Monday, May 17, 2010

I sometimes wonder what the youth at Community LINC think about Community LINC, homelessness, and the world they dwell in. I asked, and I am surprised by the answer.

Communication is what the kids said they wanted most. I was surprised by this answer because I have the stereotypical view of teens: they think they know everything, don’t need advice from adults, and don’t wish to talk to parents. This is how I behaved as a teen, so I figured teens today were not any different.

Communication can be defined as the imparting or exchange of thoughts, opinions, or information between to individuals using speech, written words, or signs. Underlying most communication is a relationship.

Kids at LINC expressed that they do want to listen to adults; they also want adults to listen to them. Youth have concerns, hopes, fears, and aspirations, and they desire to interact with adults to learn how to materialize into responsible and successful adults. Kids desire communication which is an exchange of thoughts, opinions, and information based upon a genuine relationship. An amazing transformation takes place when you sit down one-on-one and talk with a kid. If the conversation expands beyond the trivial, you find a person who has hopes, fears, concerns, desires, and even some responsibilities. I find kids at Community LINC have plans and aspirations, and they want to hear from adults. They want to be heard, and they have more to say...

- Joel Paul, Community LINC houseparent

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