Friday, May 17, 2013

Comfortable homes

While walking Dubrovnik's city wall
Since our cottage adventure, I've been more aware of how I draw security from my surroundings.  It's completely fine - we create safe and uplifting environments for ourselves and for those around us.  That's a good thing. 

Ben decided we wouldn't go for the least expensive accommodations for our stay here in Dubrovnik.  We've been there and done that.  Instead, he found us a lovely little apartment right in Old Dubrovnik with a kitchen and private terrace.  It's very comfortable and spacious and has created a nice little home base for our stay here.

In this apartment a few days ago Ben rehearsed his teaching session for me - for the World Society of Victimology's post-graduate course (that's why we're here).  He mentioned while he practised that in his interviews with youth who are homeless he asked how they started using drugs.  He found many of his participants linked their drug use with trauma in their lives.  They would experience trauma then turn to drugs.  They didn't have a home or family or other forms of support, so they turned to drugs as a form of comfort. 

I can't imagine being without the comfort of a home.  Research shows that giving a home to someone who is homeless makes all the difference.  Housing first.  It's not very effective to try to get someone off drugs or into a job without them first having a home. 

So there's the contrast.  Here we are in a beautiful place in Old Dubrovnik and Ben's goes off each day to his victimology course where he talks about homelessness and murder.  Even here, not too long ago, the city's inhabitants fled their homes because of hatred and war. 

So I'm glad to be comfortable but I don't want to take it for granted. 

I am thankful for the security of my surroundings and aware that not everyone has that physical comfort and safety.     


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