By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
Ever heard of it? Believe it or not, there are two different kinds of couch surfing.
One form is used for budget travelers. The vacationers will choose a more inexpensive type of lodging and may either pay for the use of someone’s couch for overnight stints, or they “repay” the generosity of their host by taking them on fun excursions while in their city or country.
Many times, the vacationer and the couch host do not even know each other. New friendships are sometimes formed by this arrangement.
Another form of couch surfing is used by those who are “between places” and have a need for shelter for a few nights.
Some couches belong to family and some belong to friends. But, when you have no home of your own and you move from one couch to another, couch surfing loses its appeal.
These days, being “between places” seems to be more common than we’d like to think. Sometimes, it really does only take a week or two for a new home to be found. At other times,
the frustration of seeing no end in sight is very present.
It seems we are seeing more families appearing on the homeless scene these days.
When a father or mother loses their income, it, of course, affects the entire family. Many changes are made to try to scrape by as best as possible.
Eventually, when they simply can’t make ends meet anymore, they wind up calling upon family or friends to house them – sometimes, bouncing from one location to another every other day or so. Then, usually, the time comes when they have worn out their welcome, and they find themselves seeking options. Some end up on the street.
When hardship hits a family like that, even with COVID regulations, we want to make sure they know there is a place that will welcome them, and help them feel peace of mind, once again. We know the parents are concerned for their children’s wellbeing, for sure.
The stress of having everything “up in the air,” with no set home environment, can cause the children to feel they cannot succeed – in school, in friendship, in life. Instability can severely affect a child’s development and ability to learn.
Adults feel the same kind of insecurity when their income has vanished and their place of living is no longer available to them. It’s a scary feeling.
It’s our desire to wrap them all up in a group hug, so to speak, and help them feel secure with a warm bed at night, three meals every day, and a refreshing shower to wash away the insecurities.
We want our guests to feel valued…to know they are still important, even though they are struggling through a rough patch of life. There really is a light at the end of every tunnel. We want to help point them in that direction.
We are the only emergency family shelter in New Mexico and we take seriously the fact that many people are struggling right now. If you know of anyone in need, point them in our direction and we will do our best to help.