COVID-19 (Coronavirus) put my life and priorities more in line, realizing something we cannot see or feel can take our life in an instant. This can truly bring your mind and world to an uncomfortable, scary place. Being able to still have employment and work for a company that appreciates me and supports me through such a hard time spoke volumes to my heart.

Here at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s (LMM) Next Step, we work with at-risk teenagers and young adults and, I must say, the staff has been amazing. We seldom have call-offs. During this time, not one person called off, nor did any staff person complain or bring any anxiety that they may have been feeling to the workplace. We all had positive thoughts and positive energy. If anything, this pandemic has brought us closer together. We have grown to have more compassion & respect for one another.

Being in isolation did not so much bother me or interrupt my spirit. However, the teenagers and young adults I work with are young and like to be out and about and enjoying life. Staff has been creative and full of ideas, such as fun indoor games and activities for the teens to enjoy. What truly comes from the heart is that it takes an amazing person to have patience and care to play, assist and enjoy someone else’s children, while your own family’s safety is at the forefront of your mind. So, I truly appreciate and am thankful to be working with an awesome team.

Overall, our Youth Residential Services Director Linda Torbert has been by our side, been supportive and is assisting staff in every aspect of our needs to make sure that we feel safe, comfortable and in a good state of mind throughout this pandemic. The support system we have at Next Step has been over-the-top amazing. Current and new staff partners that were hired jump in with love and compassion for the youth and those around them.

Written by Tiffany Jackson, Administrative Assistant at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s Next Step