When we get asked to share the success stories of our participants, first we need to define what success looks like. We may share a story about a participant who was released from custody but was back in custody five days later. People ask us, “How is that a success?”
When you work in this field, you learn to redefine what success means. For example, the participant did end up in custody after five days, but that was better than the previous time where he was back in custody 48 hours later.
Those 5 days of freedom this time around are a success! Many people respond “I guess I never really thought about it that way.” You have to think about it that way, that’s a success. You have to redefine what success means for each of the individuals that we support.
Prior to Turning Leaf, many of our participants had never learned to do simple tasks like cooking and cleaning, or showing up for a medical or probation appointment.
How Do We Measure Success?
Here are some examples of the successes we have celebrated with our participants:
- Geoff could pick out a meal from the freezer and cook it all by himself after only one month of assistance.
- Tania got out of an abusive and dangerous living situation by moving on to the Life’s Journey program.
- JR completed his assigned probation term.
- Dayna completed detox and treatment in The Pas and got into safe housing. She has been sober now for 3 months.
- After several months of failed attempts to connect with staff, Wally finally began to accept their help – and he cleaned his apartment.
- Sonia speaks fluent Ojibway.
- Maria was finally moved into a home.
- After one month of attempting to connect with Selena, she finally showed up for a meeting with her worker and is now making progress.
- Nathan has lived in the same apartment for five years.
- Robin began to advocate for herself with CFS.
- Timothy got out of jail and has stayed out for a month now.
- Justine is living in a safer environment.
- Brenda got her own apartment.
- Renee began treatment to reunite with her children.
- Mike got his first birth certificate and Social Insurance number.
- Troy is in a new living situation.
- Julie was released from custody and reaches out to staff daily, sometimes to just say “hi”.
- Peter has started to use his cane daily and has decided to return to a healthcare team to care for him.
This is how we measure success, every little positive change.
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein
Would you like to contribute to the successes we celebrate? Click here to learn how you can get involved.