Story of the Week 12/1/2015

 

Fostering New Friendships

By Ciara Kilburn, Community Support Specialist at Committee on Temporary ShelterIMG_1023 (2)

During my time serving at COTS as the Community Support Specialist, I have had so
many experiences already.  There has especially been one client that I have been going
above and beyond for.  She has been staying with us since this summer and is being taken to chemotherapy every week while she is battling cancer.  On one night, she broke
rules at our overnight shelter and was asked to leave the next day.  She was hysterical.  I had observed she hadn't eaten or slept in three days. I decided to personally take her to the emergency room, with my supervisor thanking me for doing so.  However, I didn't just drop her off.  I stayed in the room with her and then proceeded to take her to another medical location when the ER couldn't help.  I, unfortunately, had to leave her at this point because I was being called back to work and wasn’t able to spend any more time by her side.

12075037_10153232761951687_1862034674551631080_nA couple days later, she came back to the shelter asking for me.  I was afraid she would be upset with me but instead she thanked me for sticking by her and apologized for her behavior.  She has since gotten treatment and has come to me to ask for some help picking up her belongings and moving into her new permanent home. I heard her speaking to someone and she referred to me as her friend. I thought I was just taking an extra step and helping someone. I hadn't even taken the time to realize the relationships and friendships that I was making as well.

Photo credits: Committee on Temporary Shelter

VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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