Cassie is from Westborough, Massachusetts and studied at Saint Anselm College, where she pursued her calling for a more holistic form of nursing serving societies most resilient. She serves as a nurse on the medical floor where she plans, evaluates, and provides hands-on care and education for Christ House patients, and supervises respite care assistants. At the conclusion of her service, she will continue her nursing career.
Says Cassie, “I am very thankful for the foundation and immense support Christ House has given me as a new nurse. I know that the lessons I have learned through this year will impact my nursing care for years to come!”
Read some of the lessons Cassie has been learning below!
When I think of Christ House transformations, one patient distinctly comes to mind.
Walking into Christ House, Mr. A was slumped over in significant pain; it was clear he needed to be here. Initially, he was very reserved. He faced numerous acute issues, struggling with the medical challenges in addition to the stressors of unstable housing. I have found one of the many beautiful things that we do at Christ house is working to reduce a patient’s many stressors. This includes guidance with unstable housing situations, providing transportation to medical appointments, and overall managing the extensive medical care many patients require so that they are able to focus on healing and improving health. Once these stressors are relieved, many of our patients’ protective shells begin to crack and we are the lucky witnesses to seeing their beautiful personalities shine through. This is just what happened with Mr. A.
I came to Christ House motivated by an ideology highlighted by Father Greg Boyle, “to meet those marginalized where they are at so that the margins may someday be erased.” Through my year of working alongside men experiencing homelessness and challenged by significant medical afflictions, I have focused on providing care with kindness and compassion. In addition, recognizing each individual’s unique human worth and offering help to allow others to better maintain their dignity. Many times throughout this year I have seen the beauty that comes when you recognize a person for their inherent value as a human being and show them they truly matter.
Through Mr. A’s time at Christ House, we all began to see the loud, loving, and boisterous personality he had on the inside. His joyful full-bodied laugh became a natural music we often heard going about our work on the medical unit. He connected with others and welcomed all of those around him with many jokes and laughter.
About two months into his stay at Christ House, I was sitting with Mr. A enjoying a Table Fellowship dinner. We were talking about all the amazing places Mr. A had traveled, as he had a heart for adventure all through his life.
As the night came to a close singing “Bind Us Together” hand in hand, Mr. A leaned over to me and said “Cassie, God intended for us to meet, I know it. He brought me to Christ House and put you and everyone else here in my life for a reason and I see the way God works through you every day.”
This resonated with me. I imagine God’s vision for humanity is coming into play when life is lived with a compassion that knows no limits and each interaction is based on the intention that we all have equal value. When Mr. A and I recognized the humanity in each other, the power was transformative.
Christ House has shown me the transformative power of love and compassion. Offering a welcoming smile, a listening ear, or standing alongside someone as they receive difficult news creates an environment to heal and grow. With every patient that walks through our door, we work to create trust and build a relationship. In that way, our patients who are marginalized are finally given an opportunity to thrive. They have a space where they can finally relax and be themselves. This too enhances the lives of the caregivers in so many ways.
Christ House has shown me the beauty that comes after we finally look to our homeless brothers and sisters and say, “You matter”.