Why We Do What We Do
People often ask us, “why we do what we do?”
It’s not an easy question to answer. That’s for sure. Especially when you continually see so much hurt, abuse, and suffering in the world. Are your puny efforts really going to change anything?
The short answer (or the easy answer) is because it’s rewarding; you care.
Renee Voss, Director of Residential Services at Turning Leaf, thinks this answer doesn’t quite tell the whole story.
“I believe everyone is capable of being their best,” she says. “To get there we need advocates, cheerleaders and people who care, believing in us to encourage this growth.”
Renee recalls a story about Chris, a man who came to Turning Leaf, struggling with untreated mental illness, multiple addictions, involvement in the sex trade and the criminal justice system. On top of all that, he had been homeless for 15 years.
That is, until he came to Turning Leaf. As of 2011, he has been living in one of our residences.
Chris’s transition was not easy, though. Most of us take it for granted that we have a bed at night call our own. But for Chris, having a home, a bed, or simply having people in his life who cared about him was unfamiliar territory.
His first week in Turning Leaf’s residence, he spent sleeping on the floor next to his bed.
But, as he became comfortable not only with this new environment but with the idea of a place he could call home, there was a change in him. He knew he no longer had to struggle to survive each day.
Nearly two years after finding Turning Leaf, Chris had completed his probation, and he still lives in our residence today, continuing to better himself.
“I can grow here. If I was on my own, I wouldn’t be anywhere. I would have nothing again, and I don’t want to think about that,” says Chris. “Turning leaf means building a new life, and I believe I can be better.”
He even aspires to employ himself as a dishwasher.
So, you ask us, why we do what we do? And the answer is always the same: everyone deserves a chance to live life, to grow, to change.