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Family Housing Network: a true gift

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Nate Thomas looks out the window overlooking Memorial Field. Photo courtesy of Annette Thomas

Nate Thomas looks out the window overlooking Memorial Field. Photo courtesy of Annette Thomas

Nate Thomas looks out the window overlooking Memorial Field. Photo courtesy of Annette Thomas

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Nate Thomas looks out the window overlooking Memorial Field. Photo courtesy of Annette Thomas

During my overnight host opportunity for the Family Housing Network in early March, I learned how special the program really is.

According to an email from Bellarmine teacher and Family Housing Network moderator, Robert Payne, “Family Housing Network (formerly Phoenix Housing). FHN is a part of Catholic Community Services and provides outreach, counseling, career services and the like to homeless families in Pierce County. Bellarmine, along with a host of other churches, schools and organizations, provides one week of shelter for the FHN families in transition.”

I was initially intimidated by the idea of staying overnight in Fr. Weber Hall while hosting strangers, but actually my experience was great.

Both my mother and I volunteered as overnight hosts. I soon understood that this opportunity was so much more than just service hours. It is a time to be able to connect with the families who needed temporary shelter. It was also a time to enjoy just being with others.

The families there were incredibly delightful and full of spirit. The kids ranged from around four years old to 16 years old and they were full of energy.

While all we did was play games until we settled for bed, I had such an amazing time there. I am disappointed that I did not volunteer for more service opportunities for Family Housing Network so I could get to know out FHN guests more.

I suggest that more students take the time during this program time to be with these families and make it a good experience for yourself and them. Consider going with your family, your Community Period, your team or club.

For more information, visit the website: http://www.ccsww.org/site/

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