Insight from OFP Interns: Madeleine Veith, University of Denver MSW Intern

What have you learned during your time at Our Front Porch?

The most profound sentence I have heard from a handful of clients these last seven months still resonates so deeply: “Thank you for not giving up on me.” I am learning from my clients how difficult it is to navigate after a home fire. They share about unwavering stress, profound grief, and a new need to rely on the people around them… something so difficult and humbling especially for my most independent clients. As people navigate finding new housing, recovering items/documents, and renegotiating boundaries with loved ones, it can seem like nothing is going well for them. I work with these clients in case management and therapy, and I am amazed. They navigate such profound difficulty with tremendous resilience, and they often experience a newfound softening towards leaning on others. That is where that sentence—thank you for not giving up on me—comes in. I am always caught off guard, in part because I can forget how exposed they feel in losing the four walls they could safely live behind. Yet, in calling our clients each week, listening to their stories, and empathizing with them throughout the highs and lows of rebuilding their lives, I see their resilience and courage to keep going. I cannot help but feel honored to enter into their stories and offer support in the small ways I can… but more than anything it has shown me the importance of offering support to my loved ones and receiving support as well. We are all so much stronger when we can lean on each other.

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