Currently in the midst of her Masters in Clinical Social Work, Meghan has been interning in the Women’s Center here at St. Francis House. We chatted with her about her experience here over the past several months.
How did you discover St. Francis House?
I first heard about St. Francis House as one of the placement sites to have my internship at through an ongoing partnership with Boston College. When I checked out the website, the culture of St. Francis House came through in an appealing way with their approach to wrap-around services, meals, and respite – nearly any need a guest has, they can get here at St. Francis House.
What’s a typical day like?
A typical day will have me all over the building! Although I am primarily spending most of my time in the Women’s Center, I spend some mornings in our Resource Center on the Mezzanine, I sit in on Whole Health meetings, and I shadow in our Moving Ahead Program on the fourth floor.
Tell us more about your experience in the Carolyn Connors Women’s Center
Here in the Women’s Center, I engage with different female guests – I check in and see how their day is going, ask if there is anything I can help with, and guide the women to resources within and outside of St. Francis House. Being here is helping me better understand the nuances of engaging with each guest on an individual level.
Rachel, the Women’s Center Coordinator, has really created a safe environment – a community, really – of its own [in the Women’s Center], within the community of St. Francis House itself. In that community, she has helped the women guests take ownership of the space.
Anything else you want to share?
The spirit of guest dignity here at St. Francis House is such a driving factor.
It doesn’t matter what services a guest is engaging with, all the employees here care and respect the guests, and serve them with consideration.
For example, I recently observed a particular staff member with a guest, and the way she interacted was so inspiring. Our staff make each guest feel heard, welcomed, and regarded. That’s hard for anyone to do in any job, especially in a shelter.