“When new clients come in, my job is to see them and to let them know, 'You are seen. I recognize that you have a name. I see that you are hungry, and I will feed you. I see that your clothes are dirty and you are essentially naked, and my job is to clothe you. I see that you are heartbroken . . . and my job is to be present with you. My job is to hear your story and hold your hand.'”
My friend Juliana is a softy, but she has a really hard job: she works with the homeless.
Juliana has always been drawn to helping the underserved and the underprivileged: from the elderly, to refugees, to battered women, to the clients she now serves who don't have a home to call their own. With any one who is suffering and in need of help, Juliana teaches us that the most important thing is to be present with them, to connect with them on a human level. She also teaches what she learned from personal experience, that as we help other we actually help ourselves.
Juliana shares what brought her to social services, how she resisted her call to this work, what are some common misconceptions of the homeless population, and what she does to empower her clients and herself so she can better serve them. She also talks about how service helped her through a profound loss in her family, and how it has changed her.
You'll also love to hear how Juliana thinks discomfort is a good thing, how we need to celebrate the good news just as much as the bad, and how the sassy side to her personality has served her well and complimented her softy side.
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