Placements are now well underway across the city! Each week this term we will be giving insight into the exciting things happening as our students engage in these experiences. Autumn is doing a placement with Open Homes Hamilton – here’s a bit of an update from Arissa:
Autumn is very passionate about intentional relationships and connecting with those around her. In Act Five, Autumn has been allowing God to direct her heart towards people who are normally forgotten or on the outskirts. After seeing these characteristics in her, it was no surprise to us when she took on Open Homes as one of her placements.
Open Homes is an organization in Hamilton that focuses their efforts on refugee claimants who are moving or have recently moved into the city. They pair newly arrived refugee claimants with folks in the city who have spare bedrooms, and the newcomer will live in that spare bedroom until they gain their footing in the city and can move on to their own apartment. They also work to provide a support network that they call Companions to help introduce refugees to the city and to life in Canada.
Autumn’s position there has her working with a woman who speaks almost no English. As a companion, Autumn could be doing anything from grocery shopping to visiting a mosque (which is in the plans!), and just generally helping her to adapt and adjust to life here. She is hoping to learn some Arabic so they can converse better, and they’ve met several times to have tea and get to know each other.
Autumn will also be spending some of her intern time with Open Homes leading interviews of past hosts and companions and even several of the refugee friends to promote their organization and do some storytelling for them.
This opportunity to get to know some refugees on a personal level, as well as spending some time at Micah House, a home close to ours that houses refugee claimants, has allowed Autumn to discern that this is something that feels important to her, and important to her future. Although she is not entirely sure where that will lead her, she is looking into programs that will help her with her journalism skills and equip her to learn more about refugee integration.
You can learn more about Open Homes Hamilton on their Facebook page and on their Host Coordinator’s blog.