Decompression Chambers

This morning I had the opportunity to check out one of Akron’s social service agencies, Access.  Access is a government and donor funded organization that provides emergency shelter services for woman and children in Summit County.  Last year alone they had 720 intakes, with over half being children.

As Access moves their clients through a fairly intense, 30-day assessment and counseling for mental health, physical health, education, housing, and employment, they recognize that a person’s immediate need is care and love.

So with any new female or family that enters their doors, they are greeted with two key things:  Hugs and Rest.  Access said they are in the “hugs business” giving lots of hugs throughout the process, and ensuring each person has 1-2 days of rest and decompression before taking the first steps of their program.

A good reminder for the church in allowing flexibility to those that enter our community needing “decompression time.”  As we can sometimes demand new members immediately jump on the assimilation pathway towards their next key environment, we must also allow space and time (not knowing what past experience they need healing from)…to just “sit and be” within our space for 1-2 days…or years.

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~ by Dave Smith on September 15, 2009.

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