CREDOS : Home — V

When new families come in, the little kids need help. They usually don’t act very well because they don’t know the rules and the routine. Miss Pat has each of us in the teen group “adopt” one child. We take the kids out to the park and to the movies. We help them at the shelter too. Then we write in our journals what we did to help our child adjust to the shelter and have fun.

Helping the little kids has changed my life at the shelter. I am so busy helping them with their homework and helping little babies learn to walk and talk that I forget to worry about my own problems.

I also realise that if I feel sorry for myself I will be letting my brothers and sisters down. They’re young — they don’t care where they live. They’re happy. I don’t want them to learn to feel bad about living in a shelter, to learn embarrassment, so I hold my head high. I’m trying to make it the best I can for them.

I’ve asked Miss Pat if I can keep coming to the shelter after we move. I want to continue to help kids who first come into this kind of life. I want them to know that if they can follow the rules and learn to live in a group home, they can make it. They just have to hold their head high, reach out and help one other kid, and stick it out. I’m excited to help. I’ll have a chance to let the kids know the lesson I have learned: Home isn’t about having a roof over my head. Home is where my heart is — with my family and friends wherever I live. — (Concluded)