I couldn't go to the shelter tonight, and miss the kids and my co-volunteers. I've worked there four and a half years, so I've seen many kids, women, and moms go through the program. I've seen many decide to go back to the batterer, too. I'm always happy if they return at a later date and make it through the long, tough road to recovery.
Funny how I never know what to expect or whom to expect. One mom who'd gone to another shelter returned to tell office workers about her job. A co-volunteer ran into a former shelter resident who is doing well and hoping to come to women's group and bring her child back to one of mine. Recently a young child expressed suicidal ideation. The team went right to work. I interviewed him in my supervisor's office. My supervisor went and brought his mother to talk with him and us. She took him to his regular therapist the next day and he's doing ok, last I heard. One week all the women had to leave because of a confidentiality breech. Another time, a huge tree limb destroyed a section of the playground fence so we had to restrict where the kids played.
The longer I volunteer at the shelter, the more my experience melds into my training. Every week is an education for me--in learning to be flexible and resourceful.
Shelter staff has no choice. They have to be flexible, resourceful, and work hard every single day.
Hats off to all of them!