate cut-out cookies. They don’t hang ornaments on a tree in a home. There lies within them a sense of what used to be and what now is that creates a heightened longing during this time of year: a longing to be seen and loved. To belong.
What would it look like for us all to move a little closer to each other this time of year, to belong together? When we start asking ourselves that question at The Human Impact, we begin to imagine creative, yet simple, opportunities for human connection. One of our supporters opened their home a couple weeks ago to host a Thanksgiving Feast for us and some of our homeless & formerly homeless friends. It was a time of great food, family interaction, shared stories, and gratitude. In the past, we have hosted a morning of holiday cookie decorating and hot chocolate in a home where our friends can come away from their loneliness for a little while and engage in laughter, warmth and holiday cheer.
We have learned that these shared experiences with our homeless & formerly homeless friends don’t have to be grand gestures or involve intricate planning. It can be as simple as sharing a cup of coffee and listening to each other’s life journey. It can be an invitation to a Christmas eve service at your church. It can be a home-cooked meal with your family around your kitchen table. Or it can be a enjoying a holiday movie together like we will be hosting on Monday, December 10th from 11am-1pm. We would love for you to join us as we gather with our friends on the street over in one of CitySquare’s rooms, drink hot chocolate, eat snacks, watch a movie, and together, take part in the joy of Christmas. Click here for more details.
This holiday season, we invite you to seek out the lonely, and sit with them, love them, listen to them, and lean into relationship with them. It’s where we belong.