Earlier this week, we held the final session for our second group to come through the "Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World" class. We wanted to offer you a glimpse into what these classes are like and the amazing impact that it has on us to hear their lessons from each session:
Eight people showed up to the Hope House campus one day, hoping only that the gift cards that were promised wouldn't be too hard to get. They had come to participate in a new class that was being offered, one that was advertised to change their outlook on life and help them begin to achieve economic stability. The class advertised a chance – a chance to work toward something different, something better than what they currently had. But this class would transform them by showing them a new way to fight against the barriers of poverty. This class would teach them that they had Hope.
When the “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World” course started at Hope House, the social service staff were hopeful that they would be able to affect a few lives for the better and get consistent class participation by offering gift card stipends to encourage participants to come back. Over the course of eight weeks, they saw these individuals change from passive attendees to engaged and concerned people who were interested in problem-solving and overcome the common challenges to poverty that they all faced. The course taught the participants (“Investigators” as they’re called during the course) about the economy, how it works, and how they fit into it. They learned about the different types of poverty and learned that poverty is not a lifestyle but rather one of life’s challenges that they had the ability to overcome with the right amount of dedication.
By the time the course came to an end, it was clear that the mission had been accomplished. One client said, “My change for a better life has come from this class. It has taught me that through a change of mind I can change my life and move forward.” The class taught the participants that there are better choices in life that can be made, and the course moderators gave the clients the encouragement to set goals and develop plans to achieve them.
While all of this was planned, the social workers were unprepared for what happened next. After eight weeks of encouraging the participants to work together to find common solutions, the group stated on the final day that they wanted to continue their meetings. They wanted to come to Hope House every month to discuss common problems and find useful resources. This is the picture of determination that is present in all of our clients. This is persistence. This is Hope.