The pandemic and its effects have impacted every aspect of life. It triggered a mental health crisis for children and youth, caused fewer employment opportunities as businesses laid off staff or closed, and made it more difficult to help youth and adults experiencing homelessness. In short, it touched every aspect of our work.
It is hard to be strong when faced with adversity, especially over such a long period of time. But hope and courage are often the best tools for moving forward.
This Community Report offers some great examples of people who did just that in their own life journey. Ethan, whose studies and apprenticeship opportunities were disrupted by the pandemic, graduated and got his apprenticeship. Angela, who despite a full-time job and co-owning a home, found herself accessing the shelter system before landing an apartment to call home. Kyle, who was in our children’s mental health program years ago, drew on lessons he learned with us to successfully open a restaurant. And Bill, whose years-long commitment to volunteering in his community, never wavered during the pandemic.
As an organization, we have done some reflecting and learning. We have come to understand that within marginalized communities there are voices we have not heard and people we have not served well. As a community agency, we believe we should be accessible to everyone. So, we are striving to embed anti-racist and antioppressive perspectives and practices in our work.
We would like to thank all of those who supported our work in the community: Lutherwood’s friends, funders, donors, and volunteers. And a special thanks to our staff members who despite the difficulties and hardships were always there to offer hope and courage to anyone needing help.