Denise Britton, Executive Director
From our home to yours,
Dear Friends and Supporters of Shalom House,
Remember that Creedence Clearwater Revival song? Who Will Stop the Rain? The melody has been lingering in my mind recently, only the words are slightly changed – Who will stop the pain?
As I write this letter, we are in the wake of a series of surely senseless acts of violence in the streets of Allison Hill.
Inside our shelter, our mission hasn't changed – still pressing to be that point of contact for women and children who find themselves homeless for any number of reasons … needing a compass to point them in the direction of hope and independence. Yet in light of recent displays of desperate and out-of-control behaviors just outside our doors, it causes one to pause to consider how can we help deliver a true and accurate picture of what life can be like, when the loud sounds of reality seem to drone louder than our best efforts to reassure?
When we look in the neighborhood and the reactions to the violence is a picture of what we might see in the quiet streets of suburbia, one wonders if it is truly possible to become so anesthetized to the absurd, that we define normal as truly “anything goes” – and normal becomes whatever has been accepted, tolerated … and experienced, as if there is no other alternative.
And maybe the greater noise in all of this, is the deafening silence that allows the voice of chaos to seemingly be in control, as if there is nothing more we can do.
Of course to remain silent and unaffected by the realities of violence around us is not all we can do. But what about the wounds that need to be addressed that are not so visible … the pain of losing one’s home, losing a job, being no longer able to care for one’s children with the basic needs, being dissociated from one’s family – the cut of these wounds may not be as evident as what is mortally inflicted by a spray of bullets, but no less in need of healing.
As we are at that time of year again, when the glow of colored lights, brightly colored packages, and the scent of pine needles, and home-baked goods surround us, know that your prayers and support of our mission are no less valuable, in fact now more than ever … your agreement with us as we move into 2013, we will persist in our commitment together, to be the ones who will stop the pain.