Walking into the Sarah's House facility, we were genuinely taken aback. This was no homeless shelter - this was a center for changing lives. Sarah's House is a family shelter for men, women, and their children; with circumstances ranging from addiction, to money problems - whatever the problem, they solve it. The sheer helpfulness of the program is perhaps what makes it so unique. The family doesn’t pay for any expenses while in the home. Everything from transportation to toiletries is provided, so the family spends no money; they can save virtually everything to get back on their feet. While the parents are working, Sarah's House offers a state-of-the-art childcare program that does much more than just "babysit." They teach and shape individuals for healthy lives, emotionally and mentally. The children are split into different age groups so each child gets exactly what he or she needs, whether it’s motor skills or math help. The children are given the structure they need after the instability of moving from house to house, and their gratitude shows.
Meeting the children was a great experience for everyone. Each child had a bright, unique personality. Marcus Smith, who preferred to be called ‘Marky Mark,’ was a six-year-old boy in kindergarten. He was the first child we met. He was very talkative and showed no signs of shyness. He welcomed us with open arms, willing to introduce us to other children. Everyone at Sarah’s House was pleasant to meet! We met a one-year-old boy named Bradley, whose smile beamed from ear to ear. He was excited to talk to us and was very artistic and seemed eager to engage in any activity he could.
The children at Sarah’s House had amazing personalities! Every child had a story to tell and enjoyed spending time with us. The personalities of these children reflect the structure and stability of such a caring, life-changing facility like Sarah’s House. The experience was absolutely breathtaking.
Essay by Tomia Brown, Summer Bedard & Madison Hill
Photos by Sawdatou Drame