Creating a Relational Diverse Community
Bethany Hill prides itself on the diversity of its population. We are honored that our services and community can sustain and nurture people from so many walks of life and with such differing backgrounds. Experiences of homelessness, addiction, violence and loss are typical, yet each household story is so different. Our community is comprised of differing races and ethnicities, languages, ages as well as types of households (single individuals versus family households). Many struggle with issues of health, addiction, a history of abuse, or their own mental health.
How do these people come together to create a community of care, warmth, and safety? In the words of one of our residents, “People are attracted to Bethany Hill because of the opportunity to better their lives. So you are always surrounded by people working on their goals, working on getting better.” The knowledge that everyone in the building is working to better themselves creates the ability for each resident to relate to the other. A resident can see another resident as someone very different than themselves, but also as a person struggling to study for a test and take care of their children, just like they did. ‘Giving back’ through service to others is another hallmark of the community. We all feel more capable and empowered when we are able to do for others. Neighbors here offer to help each other with rides and chores because they know how hard it is to take care of a home and work on career goals. Residents cheer one another up on tough days, because they too remember days when everything seemed too overwhelming. This common goal means all members of the community have an underlying unity – the desire to get better and do more. This drive to reach one’s goals cuts through difference and leaves a community of thoughtful, giving individuals encouraging and supporting one another.
Courtney McSparron – Program Director,
Bethany Hill School
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