My kid’s therapist (yes, my 13 year old has already been to therapy) once challenged him to walk the four doors down the road to the Circle K at the corner of our street, by himself.
To a person who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s that seems strange.
But how many of us middle class parents are afraid to let our kids out of our sight?
Today it’s all play dates where we shuttle our kids in cars from one house to another. Drop them off at 1:00pm. Pick them up promptly at 3:30pm.
Other than that the kids of today spend countless hours and countless days indoors. It’s safer that way.
After all, that’s what us parents, the “brave” kids of the 70’s and 80’s do.
We lopped the porches off our houses. We don’t care if there are sidewalks in front of our houses.
We too sit indoors, preferring to avoid eye contact with our neighbors.
From this study, loneliness and isolation:
- increases the risk of suicide for young and old alike.
- creates higher levels of perceived stress even when exposed to the same stressors as non-lonely people.
- raises levels of circulating stress hormones and levels of blood pressure.
- destroys the quality and efficiency of sleep, so that it is less restorative, both physically and psychologically. They wake up more at night and spend less time in bed actually sleeping than do the nonlonely.
Being with people is our natural habitat. Even introverts find happiness and joy being with people.
But, sadly, the communities of our society are eroding. We spend more time isolated and alone.
Church has often been the gateway to community for many people.
“Only 2 in 10 Americans under 30 believe attending a church is important or worthwhile.”
Like so many constructs of society, young people don’t feel like they belong in these groups.
And it’s not just young people. Many of my friends don’t participate in church or any other groups. Work has become our main source of community.
But I would imagine you can remember a time in your life when you were part of a community. Do you remember how it made you feel being with people like you? Being with people that shared a similar interest?
We are finding that people are experiencing that sense of community at Second Chance Village.
Yes, the people that live here are getting the benefits of our community. But so are the housed people who participate in our community.
We have people that:
- Bring food to share.
- Help organize our clothes closet.
- Help drive people to doctors appointments.
- Help work on renovating our space.
- Help work on our raised bed gardens.
But now we’re starting to be more than just a place where people can donate time. Now we’re starting to have events that people can participate in.
We’re having recovery meetings, church services and other really interesting group gatherings.
We run our main calendar through Meetup. You can CLICK HERE to see our upcoming events. We’ll also have a link to our events calendar on the top navigation of our site. You’ll want to check back often because we’ll be adding new events all the time. (I’m thinking a movie night would be cool, as an example.)
I know that it can be risky and uncomfortable coming into a new community the first time. But usually, the first time is the most difficult. From there on out it’s all fun!
A key part of our mission here at Second Chance Village is bringing the homeless together with the homed. This is the quickest way to solve the greatest tragedy in America today. No one deserves to be left forgotten on the street to fend for themselves.
See you at our next event!