You may have noticed it was a little cold recently – we broke the kind of records you don’t really want to break. Hitting new lows in Boston and elsewhere.
Ivy (BFJN’s associate director) and I had the immense privilege of taking a retreat this past weekend. We went a little north into Maine where it was ever so slightly colder. Although once you hit -10 does it really matter how much lower you go?
Our weekend was restful, productive and fun. However, it was hard not to be struck every time we went outside with the reality of the cold and to consider what that meant for unhoused people here in New England. Even the process of unloading our car (parked only feet from the front door) left us with nearly numb fingers and faces. What would it be like to spend hours or a night in such conditions?
Part of our agenda for the weekend was planning for how we would engage with our issue-area focus of housing justice. We are eager to provide opportunities for our community to learn about, participate in and advocate for housing justice. The bitter cold served as an important reminder of how essential housing is.
A week later (yesterday!) we participated in Winter Walk, a 2-mile walk starting at Copley Square. Winter Walk, the walk and the organization, offer an opportunity to listen to those who have experienced homelessness, walk in solidarity and believe together that ending homelessness is within our reach. The event raises awareness and funds toward that end. It was powerful listening to stories from those who have been unhoused. One woman shared some of her experiences – she had been unhoused for thirteen years before finding temporary housing. As she concluded she shared she had just been told permanent housing was available for her!! If you would like to donate to this great cause and/or learn more click here.
As we embark on this journey of intentionally engaging with the wide-ranging challenge of housing justice, I am eager to learn, to connect with organizations doing this work and to consider how I am called to change, grow and participate. We hope you will join us. There are a number of opportunities. Our new podcast, which launches Wednesday, will allow us to invite in friends who can help educate and catalyze us. Next month we will gather online with Amanda Grant-Rose of Winter Walk to learn more about the issue of homelessness and how we can expand our own understanding and engagement. We are having a Micah six:eight service day (April 29) focused on learning about and connecting with organizations that serve the housing insecure. In May there will be a book club where we will read Grace Will Lead Us Home and consider together the information, stories and challenge it presents.
We are excited to walk together in learning and serving, partnering with organizations and people who can help us better understand, grow and engage to make a difference! Join us!