Last time on the blog, we started looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We considered how homelessness affects Jamaica’s children, when they’re born into environments in which poverty and struggle replace security and stability.
When we look at the diagram, we can see how basic needs of physical safety form the foundation for any person’s self-actualization. As people, our ideal is to live fully, using our gifts and abilities to build lives we love.
But for kids who are born into environments where basic needs aren’t met, exploration and growth are very difficult. It’s hard to build a better life out of a constant struggle with uncertainty. This is how cycles of poverty and homelessness often get perpetuated from one generation to the next.
Now let’s consider what happens when kids do get to experience a home environment where core needs are satisfied. This takes us up from the bottom tiers of Maslow’s pyramid to the top three.
Kids in stable homes have a chance to feel the comfort of having people they love around them. Think back to when you were little, and how exciting it was when family and friends came over to celebrate a holiday or a birthday. At Christmas at my grandparents’ house, when the family all sat around the dining room table to share roast turkey and stuffing, I remember how safe and happy I felt. The world was a hundred percent secure. That kind of experience has a lasting impact on a young child.
Another aspect of home for kids is the chance to take pride in a place that belongs to them. Sure, when we were growing up, our parents had a big say in what our rooms looked like. But we had our decorations, our posters, maybe the rug and curtains we picked out, maybe a plant on the windowsill. Remember how it felt to have your room, where you could go to read a favorite book or snuggle with a stuffed animal? If you were like me, your room was your anchor, a safe and welcoming spot whatever happened in the outside world.
All of these pieces – physical safety, the satisfaction of togetherness, and pride and a sense of ownership in a home – all of them together get us up to the top tier in the pyramid. This is where, in an environment that feels secure, and with a solid foundation under them, kids can grow fully as people. They can develop their interests and use their imaginations. When they have a chance to become the people they want to be, they can shape the world around them.
We at Creators of Hope believe every child should have a home in which they can grow up safe and secure. Help us fulfill that dream by learning more about our mission, and consider volunteering with us on our next mission trip.
First things first: a huge thank you to everyone who used Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to support Creators of Hope. Our mission couldn’t run without you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We’re now planning for our next trip to Jamaica, which will be in January 2018. Our volunteers will put our mission into practice, building homes for families who need them.
When you volunteer with Creators of Hope, you’re part of something extraordinary. You’re helping to change the future, not just for a single family, but for whole communities at a time. You’re giving the gifts of safety and security. You’re providing people with the foundation for a better life, one in which they can help and support each other while they work toward a bright future for themselves and their children.
Volunteers don’t need special training: you learn the simple building skills you need on the job. Imagine watching a house coming together, with sturdy walls, a watertight roof, and secure windows and doors, and knowing that it’s the work of your hands and the hands of the team around you that make this happen. Imagine meeting the people who will live in that house and sharing their joy as they celebrate the day they move in. You probably remember the happiness of moving into a new house you loved. Now think about how it would have felt if that place had also been the first real home you had ever known.
In January, we’ll send a team of about 14 people to Porus, Jamaica, to work with Father Baylon and the families we’re able to help this year. In future, we hope to have enough funding to send two to three teams every week throughout the winter. (Imagine how many more houses we could build then!)
Learn more about us, get involved, and over the next few weeks, get ready to learn more about our mission trips!