Shelter for Students – Joe’s Place

My last post was about a shelter for students in a school district in Missouri. Today I discovered another one in Missouri, Joe’s Place. In fact, this was the inspiration for the Hope House.

These students are improving their grades, improving their attendance rates and some of them are going on to college after high school graduation.

This is a program that should be implemented all over this country.

If we truly care about our children, especially those that are living in poverty and unstable environments, and those that have been living in foster care, then we need to show them that we care by providing these shelter homes where they are able to thrive.

When family structures fail, we should be willing to come in and save the day.

That’s the America I want the world to see.

That’s the America I want children to experience.

That’s the community of America I want to see among people across this nation.

Let’s give everyone an equal opportunity regardless of how they ended up in their current situation. Poverty is not a choice. Poverty takes years to overcome and it can rarely be overcome without the help of our citizens that are able and willing to help. It costs so little to make this happen.

 

Joe’s Place is one of the only public school district programs in the country to provide a home for students who are either homeless or struggling in their current living situation. This year, a school district less than 20 miles away in Jennings, Missouri, started a similar version of Joe’s Place — but for girls. The Jennings School District Hope House opened around Thanksgiving.

 

The homes provide house parents who oversee everything and provide a disciplined schedule and stable routine. Many of these teens have not experienced this before.

One of them, who is now in college, returns to visit.

“I wouldn’t say it was a culture shock, but it was something in that area. There was dinner every night, there was a disciplined schedule — which was something I never had,” said Pinnell. “Eventually, I got really comfortable there and started calling it home not too far into the semester. It doesn’t take too long for someone to fall in love with Joe’s.”

Let’s spread the word and make a real difference in the lives of our young people!

 

Read the full article at HuffPost Politics.

 

Providing Shelter for Students

Many people feel that public schools should not be involved in helping students medically, whether that be physical or mental health. However, my argument to this statement is that if no one else is helping them, then who better to determine what help they need than the people who see them daily and know more about them than possibly their own parents do in some cases.

Teachers and other school staff have a bird’s eye view of these students 5 out of 7 days, 9 months a year or more.

I am happy to report that I am not the only one who feels this way.

A school district in Missouri has taken on the challenge and responsibility of helping children and their families, thanks to Superintendent Tiffany Anderson.

She is having excellent results.

 

“Schools can do so much to really impact poverty,” Anderson said. “Some people think if you do all this other stuff, it takes away from focusing on instruction, when really it ensures that you can take kids further academically.”

The district also opened Hope House, a shelter providing students a stable living environment. Many of thee students would be homeless; some of them are former foster kids; all of them are doing better now, thanks to Hope House.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“One-quarter of Jennings’ residents are living below the federal poverty line,according to 2014 Census Bureau data. The median household income is $28,429. Just 13 percent of those age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, half of the state average.

Yet: In 2015, 92 percent of high school students graduated on time, and 78 percent of those graduates had enrolled in the military or post-secondary training within six months of graduation, according to state data. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) invited Anderson and a student to his state of the state address this year, praising Jennings for its “big leaps forward.”

 

Read the full story at The Washington Post.  

 

Gestalt Empty Chair Therapy

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair

Gestalt Therapy

AKA the Empty Chair Therapy

Gestalt Therapy utilizes an empty chair to give a client a safe way to express previously unspoken feelings and emotions.

Developed by Fritz Perlz. Laura Perlz. Miriam and Erving Polster.

Stress is on placed on awareness and integration of the functioning of body and mind. The intention is to expand a person’s awareness of the present moment.

Gestalt therapy has developed over time and is currently supportive, accepting, empathetic, respectful, and challenging. It is an holistic approach to the personality in the present moment.

• During therapy, the client is encouraged to bring out hidden feelings.
• Much use is made of the ‘open chair’ technique.
• This is when the client sits opposite an empty chair and then mentally places into that chair someone significant, who has caused him or her pain or trouble.
• The client then tells the ‘person’ in the empty chair what they have been unable to express before.
• Sometimes the client is encouraged to swap chairs and to answer his own claims or accusations from the other person’s perspective.
• This technique can give rise to emotional scenes, and the previously buried emotions need to be handled carefully.