A Cridge Dovetail Story
by Candace Stretch, Manager of Supportive Housing & Family Services
Recently one of our tenants needed some childcare for her 10 year old daughter, Mina, while she attended an appointment. All of the Dovetail support workers were busy in appointments with their clients at that time, and I had a few hours free, so I volunteered to hang out with Mina. I asked Mina what she wanted to do, and she said she wanted to go on a walk. So I asked Mina to show me the places in The Cridge neighbourhood where she spent her time.
The journey we took over the next hour was truly special: seeing The Cridge property and surrounding neighbourhood from her perspective gave me a whole new view of this community. There were secret meeting places, tucked-away playgrounds, neighbourhood pets that she visits each day… she even tried to convince to me to take the “short cut” and jump a fence (I couldn’t quite agree to that!). It was clear that Mina was excited and proud to be my neighbourhood tour guide.
As I reflect on this experience, a few things really stick out to me. I realize how important it is for the children we serve to feel connected to their neighbourhood. These are kids who have experienced trauma and transition. All of them have moved into this place under very stressful circumstances. It strikes me that getting to know and feel comfortable in this neighbourhood plays a significant role in their healing and future development.
Reflecting on this experience also makes me realize what a joy it is to see this little corner of the world through the eyes of a child. Mina gave me the gift of experiencing this place in a new and fresh way. All of it reaffirms for me that we live, work and play in a very special place!
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Note: to maintain confidentiality, some details and names in this story were altered