Adapting to Difficult Situations as a VISTA

By March 27, 2018 AmeriCorps*VISTA

Hi! My name is Tallie.  

When I first started my year of service here at YouthLink, the building was under construction. YouthLink is working with Project for Pride in Living (PPL) to develop 46 housing units for young people experiencing homelessness. The five-story structure, named Downtown View, will be connected to YouthLink’s headquarters and the Youth Opportunity Center in downtown Minneapolis. This is an incredibly important evolution of our work at YouthLink as it will provide youth with a more stable option… it also meant a pretty chaotic working environment for all of us!

My first workspace was in a temporary trailer with other employment-related services given that our usual offices were under construction.  After a few months, I was moved into the basement. But, as things go on there were frequent unexpected developments that required all of the staff to be flexible.Sometimes, the internet and lights went out and we had to campout at a coffee shop or library to stay on track! I really struggled for a few months during my service. It was hard not having a set office space and managing all the transitions but I am truly committed to what YouthLink does for young people. I know that I lived through a few months of difficulty at my service site so that youth experiencing homelessness could have a safe space to call their own.  Living through such a drastic transformation of the space taught me a great deal about how to do my work, the importance of effective communication with my supervisors and colleagues, and navigating public transit to get to a location with wifi! I won’t lie, it was difficult to manage all the moving pieces, but I also gained practice and appreciation for my work at Youthlink.

The new housing will bring many benefits as the career pathways and education are there for youth to access better materials as well as a huge staff of managers who can assist them at their needs. YouthLink is so blessed to be able to have this new site this spring because we work with so many youth who experience homelessness and many other challenging events during their journey. My work will benefit the youth just as much as it will benefit the growth of the career pathways and the education team. The work that we do here at YouthLink is all for the youth; it’s hard but we work around it.

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