Power in Shared Experience

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Last month a group of our Guests had the opportunity to reconnect with our friends from the Ashford Place a North West London community-centered agency striving to end social isolation and homelessness. Last year we were approached by Lucien Lawrence, Ashford Place’s Assessment Centre Coordinator. Lawrence wanted to combat isolation for his clients by providing a platform for them to communicate with individuals in similar situations from around the world.  We’ve been hosting monthly Skype calls ever since. Recently a small group gathered around an iPad in the conference room at LPCS, watching a similar scene develop nearly 4,000 miles away in the common area at Ashford Place. Like any conversation, ours began with introductions and small talk. Topics ranged from the extreme fall heat we’ve been experiencing here in Chicago to the recent terror attack on the subway in London.

 

By the end of the call the two geographically distant groups expressed similar opinions and ideas on the power of community. In particular, Guests shared the role organizations like Ashford Place and LPCS play in restoring the ownership of their mind, body, and spirit.

While experiencing homelessness can often be a tremendously isolating time, Guests like Calvin of LPCS relish the opportunity to expand their world and network of friends.

“[A conversation] like that reminds me that this world is bigger than me, that all voices are important...that we are all a family and all a community!”

Whether the call is five minutes or fifty, the benefits of connecting globally are clear: knowing you are not alone in your experiences offers tremendous comfort and strength to all individuals experiencing homelessness.

As Calvin proudly stated “the opportunity to share the light with someone on another continent, now that’s a blessing, that’s something to be grateful for and [we are] honored to share in it!”

We at LPCS and our friends at Ashford Place continue to try and create safe spaces where relationships can grow and flourish in efforts to combat isolation and build community.

We are incredibly grateful for our friends in London and we look forward to our next chat!