The shelter, which was completely empty of residents last week because of renovations, is full again. The previous residents either found somewhere to stay, leased an apartment, or moved to other shelters. None came back. I miss them, but I agree with their decision. I wouldn't want to shuttle my kids to a new place every 2 or 3 weeks, either.
So last night, the shelter was full of new women, moms and kids. What's unusual is that among the new residents, there are only two kids, both under five.
Usually we have 15-20 kids participating in groups each week (up to 30 around the holidays). Word is getting out that groups are resuming, so last night, the two new boys were joined by eight "outside kids", aged 6-teenage. The outside kids included several I've known for a long time. Two of them are older boys who have been coming to group for 3 years. The older of the two is more outgoing and positive these days and always takes the night's trash to the dumpster before we leave. The younger boy, contrary to his previous behavior, is cooperative and happy most weeks. Both treat the little kids who look up to them like younger siblings.
My fingers are crossed for these boys and my prayers said. I think they're going to have more normal lives than they were used to when they first came to group. And I think they may help the younger kids with their patience, willingness to share games, and listening to them.
They don't insult, batter, or threaten others who are younger or weaker than they. What more could I ask?