Sometimes, life just throws you a curve ball…

Sometimes life just throws a curve ball

2024 April #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

Springtime is a beautiful time of year. It’s when all the green begins to show up again in the vegetation around us.

It’s also when we get to watch the colors pop up around the city as new growth reveals itself.  It’s a time of rejuvenation and renewal. It puts a quickness in our step and causes us to want to spend more time outside. 

The birds seem to fill the sky and many of the trees around us. We hear them sing and communicate with each other. It’s a sweet melody and reminds us that life is full of wonder.

Temperatures during this time of year are very pleasant, as well. They “call” us outdoors and beckon us to breathe deeply as the fresh air fills our lungs.

Some of us even feel energetic enough to do some major cleaning in our personal spaces.  We get rid of the old to bring in the new.  

It’s exciting to be a part of the beginning stage of so many things.

Spring just makes us happy.

However, during that uplifting time of year, there can be times when other aspects of life interrupt the smooth-running of our “happy” days.  That’s just the way life goes sometimes.

Out of the blue, something happens that throws us for a loop. Like it or not, we are placed in a situation that we were not expecting.

All of a sudden, the whole world feels like it is crashing down on us.

That’s how Henry (not his real name) feels. Here’s his story: 

I am on disability and had received a HUD voucher for housing. I was able to stay in my own apartment for several years.

Then, I had to have foot surgery, which required me to stay in the hospital for about three weeks. While I was away from my apartment, someone broke into it.

There was no police report made because no one knew of the break-in [at the time it happened]. The landlord didn’t like that there was no report filed, so I was asked to leave — in the middle of winter. I left so there would be no eviction notice placed on my record.

I moved to a motel, until I could no longer afford to pay the nightly fees. Then, I became homeless once again

Sometimes, life just throws a curve ball at you.

Since I had stayed at Joy Junction before, I decided to return. I am thankful for the warm roof over my head and the meals I receive each day until I can save my money and go through the housing process again.

I am looking forward to being able to get out on my own.

Even when those “curve balls” fly into lives unannounced, the choice to respond in positive ways can be made by each individual.

Our staff knows that those who choose to come to our shelter have had a hard decision to make. We know they’ve been through a life-changing situation.

We want them to know that we “see” them and we “hear” them. We want our guests to feel important.  “Brushing them off,” as if their circumstance does not matter, would be hurtful instead of helpful. 

We know their circumstance matters — every detail, no matter how small or large, matters. Our intention is to help in the best way possible for their individual situation. 

We know they need a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and to feel safe and secure.  We can take care of those needs right off the bat. Then, we discuss ways to help improve their lives as they work through their difficult position.

Some of our guests, like Henry, never expected to have their comfortable lives turned upside down just because they had to have surgery (or whatever reason caused the homelessness). But, when life throws a curve ball into the mix, it’s best to try to approach the next steps with a positive attitude. 

For those who are experiencing homelessness, a whole new beginning is available if it is desired. 

Spring is a good time to develop new skills, behaviors, and attitudes. Our programs offer those opportunities.  It is our pleasure to help those who pass through our doorway, seeking assistance.

Please remember to mention Joy Junction and our programs to any homeless person who truly wants to get their lives turned around.