The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.
Issue link: http://louisville.epubxp.com/i/141236
H O U S E O F H O P E "THE PROJECT AT WAYSIDE BRINGS TOGETHER EVERY PART OF THE i2a MISSION: CRITICAL THINKING, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND CULMINATING UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCES." —PATRICIA PAYETTE, i2a "The end results have been amazing," said Moseley. "At times, the project has reunited children separated from their parents through court order. Separating a child from an unfit parent is serious business. Reuniting a child with a fit parent is joyous business." COURSE TITLE: THE REAL WORLD Ideas to Action is UofL's effort to enhance student learning across all majors through critical thinking and real-world experiences. "i2a is the DNA in the Resilient Families Project," said Patricia Payette, executive director, i2a. "The project at Wayside brings together every part of the i2a mission: critical thinking, community engagement and culminating undergraduate experiences." "i2a provides funding and authentic community involvement," said Ross. "Students have heard the clichés, but here, they see the reality of homelessness. It changes their entire perspective." "In a very real sense, the faculty and students from the University of Louisville have become the face of higher education," said Moseley. "Most of the women and men here did not grow up in homes that valued education. By interacting with students and instructors, many of our resident clients no longer see the pursuit of a post-secondary education as an impossible dream." "It lets us interact on a level ground with the UofL folks," said Stith. "As the homeless, we get talked to. Now, we are listened to. UofL is amazing. When Lora (Haynes) first came, I thought, 'Everyone knows how to be a parent,' but no, we don't. These residents' role models were drug addicts and their children were burdens, not blessings. Now I see mothers treating children well and rationalizing with them. They have goals and patience they never had." HOPE FOR THE FUTURE "When I got here, I was hopeless," said Lekisha Benton. "I was pregnant and addicted and I didn't want to lose my baby. I had to turn my life around and the Resilient Families Project taught me how to be a real parent." With three other sons aged seven to 19, Benton wanted to raise her toddler Keeshaun with a stable background. "The parenting program taught me patience. The beauty of it is I now work as a certified day care worker. I never saw that coming. Who would have thought, me? It's not too late for me." Linda Stith broke the cycle of homelessness. "I tell people, I came in the same door as you. Look at me now. With the help of UofL and others, we can make change happen. That's what the Resilient Families Project is all about." Ross agreed. "The ultimate goal here is that we are creating engaged and informed citizenry. The clients build their self worth and abilities. The UofL students see their education in action. The community sees their view of homelessness dropped on its head. Stereotypes are erased and an education is gained." Rev. Moseley sees the difference it has made. "The community's poor are the ultimate beneficiaries of this partnership between UofL and Wayside Christian Mission. Homeless men and women, befuddled by the mysteries of technology, are learning basic computer literacy through training offered by the University Libraries' Fannie Cox. Broken families are being mended though the ongoing efforts of people like Dr. Lora Haynes. Furthermore, Psychology students Cori Lutz, left, and Jeannie Hankins review notes for a weekly parent-child session in the Resilient Families Project. it would be impossible to mention all of the work performed by UofL student volunteers. The poor may always be among us, but we and our partners at UofL are squarely focused on lessening the ravages of poverty in our community." Not everyone is saved. But, everyone at Hotel Louisville is determined to try. "As an addict," said Stith, "your first instinct is to run away and hide, but I learned in recovery, don't leave before the miracle happens." Lekisha Benton looks in her son Keeshaun's large, innocent eyes and sees her future. "I'm OK with me today. That took a while. My son gives me the courage to go on each day and the Resilient Families Project at Wayside teaches me that's possible. I do it for him. I do it for me. This program saved my life." SUMMER UOFL MAGAZINE| 3 7