It is important to keep families together

It's important to us to keep our family guests together as one unit

2023 August #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

Have you ever been abruptly separated from someone you were close to? A child? A parent? A spouse? A friend? They were there, and then, suddenly, they were gone…

Do you remember the fright you felt?

That sharp pain of panic might have filled your heart so quickly, and in such a deep way, that you could have thought your world was going to end.

It’s a horrible position to be in. Feelings of worry, anxiety, or depression could easily set in. Attachment issues could begin a whole strand of complications that probably would not have been there if the separation had not occurred.

It certainly is not a situation we would wish upon anyone.

From the beginning, to our current state, Joy Junction has had one main goal: to provide for the homeless and hungry who come to us, while keeping families together.

With that goal in mind, we have come a long way since we first opened our doors 37 years ago.

Many things have changed on campus over the years, as we continue to progress with each new day, but that goal has not.

It is important to us to keep our family guests together as one unit.

That simple act gives them peace of mind knowing their family members will not be separated.

Some shelters separate the men from the women. So, if a family tries to stay in that type of shelter, the dad would be removed from the family unit and sent to a different location, leaving the mom and children to face the unknown without him.

That could cause the man to experience some very understandable feelings of guilt, shame, and/or remorse because he put his family in the position of being removed from him. Fear would also most likely fill his mind, not knowing what could possibly happen to them.

It could also cause the woman and children to feel abandoned and fearful instead of being filled with hope and peace of mind. Peace, security, and contentment are what any family would need and expect from a shelter during one of the hardest times of their lives. The children look to their parents for their security, in most situations. They gain security from knowing mom and dad are with them and are taking care of things.

Keeping the family together not only helps the adults feel less fearful and stressed, it also helps the children feel optimistic about their situation changing toward a positive outcome. We also believe it adds confidence to the minds and hearts of our residents as they work hard to turn their circumstances around.

With the adults being able to focus on the tasks at hand (mainly the assignments from the program, and searching for employment), they are less likely to be distracted by worrying about where their family members are located, and if they are safe. Housing the whole family under one roof helps to provide calmness and contentment.

So, to us, it doesn’t make sense to separate the family members from each other. Their bond is essential to their feelings of safety.

Even though they are homeless and living in a shelter, remaining together allows them to feel more secure because they are protected and are being provided for – which adds strength to their familial bond, and their ability to move forward.

As we celebrate our 37th anniversary this August, we hope you will agree that our existence is necessary to the community. Support to keep our doors open is also necessary – in fact, it’s vital. We need year-round support and would love to have you partner with us as we minister to those who have lost so much.

We always encourage the community to join us as we work toward another year of caring for the homeless and hungry who step through our doors for help. Come check us out!